Media influences on pro social behaviour

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1. Media influences on pro- social behaviour Positive influences such as Sesame street, Brum and Smart 2. Pro-social behaviour ã Social learning theory – observe and…
  • 1. Media influences on pro- social behaviour Positive influences such as Sesame street, Brum and Smart
  • 2. Pro-social behaviour • Social learning theory – observe and imitation – banduras bobo doll study • Developmental factors (Empathy) – children start off being egocentric but programmes can help them develop a sense of empathy • Parental mediation- e.g. a parent sits with their child while they watch sesame street to explain what sesame street is tasking about further to make sure the child fully understands it – discuss + reinforcement • Exposed to pro-social content – meta analysis (content analysis) - making a list of all the bad things from a TV programme or all the good things, then marking them off as you watch the programme
  • 3. 1) Banduras social learning theory (Modelling) AO1 AO2 Banduras bobo study demonstrates how children imitate aggression but, if we can learn anti-social behaviour than why not pro social? We may be able to learn pro-social behaviour as well from the TV, for example sharing and kindness. Social leaning isn't just about the negative aspect people can learn like Bandura presented. Children are then likely to repeat the pro- social behaviour because of positive reinforcement, praise etc. from parents and older siblings  Acquiring pro-social behaviour for example from the lassie study was depicted step by step pro-social behaviour × Learning pro-social norms however might be less common nowadays – as the amount of pro socially aimed TV programmes has decreased, there are less morals in the story lines and more battles between good and bad
  • 4. 2) Developmental factors – Giving Empathy AO1 AO2 Empathy is the ability to put oneself in another persons shoes (so to speak) and feel the emotion that they are experiencing Develops through childhood into adolescence So the age of the child will depend on their empathy, and the influence of the media  We presume that preschool children would not be effected as much by pro- social behaviour by watching it on a screen, and that they would rather absorb anti-social messages instead. However Mare’s meta analysis found that the weakest effect for absorbing pro-social behaviour was on adolescents
  • 5. 3) Parental Influence AO1 AO2 Children watch TV with a parent, some programmes actually suggest this, for example the programme ‘watch with mother’ – by watching or discussing afterwards it allows them to discuss moral content The results of this were that the pro-social message can be reinforced × Are all forms of parental mediation effective? They may not actually watch the programme, even if they are there. They might not discuss the content afterwards × A researcher suggested that only some forms are effective, and its only effective when the parents discuss and explain the content to the children for reinforcement afterwards or else its useless watching it in the first place  Sesame street was designed with pro- social aims in mind for example interracial harmony × However a criticism of this is that it was only children from better socioeconomic backgrounds who benefited most because parents either had more time to explain to their children or understand it themselves and use the correct language
  • 6. 4) Content analysis - How pro-social is TV AO1 AO2 TV often focuses on aggression (leads to moral panic Greenberg – Content analysis of popular children's programmes in the US are equivalent number of pro-social and anti- social acts Anti stereotyping: Johnstone and Ettema – studied several thousand 9-12 year olds. The children who watched the programme ‘freestyle’ (designed to reduce sex role stereotypes) became less prejudiced  Mixed messages: Lovelace et al found that pro-social behaviour may come from setting pro-social goals against anti-social goals × However – having mixed messages can lead to an increase in aggression for example (the batman is violent to beat the joker, this may confuse children, because the good guy is supposed to do good things to combat the bad guy) × Pro-social and Anti-social: Many programmes have pro-social and anti- social messages for example the A-team, where good guys behave violently, this again creates mixed messages because the good guys are using aggression to achieve their end goal
  • 7. Content analysis continued - Other types of media AO1 Mares and Woodward considered the effects of other types of media, for example children's stories such as snow white, reading stories over and over again reinforces a good message ‘the good princess triumphs against the evil queen’ Mares conducted a meta analysis of research into pro-social behaviour and the media. He found four main effects 1. Altruism (sharing and offering help) 2. Self control e.g. resisting temptation 3. Positive interaction 4. Anti stereotyping Evidence for Altruism: Sprafkin et al – 6 year olds watched an episode of lassie where a child rescued a dog. They then all came across some seemingly distressed puppies, the children who had watched lassie spent more time comforting the puppies than the control group who hadn't watched neutral shows Further evidence from one of the studies Mares used in his meta analysis: Self control -> Researchers found that children who watched ‘Mister Rogers neighbourhood’ were more likely to preserve with tasks and obey rules more than children who had watched aggressive cartoons like Batman × Again the snow white example shows presents mixed messages for children expecially directed towards girls × We can criticise the altruism study because there could have been a number of reasons why those particular children spent more time with the puppies, maybe the children who watched lassie liked dogs more thsn the control group, some children may have been alergic to dogs or had a bad experience with a dog in the past so were abit wary of being to friend;y with the puppies
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