How television media violence influences deviant behavior, specifically criminal behavior

Length: 10 Pages 2500 Words

Violence in the media has become a commonplace affair. Does television violence result in more aggressive or deviant behavior' Is such behavior likely to lead to criminal behavior' Recent studies have indicated that even the most seemingly benign programs on television, such as cartoons, are filled with violence. Violence in the media influences human behavior in a negative manner. Hundreds of studies have been conducted in recent years evaluating the effects of violence in the media. The results are at best, daunting and somewhat alarming. Some have raised enough question about the effects of media violence to cause researchers to claim the results are inconclusive. However others prove strongly enough that media violence can lead to criminal behavior, and many sociologists have concluded that violence in television media impacts viewers in a negative manner. Television violence impacts youths and adolescents much more frequently than it impact adults. Human behavior is the product of internal influences, such as a person's biological pre-disposition or genetic make-up, as well as external factors such as the environment. There have been many studies linking innate human tendencies such as violence an Continue...

The study also found that the perpetrators of violent acts on television frequently go unpunished. Ivey predicted, they have had a influential impact on society at large. , the director of research for the National Broadcasting Company, at about the same time as Hovland predicted the potential impact that media and television would have on viewers, quoting that "the viewer gets the feeling of being there, of immediacy which gives to telecasts the authority and significance possessed by no other medium of mass communications" (Vos Post, 1995). This very closeness or feeling of being there is what draws viewers into the reality of violence and aggression, when it is portrayed as a commonplace affair on TV. However, as humans, many live in a world that is aggressive by nature, and the constant influx of violent material whether from the home or in the workplace can be a significant factor deciding whether people act out on their aggressive tendencies. He noted that analysis would be required of the stimuli transmitted by the communicator, in this case the television (Vos Post, 1995). According to the study, approximately 10 incidents of violence were reported per channel per hour, non-inclusive of commercials (CMPA, 2003). Many sociologists examining human behavior agree that violence is in fact a "learned behavior", and violent actions are "most likely to occur in a culture or subculture in which violence is accepted" (Kornblum, 2003). There are some sociologists however, that argue that television violence actually decreases the likelihood that individuals will act out aggressive behavior. Some claim that violence in the media causes "arousal" and that such activity "arouses" or increases the excitation of viewers (Vos Post, 1995). Additionally, programs with higher levels of violence should be presented at later times, to prevent younger viewers from being influenced from such programs. Exposure to repeated acts of violence has been proven to time and time again result in more aggressive behaviors from the viewer (Bar-on, 2000). He warned consumers and telecasters that "The technological revolution we are now going through will far outstrip our ability as groups to go through social changes, then the consensus which is essential to social organization will be lost, and our civilization will be lost" (Vos Post, 1995).