Influence of Television and Other Media

Of the several different forms of media, television is one of the most influential in terms of child devel opment. The effects of seeing violence on television has been debated among the scientists interested in child development. The main reason why watching violence on television causes violence in real world is the pervasiveness of violent programs.

There are several ways of explaining how the viewing of violence on television affects aggression in young people, including the direct effect, desensitiza-tion, and the so-called mean world syndrome. Aggression and favorable attitudes toward the use of aggression will develop if people watch a lot of violence on television. This direct effect has been a focus of research. Ross Parke and his colleagues, working in a natural setting, found that boys who viewed aggressive movies displayed an increased amount of physical and verbal aggression against other children.

According to desensitization theory, people who watch a lot of violence on television may become less sensitive to the various kinds of aggression and violence in the real world.

A third explanation for the link between television and aggression holds that some people suffer from the mean world syndrome, in which they believe that the world is as dangerous as it appears on television.

The effect of television violence on children has been debated. It is important to note that psychologists and psychiatrists involved in media studies do not suggest that violent media are the only causes of violence in society.

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