Does media violence make people aggressive?
Aggression is difficult to define and measure. In my opinion it is a type of behaviour which can eventually lead to physical acts of violence. Some people can control their aggression whilst others can’t and end up venting their aggression on something or someone. Media violence is any form of media which shows or instigates violent behaviour and leads people to have aggressive feelings. It can be books, films, television programmes, console games, song lyrics, and poetry. I am taking the viewpoint that media violence does make people aggressive.
If a person is repeatedly exposed to media violence they can become desensitized to the violence. According to Graham Vaughn and Michael Hogg (2005) in social psychology 4th edition, desensitization is’ a serious reduction in a person’s responsiveness to material that usually evokes a strong emotional reaction, such as violence or sexuality’. This could mean the violence seen in the media becomes more acceptable to a person exposed to it and they could potentially think it isn’t a bad thing. Banduras bobo doll experiment (1961) supports this statement as it indicated that children didn’t have a problem inciting negative actions on the bobo dolls after watching violent media such as violent cartoons. The fact that children were able to hit the bobo doll with a mallet for example shows that media violence of course has a huge effect, especially on vulnerable people such as young children. This social learning theory indicates that aggression isn’t something that is genetically passed on but that it is learned and imitated. In other words it is nurture as opposed to nature which leads people to show aggressive behaviour.
Freud believed that by watching or experiencing media violence a person can vent their feelings of aggression. This is known as the catharsis theory ‘Freud believed that repressed negative emotions could build up inside an individual and cause...