Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence

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Media Violence Definition

Although acting aggressively is not always a desirable trait, it is not the same as breaking the law or committing serious acts of violence. But stories of copycat violence tend to make the public most concerned about the effects of violent media. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the students who killed 13 people and wounded 23 in the Columbine massacre, were both avid players of violent video games. Before the massacre, both of them played a specially modified version of the video game Doom. This connection suggests that consuming violent media and aggression are related, but does violent media actually cause criminal violence?

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to conduct a safe and ethical laboratory study on the effect of violent media on violent behavior. However, it is probably not so much the immediate effect of media violence on violent crime that is of concern but, rather, the aggregated long-term effects. Children are exposed to about 10, violent crimes in the media per year, and each of these has a cumulative effect on their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Longitudinal studies have shown that exposure to violent media is related to serious violent and antisocial behavior. For example, the amount of violent media consumed as a child is related to how many fights a person will get into in high school. Similarly, men who watched violent media during childhood were nearly twice as likely to have assaulted their spouse 15 years later. In another longitudinal study, consumption of violent media at age 14 predicted violent crimes committed at age All violent media do not have the same effect, and all people are not affected the same way by violent media.

For example, how violence is depicted is important. Both realistic violence and violence that goes unpunished increase the likelihood of aggression. Who watches violent media is also important. A number of personality traits seem to place some viewers at greater risk than others. One key variable is the trait of aggressiveness. People who are characteristically aggressive seem to be more affected by violent media than are people who are not characteristically aggressive. However, the relationship between trait aggression and violent media is complex, and these findings only represent trait differences at a single point in time.

Exposure to media violence also causes trait aggressiveness, which in turn increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior. This suggests that the short-term effects of violent media observed in experimental research may become increasingly pronounced within individuals as they are repeatedly exposed to violence, leading to a downward spiral into greater levels of aggression.

Media outlets contend that gatekeeping , or news filtering that may result in agenda-setting and specifically framing, is inevitable. With a never-ending, near-limitless amount of information, filtering will occur by default. Subcultures within news organizations determine the type of published content, while editors and other news organization individuals filter messages to curate content for their target audience.

The rise of digital media, from blogs to social media, has significantly altered the media's gatekeeping role. In addition to more gates, there are also more gatekeepers. Google and Facebook both cater content to their users, filtering though thousands of search results and media postings to generate content aligned with a user's preferences.

In fact, users on social media can act as a check to the media, calling attention to bias or inaccurate facts.

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There is also a symbiotic relationship between social media users and the press: younger journalists use social media to track trending topics. Legacy media outlets , along with newer online-only outlets , face enormous challenges. The multiplicity of outlets combined with downsizing in the aftermath of the recession makes reportage more hectic than ever. One study found that journalists write about 4. Public relations agencies play a growing role in news creation: "41 percent of press articles and 52 percent of broadcast news items contain PR materials which play an agenda-setting role or where PR material makes up the bulk of the story.

Individuals are disinclined to share or amplify certain messages because of a fear of social isolation and a willingness to self-censor. As applies to media effects studies, some individuals may silence their opinions if the media does not validate their importance or viewpoint. This spiral of silence can also apply to individuals in the media, who may refrain from publishing controversial media content. After entering the 21st century, the rapid development of the Internet and Web 2.

Media effects studies also are more diverse and specified. There are two propositions of this selectivity paradigm: a among the constellation of messages potentially attracting their attention, people only go to a limited portion of messages; b people are only influenced by those messages they select Klapper , [45] Rubin [46].

Social Cognitive Theory in Relation to Media Violence

Researchers had noticed the selectivity of media use decades ago, and considered it as a key factor limiting media effects. Later, two theoretical perspectives, uses-and-gratifications Katz et al. Generally, these theories put media user in the center of the media effect process, and conceptualize media use as a mediator between antecedents and consequences of media effects.

Social Psychological Theories of Aggression - Social Learning Theory

In other words, users with intention or not , develop their own media use effects. After the all-power assumption of mass media was disproved by empirical evidence, the indirect path of the media's effect on audiences has been widely accepted. An indirect effect indicates that an independent variable e. The conceptualization of indirect media effects urges us to pay attention to those intervening variables to better explain how and why media effects occur.

In correspondence with the statement that media effect is the result of a combination of variables, media effects can also be enhanced or reduced by individual difference and social context diversity. Many media effects theories hypothesize conditional media effects, including uses-and-gratifications theory Rubin , [38] reinforcing spiral model Slater , [54] the conditional model of political communication effects McLeod et al. Many theories assume reciprocal causal relationships between different variables, including characteristics of media users, factors in environment, and outcomes of media Bandura Transactional media effects theories are the most complex among the five features.

There are three basic assumptions. First, communication technologies e. They engage in transactions through these technologies Bauer They influence each other. Producers can be influenced by receivers because they learn from what the audience needs and prefer Webster However, these features are only limited within micro-level media effects studies, which are mostly focused on short-term, immediate, individual effects.

We look forward to more syntheses on macro-level research. The images that media create and carry the weight of social responsibility and the right side of social value. Audiences learn and conduct their political sights of view from reading, listening to the political analysis and evaluation.


The mass media are powerful guardians of proper political behavior because audience tends to trust the press who should inform them about government wrongdoing and providing proper suggestions. All of the mass media are politically important because of their potential to reach large groups of audiences. However, the influence of each media varies depending on their characteristics, ease of access and the quantity of the audience reached. Electronic media especially television broadcasts provide a greater sense of reality which sometimes provide more credibility than others and stronger influence to the audiences.

Moreover, large segments of the U. Since now it is the era of the Internet, the effect of Internet has extended every area.

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Politics is no exception, the relationship between organization and public opinion has been influenced by new media. New media includes online newspaper, blogs, social media and so on. More and more people prefer new media than traditional media because of the less limitation of new media, such as time limitation and space limitation.

Most people have a cell phone or a computer. They can catch the news anytime in anyplace.

As a result, new media has a greater impact on people. Politicians also notice new media is a more effective way to convey their message, and they use it to attract supporters. They can easily communicate with the public and gather them together by "share" and "like it", which will benefit their political activities especially for presidential campaigns, because social media can help the candidate get their vote. One study concluded that social media is allowing politicians to be perceived as more authentic with a key finding that shows voters feel politicians to be more honest on social media, compared to interviews or TV shows.

Social Cognitive Theory in Relation to Media Violence | Aggression | Violence

This is the case especially among young voters, who predominantly use these type of mediums, this opens up a new voter base for politicians to appeal to directly. New media provides a two-way communication, which achieves an interactive role. People can directly send message to government and politicians can comment online. When those comments gather together, it will draw public opinion to focus on the wrongdoings of government. Since new media has a large user base, the political activity is followed by more people than before.

New media lets people better supervise government behaviour. Also, governments can know public opinion through new media as reference for decision making. Although new media has both positive and negative effect on politics, it narrows the relationship between the public and politics. Public is not only an information receiver anymore. People also can give their advice and opinion to the government. Government also have a chance to get to know the thought of citizens.

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The media play an indispensable role in the proper functioning of a democracy. Without mass media, openness and accountability are very tough to reach in contemporary democracies.

Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence
Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence
Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence
Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence
Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence
Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence Social Cognition in Relation to Media Violence

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