Media Violence the Role of Media Content Essay

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Media Violence

The role of media content in the violent activities has been found to be prominent in the real life events and it has been observed that the individuals tend to adopt the violent acts by means of their cognitive learning and social process. There exists stimulus which makes individuals to indulge in the media illustrations and cause them to replicate these actions in the real life. Moreover, the existence of guideline for the accessibility of specific media towards specific audience has made it possible to discontinue the exposure of violent media towards the vulnerable audience.

Theories -- Analysis and Evaluation

Types of Violence

Unpunished violence

Painless violence

Happy violence

Heroic violence

Real-Life Evidences

Preventive Measures

Limited Researches




The thematic illustration of violence in media-content has become a trend in the mass-media and entertainment industry and has created the notion of making its target audience aggressive and to be indulged in violent activities. The violent activities have been increased over the period of time with the increase in time that is spent with media-content and the accessibility of individuals with these contents. The violent theme of movies, cartoons and comic-characters has made the individuals to perceive that these activities are not harmful and are morally right and hilarious to be carried out (Browne and Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). The exposure to such violent content has made the individuals to learn these activities as a part of their cognitive-learning behavior and has made them to act accordingly to violent-media in the real life and has made the individuals to become aggressive in situations where violent activities are conducted by means of entertainment from media. The imitation of violent acts may be the part of one's subconscious in which one learns cognitively and becomes inspired by the illustrated images related to a certain situation represented by media-sources and then tends to utilize the exact behavior that has been illustrated in media content and shows aggressive behavior. There exist Payne-fund-studies that are conducted in order to analyze the social concerns that may relate to increasing level of crime and violence of the society.


The exposure of public towards the aggressive thematic media transmissions has increased the number of violence in real-world by means of adhering people more towards the engagement in violent activities. The prior study conducted in this respect by Dale (1935) indicated the prominence of violent activities in the content of movies, whereas, the study by Blumer (1933) specified that the people tend to adopt the violent activities that they see in movies. Hence, the tendency of one's violent behavior has become influenced by his exposure to violent and aggressive media-content. The people become inspired by the characters or heroes performing violent activities and then try to imitate them which causes their indulgence in real life crimes

Wertham (1954) infers that the content and graphics in comic books possess the violent images and ideas which has increased the juvenile-delinquency in youth. According to Bryant and Oliver (2009), the comic-book industry was strongly influenced by the results of the study and the censorship rules were formulated to be followed by the industry in order to reduce the children's exposure towards the violent content. Gerbner (1972) presented the concept of cultivation in which he preluded that the people spending extensive time with television tend to live in a delusion in which they start to believe that whatever is happening in television is real and then try and adapt themselves to carry out the exact activities that are being watched by them. It has also been considered that the television and media resources have become common in household which has increased its accessibility towards the people of all ages; thus it has been causing negative effects on the behavior of its audience. The study analyzed the nature of programs that were transmitted on television in the primetime and the results revealed that 80% of primetime-programs contained violent activities and were watched by the people of all ages including children.

Williams (1986) contributed remarkable causal support to the notion of violent behavior and media and postulated that during the past era in Canadian-Town where people did not have access to television but when the people's accessibility towards television increased then the violent behavior in the town increased. Therefore, the results strongly comprehended the rational of aggressive behavior with respect to the accessibility of television.

Theories -- Analysis and Evaluation

The theory of desensitization refers to the decreased tendency of an individual to respond to the real life situations, however, the notion with respect to the media indicates the individual's inability to respond in actual real-life violent situations which are usually the causal effect of individual's exposure to violent situations in transmitted media. The media source could vary from television to video games and comic-series and the adherence of violence in these sources of media makes the individual to encounter with hostile thoughts in terms of observing and perceiving the actions of the people whom they are surrounded with (Huesmann, 1982). Therefore, when an individual is exposed to a violent act by media then the individual is strongly influenced by the emotions and the situation but the continuous exposure makes the people less sensitive towards the violent situations and they stop responding in their real lives.

Catharsis theory presented by Feshbach and Singer, (1971) suggests that the continuous exposure to violent situations by means of television and video-games make the individual resistant towards the violent situation and makes the individual being able to deal with such situations in real-life. The study conducted in this respect represents the idea that the energy that is being captured by an individual during the exposure of aggressive video games is often used in real-life which has increased the individual's tendency to act violently in some situations (Gentile, 2013). However, the theory has not presented strong empirical evidences with respect to the individual's adoption of energy and utilizing it in violent actions.

According to Bandura (1978), the reinforcement of aggressive and violent behavior due to the exposure of violent themes and acts transmitted by media also takes place in an individual in accordance with the social-learning theory. The theory represents the notion that the individuals tend to learn and adapt as a consequence of social process in which they are strongly influenced by their surroundings. The notion is considered to be significant with the increasing aggressive behavior of individuals due to the fact that the individuals who adhere towards the violent media tend to involve in violent activities in their life with the passage of time. The very same theory mediates the vicarious-theory in which the aggressive behavior of an individual is not reinforced by any punishment which makes the people become more indulged towards the violent activities. Moreover, the transmission of violent acts which are carried out by heroes and media-idols make their followers or fan to intimate the violent behavior as a part of reward which acts as a reward in vicarious-reinforcement and, thus, increases the violent activities in the society. The theory has presented moderate empirical evidences with respect to the aggressive behavior.

The priming theory in the context of media violence infers that the stimulation of violent images creates the thoughts of violent actions in a person and then the person tends to repeat those violent acts. The vicious activities are learned by the cognitive-memory and when the individuals are encountered with similar situation in real life, they tend to apply that violent behavior that they have learnt from the similar situation that they watched at some media source. The study in respect conducted by Bushman (1998) tested this notion in which people were exposed to aggressive media and then their behavior was examined and the results of the study provided the evidence that the violent media-sources create aggressive behavior among the individuals and the strong evidence has been postulated with respect to this theory.

The media-content also excites the individual by means of individual's involvement in the content and the person who is involved in the media-content starting to express emotional response towards the stimuli that he has received from the transmission. For instance, the people become involved in the TV-programs and represent their emotions with respect to what they see;they feel anger when they watch something offensive is happened and feel happy when they watch that something pleasant has been happening. The research study conducted in this respect provided the empirical evidence that the individual's behavior is changed and manipulated in accordance with the media-content with which they are exposed (Zillmann, 1971).

Types of Violence

The characteristics of violence discussed in accordance with the media-content are as follows:

Unpunished violence

The media-content represents that the carrier of violent activities i.e. hero or villain is not punished in any manner with respect to the violent activities that they carry out or the punish for violent activities is not too big and in this way the individuals perceive that the violent activity that they…[continue]

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