Whether Media Negatively Impacts Antisocial Disorder Development Essay

Length: 9 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Psychiatry Type: Essay Paper: #18714224 Related Topics: Antisocial Personality Disorder, Personality Disorders, Tennis, Crisis Intervention
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Media in the Development of Antisocial Personality Disorder vs. the Effect of Media in the Development of Prosocial Behavior

Some researchers contend that media has a negative impact on individuals and can be instrumental in the development of antisocial personality disorder (Robertson, McAnally, Hancox, 2013), while other researchers contend that media can actually have a positive effect on individuals and support prosocial behavior (Greitemeyer, 2011; Greitemeyer, Oswald, 2011). This paper will discuss the two competing viewpoints regarding the effects of media on the mental disorder of antisocial personality disorder (APD) and then discuss why I support the view that media is inherently antisocial and thus has a negative effect on the development of APD. The paper will conclude with an experimental research idea containing a reason for the study and the issue that will be resolved by the experiment.


Media does have a negative impact on personality development that can lead to antisocial personality disorder. This viewpoint is supported by several studies such as those conducted by Robertson, McAnally, and Hancox (2013) and Hamer and Konjin (2015) plus many others.

Essentially, this viewpoint rests on the idea that a "casual association" with media, where images and representations of sex, violence and other phenomenon are related, are intimately "associated with increased antisocial behavior in early adulthood" (Robertson et al., 2013, p. 439). This is the finding of Robertson et al. (2013) in their study aimed at investigating whether excessive exposure to television at adolescence resulted in "increased antisocial behavior in early adulthood" (p. 439). The researchers used regression analysis in a sample of over 1000 individuals from New Zealand born in the 1970s to determine whether there was any relationship between exposure to the television medium and antisocial personality disorder developments in early adulthood. Their quantitative assessment found that indeed there was a relationship and that individuals who suffered from APD also were among the individuals exposed to the most television at an early age. This finding suggests that there is a direct causality between the medium of television and the mental disorder of APD.

The study by Plaisier and Konjin (2013) supports this finding as well. The researchers in their quantitative study of APD find that "adolescence is an important developmental stage during which both peers and the media have a strong influence" (p. 1165). Their study finds that difficulty with peers in teens who are already having difficulty with socializing pushes them to embrace media that depicts morally negative behaviors and reinforces an antisocial behavioral pattern in the teen thus fulfilling a vicious cycle. The researchers used the Cyberball paradigm in order to measure tolerance levels and liking for antisocial media and its impact on antisocial behavior development. The researchers find that a "downward spiral framework" best explains the attachment of teens with APD to antisocial media whereas teens without APD show no preference for antisocial media. The former are as a consequence further cemented in their APD. This finding suggests that media therefore does have a negative impact on the development of APD, though in individuals who do not suffer from the disorder the finding is less conclusive.

The quantitative study by Hamer and Konjin (2015) finds that adolescents' exposure to media in which antisocial and risky behavior is represented helps to develop antisocial behavioral patterns, such as cyberbullying, over a period of time, as acceptable behavior. The study concludes with an analysis of the effects of long-term media exposure and its impact on the development of APD. The study suggests that there is empirical evidence that APD is reinforced and amplified by media that is not prosocial but antisocial in nature.

Position 2

Prosocial media can have a prosocial impact on individuals; exposure to media does not necessarily lead to the development of APD: on the contrary, it can help to foster prosocial behavioral patterns.

The study by Collings and Niederkrotenthaler (2012) finds that the Internet has been useful in suicide prevention and of assistance in identifying and treating APD. The researchers view the Internet as "new media" which is different from old media, such as television, in that it can be inherently prosocial in the sense that it connects individuals on the web much like a telephone connects individuals over a wire or using a satellite....


There is a social connection rather than social isolation (as is the case with old media like television or radio). The study is qualitative and its findings suggest that prosocial activities such as connecting to individuals who are offering assistance through helplines and prevention websites can deter APD by acting as a lifeline that pulls the individual out of his or her self.

The study by Greitemeyer (2011) finds that media can be helpful in deterring antisocial personality disorder if the media is prosocial in content and promotes empathy and prosocial thoughts. This study is also qualitative and bases its findings on the overview of other research in the field.

The study by Greitemeyer and Osswald (2011) uses quantitative analysis to find that the General Learning Model validly predicts the effect of prosocial media on individuals, discovering that while media such as video games may be harmful for APD if antisocial in nature, the converse can also be applied: namely, that APD can be deterred if the content of the video games is prosocial in nature (such as playing with friends or connecting with other individuals online, or in the sense that the structure of the game is based on cultivating social tendencies).

My Position

My position is that I view media as inherently antisocial and therefore as having a negative impact on the development of APD. My position is supported by the findings of Robertson, McAnally, and Hancox (2013) and Hamer and Konjin (2015) as well as on the findings of Greitemeyer (2011) and Collings and Niederkrotenthaler (2012) who essentially state that media really only has positive "effects" when the content or the connection is prosocial. My view is that the prosocial connection is incidental and in no way inherent in the media itself, which by nature is isolative and antisocial because it blocks the individual off from society and directs and narrows his attention to an antisocial end, which is negative consumption of self.

This position is based on the notion that media in and of itself takes individuals out of society even if the individual is using media in public (for example at a public movie theater). The notion is that even by going to a public cinema, one is simply engaging in an antisocial behavioral reinforcing activity: sitting in a chair in the dark with a roomful of other people, to whom one is not supposed to talk (this is taboo as it distracts from the images flashed on the screen and the sounds emitted from the speakers alongside the walls) and at whom one is not supposed to look. Afterwards, one may discuss the film with friends, but this is incidental to the actual event, the exposure to the media. The media is different, also, from viewing a live performance of a work of drama (a play) because there the actors engage with the audience and there is an interaction between audience and actors. The actors, in fact, do not act if there is no audience. The movie on the other hand will play to an empty auditorium (though not for long). The drama therefore is social and prosocial whereas the medium of film or television is antisocial.

The idea that individuals may develop prosocial attitudes by playing video games with peers is also incidental to the idea that video games in and of themselves are also isolative; although one exception may be made here if the game is like a contest between two or more individuals: in this case it may be viewed as no different than a tennis match or a bowling tournament where one player is competing with another. Competition in a video games, while although virtual, can be considered social. However, in cases where video games are played alone (even when "joined" by peers in an online community) the interaction is still antisocial unless there is direct competition. Without the competitive element, the activity is isolative.

The same may be said about the Internet as a new media. The Internet is also isolative; however, when the Internet is used as a connecting device between individuals like a telephone then it is no longer isolative but interactive and therefore prosocial. This is the contention of Collings and Niederkrotenthaler (2012) who find that the Internet can assist in the deterrence of APD by connecting individuals through helplines and hotlines. This may be true but the connection is incidental and not inherent to the medium itself, which is by nature antisocial because it engages a single, solitary individual away from society by isolating him or her in front of a screen and absorbing his attention for varying lengths of time without any social purpose or object such as interaction being essential…

Sources Used in Documents:


Collings, S., Niderkrotenthaler, T. (2012). Suicide prevention and emergent media:

surfing the opportunity. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 33: 1-4.

Davis, B. (2008). Defeating Diabetes: Lessons from the Marshall Islands. Today's

Dietitian, 10(8): 24.

Cite this Document:

"Whether Media Negatively Impacts Antisocial Disorder Development" (2015, September 30) Retrieved January 20, 2022, from

"Whether Media Negatively Impacts Antisocial Disorder Development" 30 September 2015. Web.20 January. 2022. <

"Whether Media Negatively Impacts Antisocial Disorder Development", 30 September 2015, Accessed.20 January. 2022,

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