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Example research essay topic: How Does Television Violence Affect Childrens Behavior - 1,549 words

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... imes. Results of these studies show that 22 to 34 percent of the young males, especially those who were the most violent, said that the had ultimately imitated crime techniques learned from television programs. It concluded that these males watched an average of six hours of TV per day, about twice as much as children in the general population at that time. The CBS was conducted in London. In the study, 1, 565 teenaged boys were studied for behavioral effects of viewing violent television programs, many of which were imported from the United States.

The study revealed that those who watched above average hours of TV violence before adolescence committed a 49 percent higher rate of serious acts of violence than did boys who had viewed below average quantities of violence. The final report was very strongly supportive of the hypothesis that high exposure to television increases the degree to which boys engage in serious violence. Five types of TV programming were most powerful in triggering violent behavior in the boys in London study: 1) TV plays or films in which violence is demonstrated in close personal relationships. 2) Programs where violence was not necessary to the plot but just added for its own sake. 3) Fictional violence of a very realistic kind 5) Programs that present violence as being for a good cause. Some researchers are turning their heads with some shocking new results stating that television networks are showing Positive signs of reducing violence in their own prime time series and in made for television movies, but serious problems persist in the theatrical movies they broadcast in some childrens shows and in promotional spots.

Most of the violence that was shown on TV in the past year was from films that were previously viewed in the theaters. Finding that about 42 percent of them had explicit bloody killings and shootings from the heroes raised a great deal of concern. The networks can edit out the worst part but with films like Terminator 2 or Under Siege you take the worst parts out and you run the risk of having very little movie left. Problems were also raised about the increasing use in childrens programming of what it calls combat violence which is characters fighting at the slightest provocation. Other similar studies have also been conducted, and alarming enough have also shown the same results as Huesmann and Even finding. Violent television creates violent children and later in life they create violent adults, but the media and other people are still not convinced that there is to much violence on TV and why should they?

How can we compare data with other non violent children. Can parents in todays two income, in some cases single parent society prevent children from watching violence all the time? And how can we prevent children from watching television at all, what causes can that have on a child in todays world. But there might be such a research. Research in the field of public communications also supports the conclusion that exposure to television violence contributes to increased rates of aggression and violent behavior. Centerwall (1989, 19930) analyzed crime data in areas of the world with and without television and made comparisons in areas before and after the introduction of TV.

His studies determined that homicide rates doubled in ten to fifteen years after TV was introduced for the first time into specified areas of the United States and Canada. Observing that violent television programming exerts its exhilarating effects primarily on children. Centerwall noted that the ten to fifteen year lag time can be expected before homicide rates increase. Acknowledging that other factors besides TV do have some influence on the quantity of violent crimes.

Centerwall's careful statistical analysis indicated that when the negative effects of TV were removed, quantitative evidence showed there would be 10, 000 fewer homicides, 70, 000 fewer rapes and 700, 000 fewer injurious assaults. All these figures add up to alarming results, but how do we learn in what way our children are affected can we understand exactly what causes a person to continue the violence even after their perception of whats real and unreal. Are the children just naturally bad? , are they a loaded gun waiting to explode and television is just the trigger. Why violence becomes a part of their live even after growing up? Some answers may be found in a study from 1982 that states. Since the mid 1970 s researchers have broaden their attention from behavioral effects to cognitive effects of violence viewing.

Substantial evidence has been accumulated that that exposure to violent programs may affect may childrens feelings and thoughts. In the long term, affective and cognitive effects may not only result in increase aggressive behavior, but may also be exhibited in more subtle forms of behavior than aggression. Researchers have also found that exposure to violence may decrease normal sensitivity to aggression. High viewers of televised violence were less responsive in subsequent exposure to violence. This effect is called Habituation. Habituation simply states that strong reactions grow weaker with continuous exposure to the stimuli.

If people become accustom to violence from seeing it on TV, they may react less sensitively to real life aggression. This was a great breakthrough in research because it explained how in the real world people react to different scenarios differently. It also made us aware that all of us can also be unchanged by certain events which might be consider dangerous or out of the norm. But now we are asked: How do we stop this serious problem facing any child who watches television? How can we improve childrens perception of what is real and what is not.

How can we better yet save the future of our country and our world. There has to be a way? , and the best answer to date is the a new curriculum to change children views. A curriculum was made up for changing childrens attitudinal judgments of TV violence. Three specific objectives were formulated. In order to resist the habituation effect of violence viewing, the first goal of the curriculum was that children take violent actions in television more seriously. The curriculum was particularly aimed at having children take the violent actions of the good guys lightly, as children already took the violent actions of the bad guys seriously of their own.

The curriculums second objective was directed at counteracting aggressive attitudes that children might learn from television. Children should learn to go along less unquestioningly with the violent actions they see on television. This objective was also concentrated on the violence used by the hero. As was found in a preliminary study. Some of the changes the government is trying to implement to stop TV violence include the new V-Chip which is supposed to allow parents to block those unwanted shows from their TV and they are also trying to set a rating system for the TV shows according to their violence content. Of course these attempts have been met with resistant by the TV media and Hollywood calling it unconstitutional.

Since the invention of television families have been gathering around the TV set to watch their favorite programs for decades. What might have been great movies and shows have become the cause for controversy. I grew up watching many of the great westerns where the good guys get the bad guys. Like many boys I always wanted to be a cowboy and get the bad guys.

I dont know what kind of affect these movies had on me or on the general population, but the studies have proven that television violence is affecting the way our children grow up and behave. The acts of Violence and the number of violent youngsters have risen not only in the great cities, but also in the suburbs. This leads me to believe that even though the childs surroundings is usually the most influential part of a childs development, TV violence has created another problem for the worlds youth. In conclusion, studies have been made, the results are calculated, and many new studies complement the finding of the old studies. There should be no doubt in anybody's mind that television violence changes children behavior and in terms causes other long lasting effects as adults. In my opinion television violence not only changes children behavior, but also changes society in general because children eventually become the adults of today.

Bibliography: Fried, Joseph. Youths Guilty Of Slaying Of a Principal The New York Times: June 6, 1993. Duricka, John. Gene. Beavis, Butthead and Thomas Jefferson U.

S. News & World Report: Volume 115. November 1, 1993. Mortimer, Jeffrey. How TV Violence Hits kids The Education Digest: Volume 60. October, 1994.

Hepburn, Mary A. TV Violence: Myth And Reality Social Education: Volume 59. September, 1995. Mifflin, Lawrie.

Study Of TVs Violence points To Films The New York Times: September 20, 1995. Zuckerman, Mortimer B. The Victims Of TV Violence U. S New & World Report: Volume 115. August 2, 1993.

Virus, Marcel W. and Van Der Voor, Tom H. A. , Learning About Television Violence: The Impact Of A Critical Viewing Curriculum On Childrens Attitudinal Judgments Of Crime series Journal of research and development in Education: Volume 26, Spring 1993. Endnotes


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Research essay sample on How Does Television Violence Affect Childrens Behavior

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