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How does the Media Shape Our Development of Moral Judgment - Research Paper Example

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Media and Moral Development According to the AAP, “"Children are influenced by media–they learn by observing, imitating, and making behaviors their own" (2001, p.1224). Among the most popular issues of late the influence of media on children has been one which has received a great deal of attention from not only parents and educators but also health care professionals…
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How does the Media Shape Our Development of Moral Judgment
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Download file to see previous pages How this is happening is the way in which the youth is spending a lot of their time with the media due to their easy access to explicit content. With added convenience children can find stories that encompass violence, sexual promiscuity, theft, and greed in numerous media outlets such as fictional programming, a number of reality shows, music, and through the Internet. Research primarily looks at the effects on morality due to the media by looking at the underlying moral decision making that affects their behaviors. As far as children are concerned their moral development follows a very conventional developmental path. When these children, typically under the age of eight, are presented with an ethical dilemma their judgment of right and wrong is highly reliant on whether their action results in a reward or punishment. However as children mature their judgment takes into account a larger amount of factors, intentions and motives which revolve around recognition of the many conflicting rules inherent in moral dilemmas. Such a change can be attributed to the fact that their moral reasoning becomes much more flexible and ‘other’ oriented. ...
A majority of the children’s perception found unjustified aggression to be wrong however children who watched programs that encompassed fantasy violence, such as Power Rangers, were more inclined to judge the ‘justified’ aggression being morally correct. Research reinforces this notion seeing as how violence in famous superhero cartoons is mostly seen as justified. Hence in the Krcmar study, it was observed how children who watched fantasy violence and those who watched realistic entertainment violence, such as Cops, were seen to display a lesser advanced moral reasoning strategies, with their primary focus being on rules and how prominent the presence or absence of punishment was as far as moral dilemmas was concerned. In another study which focuses on a similar pattern it was found that children who watched fantasy violence frequently were more likely than those who were light viewers to perceive justified violence as being morally correct. The heavy exposure to fantasy violence also led to these children having a lesser advanced role-taking abilities, which consequently affected their moral reasoning skills, making them less sophisticated (Wilson, 2008). A study also focused on looking at the influence the family had on a child’s television viewing and moral reasoning. It was found that if parents stressed and emphasized on communication within a family the children were less likely to watch fantasy violence that was shown on television and therefore develop higher moral reasoning skills and vice versa (Livingstone, 1996). A longitudinal study conducted by Judy Dunnn and Claire Hughes looked at how the media had an impact on the moral development of “hard-to-manage” preschoolers when compared with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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