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Abstract This investigative study concludes that consistent exposure to violence on television results in greater degree of aggression and lesser interest in social interaction. This investigative study is based on face-to-face interviews conducted individually from four participants…
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Download file to see previous pages Introduction Television is a very powerful means of communication and persuasion. This medium of information and entertainment comes with its drawbacks; for many years television viewership has been associated with obesity, short-attention spans, aggression and smoking in children (Christakis et al, 2004, p 652). Over the years, there has been extensive research to determine the impact of violence portrayed through television on the later lives of individuals and children that are exposed to it (Levermore & Salisbury, 2009, p.42). This research does point in the direction of a causal relationship between violence on television and increased aggression at later stages in life. In light of social cognitive theory and script theory, there can be an influence on the behaviour of children when they observe violence being modeled by media (Matos, Ferreira and Haase, 2012). Murray (2008) suggests that television viewership has a drug-like effect on young viewers, where children are observing fast-paced action and violence on their television screens in a zombie-like state. Young children are exposed to television programs with central characters that commit violence as a means of achieving social justice and heroism; and frequently this behaviour results in positive outcomes (Lemal and Bulck, 2009). The later findings further support the study of Matos, Ferreira and Haase (2012) by implying that the young television audience “selectively observe and extract” violence from modeling characters when they appear to be charismatic and heroic. This investigative study will aim to establish a relationship between television viewing preferences, particularly violence and their consequent impact on behaviour. Television Viewership- Frequency and Duration The television watching duration was average Australian television viewing close to 100 hours per month or 3 hours a day (Neilson 2012). In the sample age group of 12-24 the television viewership duration ranged from 2 to 3 hours per day. According to the guidelines provided by Academy of Pediatrics, children under 2 years of age should not be watching television at all and older children should limit it to not more than 2 hours per day (Christakis at al, 2004, p 652). In light of these guidelines the average television viewership amongst Australian children is very high and unhealthy. Furthermore, television viewing is an inactive activity where the individual is not providing any input, just receiving one-way messages. So, the 50 years worth of research that point to the drugging-effect of television is a major concern (Pecora, Murray, & Wartella, 2007). According to the study conducted by Matos, Ferreira and Haase in 2012, the children spend up to 3 hours and 59 minutes watching television. This extended duration for time allows for the children to form identification and familiarity with the characters, so the aggressive behaviour on-screen is shown as something acceptable and is continually reinforced (Matos, Ferreira and Haase, 2102, p78). Correlating this research with the findings of our research, we can effectively conclude that the 3 hour average duration is significant in impacting behaviour of children all the way to adulthood. The frequency is not very high at most 2, as most viewers watch their favorite programs in one-sitting and majority of their preferences are prime-time shows that are about 30 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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