Social Psychology


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Does the Media
Influence Social Behavior?

    Ψ  Pornography & Sexual Violence

    •  Repeated exposure to fictional eroticism has several effects, it can:

        •  decrease attraction to a life-time partner.
         •  increase acceptance of extramarital sex.

    •  In the U.S. pornography is a big business.

    Ψ  Distorted Perceptions of Sexual Reality

        •  Exposure to pornography increases acceptance of the "rape myth" - that some women welcome sexual assault - "that no doesn't  really mean no".

    Ψ Aggression against Women

        •  Exposure to violent pornography increases punitive behavior toward women.
        •  Media awareness training: By sensitizing people to the view of women that predominates in pornography & to issues of sexual harassment & violence, it should be possible to counter the myth that women enjoy being coerced.

    Ψ Television's Effects on Behavior

        •  Television is a cause of of social violence. It is a potentially controllable cause.

        •  Television causes arousal, disinhibits behavior, & invokes imitation. If the imitation were of prosocial behavior it could (& does) produce "good" results.

    Ψ Video Games

        •  Five consistent effects of playing violent video games:

        1. increases arousal
         2. increases aggressive thinking
          3. increases aggressive feelings
           4. increases aggressive behavior
            5. decreases prosocial behaviors

        •  The more violent the game the bigger the effects!

        •  Contrary to the catharsis hypothesis , practicing violence breeds rather than releases violence!

Social Psychology
  Robert C. Gates