“Don’t blame the movies, Movies don’t create killers, movies make killers more creative. ” According to Bandura (1960) and his Bobo Doll experiment, children will imitate violence whether it was seen on screen, in cartoon form, or in real life. However there are many faults with this experiment. The test conditions, the fact the experiment was only done once and not over a period of time, and the fact that children can tell the difference between an inanimate object and a real person.
Despite the flaws in this experiment and others done to prove the same thing, people still believe that watching violent programmes or films will increase the chance that a person is, or will become violent in later life. If you are looking at violence on television, how can it be classified? Going by Bandura’s experiment, children can’t even watch cartoon violence, which includes things like Tom and Jerry, Roadrunner, and the Powerpuff Girls.
To most adults, these programmes would not encourage them to go out and drop an anvil on someone, or savagely attack their friend, but some people do believe that these programmes will encourage children to do that An article from The Independent from 2002 say that “children who watch more than an hour of television every day are more likely to grow up into violent adults”. The scientists involved studied over 700 children over 17 years. They found that heavy television viewing led to aggressive behaviour
An example of violent behaviour being blamed on movies is the case of Jamie Bulger. Child’s Play 3 was mentioned several times in their trial, yet there is no evidence that either of the boys had actually seen the film. McIntyre and Teevan completed a survey of 2,300 high school students. They found that the students who watched the most violent programmes were prone to delinquency, defiance of parents and political activism. This study did, however, fail to take into account sex, age and ethnic origin. Once these have been added in the correlations seem to disappear
Whenever a moral panic about violence in the media erupts, people always seem to assume that young offenders prefer watching more violent programmes or films. The Police Studies Institute was asked to conduct a survey of young offenders and non-young offenders and to compare the results. It was found that both groups were watching the same amount of television after the 9pm watershed. They found the most popular television programme for both males and females was Home and Away. The most popular film for offenders and non-offenders (males only) was Terminator 2, rated 15.
This study is said to be the most reliable and up to date on the subject of screen violence In conclusion, from the studies I have looked at it would seem that violence on television and in films does affect young and adolescent children. However there are many faults with these experiments, and the most recent experiment completed by the PSI seems to prove otherwise. In my personal opinion I believe that people in general will not be affected. Most people can tell fiction from reality and can clearly define the two.
The few cases of people that cannot tell the difference are the cases where violence on screen will affect them. Only 20% of all crimes committed in this country are violent. Only a tiny percentage of these were murders. An even smaller percentage of these can be linked to violence seen on screen. Every person convicted of a violent crime where it has been linked to television or films has had mental problems or has been abused as a child. (Information found from the Crime and Justice section of the National Statistics website)