Media Violence

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The Current Situation of the Problem of Violence in the Media Space

In ordinary language, the word “aggression” means a variety of actions that violate the physical or mental integrity of another person (or group of people), cause material damage, interfere with the intentions, counteract interests or lead to destruction (Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007). Thus, this kind of antisocial shade makes it necessary to attribute to such a category as media violence that provokes child quarrels, reproaches and murder, punishment as well as bandit assault. The delineation of viciousness on the TV screens and in periodicals is considered to affect the gathering of spectators and examining social occasion of individuals. About 66% of TV programs contain some physical brutality (Kaplan, 2012). Recently, much attention has been paid to electronic media, but the printed ones have not lost their positions yet and have had a significant impact on mass consciousness. Therefore, it is impossible to investigate the phenomenon of violence escalation in the media, without regarding additional aspects of the problem. Even blunting over time, provoked ideas and behavioral inclinations can be reactivated subsequently. Situational signals that remind viewers of the violence seen before can awaken previous aggressive thoughts and impulses, at least to some extent -.

Modern society lives in the information age, when a person does not think of his/her existence without information that helps to adjust and survive. The problem is that the data that an individual receive can be not only constructive, but also capable of destructively influencing consciousness, subconsciousness and, ultimately, human behavior. One of the main channels through which society gains information is the media, which seek to highlight many possible phenomena of reality, including violence. The fear is connected with the amount of facts about violence, as well as with its qualitative characteristics, and the way the material is presented.

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Media stress is not only a psychological problem, but also a social and philosophical issue. TV is the main law-based culture, which is available to everybody and totally controlled by what individuals require. The most sickening thing is the one that people need. Moreover, in spite of the growing concern about the mental health of juniors, TV programs with the images of cruelty are created as the general public desires. Besides, TV has another negative influence on the viewpoint of people since it shows the mentally ill as perpetrators of violence (Rose, 2007). Thus, this problem of society accepts the aesthetic and instrumental value of violence. Children and teenagers are inclined to aggressive conduct due to the presentation of media violence. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain the adopted models of upbringing, when the media violence is allegedly hidden from juveniles and almost simultaneously, when reaching adulthood, these same kids are allowed to drink, smoke, watch pornography in the cinemas, as well as acquire weapons. Frequent viewing of violent scenes shown on television can stimulate aggressive behavior, especially among children, who often see violence on a television screen; hence, people can assimilate aggressive scenarios, which convince them that violence is a normal and acceptable way to resolve interpersonal problems.

At present, transmission of a considerable number of various TV programs, ads, films does not sidestep savagery and sex, and does not endeavor to do it (Carnagey, Anderson, & Bartholow, 2007). Despite the fact that media savagery impacts among researchers never appeared to completely blend, insightful societies and promotion associations, for example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP1), American Psychological Association (APA2), or the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI3) discharged strategy explanations indisputably connecting media violence to animosity and viciousness in the public arena (Ferguson & Beresin, 2017). Now this is the main food of TV viewers. Technological improvements have drastically extended the availability of extreme performance (Felson, 1996). The airtime was overwhelmed by waves of low-grade products, cruelty, and ragged violence. The ability of mass media to influence common opinion and the extent to which people are revealed to media portrayals make it one of the most important forces in the advanced communities (Baun, 2009). Numerous political researchers, analysts in the field of press and mass interchanges, governments have officially been frightened about the way that fear without TV does not bode well, and it would be a great opportunity to restrict the brutality on the screen by law. Television has a much greater impact on the human psyche than it seems. Nowadays children are reared watching action films and detectives, as well as reality shows, which are “bypassed” by censorship. What can be expected from the future generation?

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Numerous attempts have been made to reduce the amount of violence on television. In addition, these were always perceived either as an endeavor to infringe the freedom of speech, or simply these efforts tended to be postponed in consideration for an indefinite period. Someone just thought that many films for kids, as well as movies about the exploits and courage of compatriots are banned, if people impose a restriction on showing corpses from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is believed to be self-regulating. The film cannot be called childish if it shows bloody murders and human corpses. All parents say that they want to produce a healthy generation. The broad communications are a critical wellspring of data about emotional wellness and have an imperative part in developing discernments and disgrace (Klin, 2008). However, it is difficult to discuss any emotional wellbeing. Sometimes seeing enduring or mishandling impartially is more ethically correct than reviewing it with shock or sympathy (Santos, 2010). Youngsters are to be raised in the atmosphere of care and love; they should have sufficient energy to face the life hardships. Propaganda of violence in films and on television, in computer games and modern music is the main reason for the general hardening of the current youth (Coker et al., 2015). Neural desensitization to brutality would intervene with the impact of computer game substance on animosity among low-presentation members (Engelhardt, 2011). Nevertheless, in view of the introduction of mass consciousness to products of just such a character, the prospects for its prohibition are doomed to failure.

Today, psychologists and sociologists around the world are alarmed by the violence in the media, sophisticated murders on the screen, bloody computer games, cynicism that surpasses all conceivable and unthinkable moral barriers (Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007). Modern pop music with its insane lyrics does not lag behind. Specialists still cannot give an exact answer to how the image of violence really works on the human psyche, whether it provokes imitation or, on the contrary, causes rejection of aggression. The researches of the past 50 years proves that the exposure to brutality on TV, in films, and mostly as of late, in computer games poses the danger of fierce conduct on the watcher’s part, similarly as experiencing childhood in a situation loaded with genuine savagery expands the risk of vicious behavior (Huesmann, 2007). Even the newspapers containing violence have its negative influence. According to Dietrich, “respondents who read the informative article used terms like ‘violent’ or ‘dangerous’ less frequently” (p. 318). People wonder whether there are any trends in the modern society that in the future will allow reducing mass replicating of violence and will force humanity to return to the propaganda of humanistic values.



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Many contemporary experts agree that virtual violence can cause real violence. A few broad communications campaigns in the USA and Great Britain that expressly planned to anticipate different types of savagery were launched in the mid 1990s (Cassidy Matzopoulos, Bowman, & McGrath, 2016). Obviously, with the simple ban, this problem cannot be resolved, since it has long been a global one and has reached the interstate level. In addition, as a rule, it is the prohibition that provokes the individual’s increased interest in the topic.

The Influence of the Media on the Formation of Aggression among the Young

Some studies, as well as the reports from the media, allow people to say that the question of the media influence on the formation of juvenile aggression is quite relevant. According to Patton (2014), “youth violence, including bullying, gang violence, and self-directed violence, increasingly occurs in the online space” (p. 548). Most of the research are devoted to revealing the correlation of aggression with the level of consumption of media violence (American Psychological Association, 2013). The main neuroimaging survey, which inspects the connection between media brutality and mind action, presented a correlational report including forceful youngsters with problematic conduct and the nonaggressive control youth (Hummer, 2015). Since brutal media have been guaranteed to increment responsive forceful propensities among the watchers, scientists explored whether rehashed introduction to these boosts could decrease initiation inside a frontolimbic system that is supposed to control this deportment (Kelly, 2007). The image of violence in the media intensifies the aggression of children and adolescents in their interaction with strangers, classmates and friends. As a result of the analysis, a moderate, convincing correlation between the observation of media violence and aggressive behavior was revealed (Bhattacharya, 2016). According to some estimates, the contribution of television to a rise in the propensity to violence is estimated at no more than a few percent.

A strong connection between the criminalization of the population and the appearance of television was recorded in a number of studies. The rate of murders increased during the period of the most rapid development of television in the 60s in the USA and Canada. The media outlines family savagery, rape and inappropriate behavior utilizing a repetitive subject of commonality of obligation regarding the viciousness (Easteal, Holland, & Judd, 2015). The conclusions of various publications and practical studies convincingly show that a long exposure to violence on television can lead to: a) increased aggressiveness of behavior; b) reducing the factors that deter aggression; c) dulling sensitivity to aggression; d) the formation of an image of the social reality, on which many of these actions are based; e) victimization of the viewer (Gentile & Bushman, 2012);.

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The main ways of negative impact of television on public consciousness include incitement to the use of violence, unreasonable aggression or its initiation; excessively detailed demonstration of violent acts of massacre of the crime victims; deliberate accentuation of the audience’s attention to cruel, violent acts as a norm of everyday life; a cult of brute force in the media, creating a cruel image of a superhero; neglecting the choice of means for comprehending the goal; description of the technology of criminal aggression; fomenting feelings of fear, helplessness, erosion of attitudes towards combating crime; erasing the line between moral and immoral issues in interpersonal relationships.

The attitude of adolescents to violence on the screen as a whole is rather positive. The interest in naturalistic scenes of viciousness is straightforwardly identified with acquiring joy, and regularly recognizable proof concerning the attacker. The connection between nonviolent TV watching during the youth and hostile reaction has been seen five years later (Krah? & M?ller, 2010). The impact of medication on adolescent crime can manifest itself in several ways. The first one is the non-linear reproduction of aggression, in particular the observation of aggression increases the probability of general criminalization of the minors. Media portrayals of maladjustment advance negative pictures and generalizations that give form false association between emotional sickness and savagery (Smith, 2015). Linear reproduction of aggression demonstrates the behavior that is a direct imitation observed on the television screen (pathological, intentional). The others include indirect influences (reduction of resistance on the part of victims of violence, victimization of the population).

Observation of aggression raises the likelihood of general criminalization of juniors. Hence, this means that a teenager will not necessarily resort to violence. It is sufficient that the antisocial behavior of the adolescents is accompanied or preceded by an active viewing of television programs, mainly the links of violence. Peterson and Densley (2017) stated in their article “social media has become “a vector for youth violence,” and dramatically changed the landscape for aggressive behavior” (p. 2). The question that initially aggressive children may prefer transfers with violence remains controversial to this day. Most of the juvenile criminals called their favorite film a movie containing the scenes of violence. Thus, violence on television is one of the conditions for the emergence of an aggressive personality. It is not accepted as a guide to action, but convinces children of the insignificance of human life.

Crimes can be an imitation of violence. The phenomenon, simulation and similar offenses committed by fans of films are called copy crimes. First of all, the reaction of imitation, which manifests itself in the adolescent’s desire to follow the example of a certain person or an image. The cause of serious behavioral disorders may be the imitation reaction, when an antisocial “hero” serves as a pattern for imitation. According to Bryant and Oliver (2009), “half or more of television characters are involved each week in some kind of violent action” (p. 52). It is not by chance that the cult of gangsters, violence, murder, robbery, exaltation of a successful “superman criminal” in the American cinema, television, bestsellers promoted the growth of juvenile delinquency in the United States. The reaction of simulation, imitation of antisocial “heroes” by adolescents of unstable type are particularly expressed. The reason is that many youngsters are infantile.

The positive impact of mass communication lies in the fact that it can oppose ethnic and gender stereotypes. Its favorable results also include raising awareness, curiosity, improving speech skills (Fisch, 2014). Mass communication contributes to increasing generosity, friendliness, cooperation and restraint, strict observance of social norms, as well as reducing anxiety and fears. After watching the humanistic oriented films, children improve their communication skills, mutual understanding with peers, and the desire to help other people is intensified. Analysts have started explaining the sorts of hazard and flexibility models. A few inquiries have emerged with regard to procedures, for example, whether a hazard variable that is typically thought to be destructive can once in a while have valuable impacts (in any event for some youngsters) (Prot & Gentile, 2014). It should be noted that the beneficial influence of this kind of transmission depends on the relationship between the character and his/her actions.

Protest reactions make cruel scenes more attractive, when the craving for screen violence manifests itself since the parents restrict children’s access to fierceness. Demonstration of violence acts serves as a catalyst for aggressive behavior only of frustrated children. Most often teenagers are inclined to believe television and newspapers. Hence, such an authority of television can be explained by the influence of several factors: on the one hand, the pedagogical neglect of children, on the other hand, an example that parents show, consuming mass media products and the irrepressible state cultural policy. The importance of adolescence is determined by the fact that it establishes the foundations and outlines the general directions of the formation of moral and social attitudes of an individual.

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The Main Recommendations for Solving the Problem

Despite the fact that a large amount of empirical data is collected on this problem, there is still no complete clarity here (Fikkers, Piotrowski, & Valkenburg, 2017). Therefore, the strong effect of showing television scenes of aggression is reported, and at the same time, there is the evidence that violence on TV screens does not lead to the aggressive behavior of children. Nevertheless, if it does, TV has a weak influence, since in some groups of juniors it contributes to reducing aggression. Watching forceful movies in the research facility, causes forceful conduct generally speaking.

The media has a negative impact on the psychophysiological state of a person, including the enlargement of the aggression rate. The reasons may vary, but today there are too many bloody scenes on TV screens, as well as in computer games, so it is better to minimize their number (Anderson et al., 2010). Clinicians and analysts are effectively examining the utilization of PC games in different fields of psychological wellness (Goh, Ang, & Tan, 2008). It is very surprising that most students realize this adverse influence. If young people like to watch movies and TV shows of an entertaining nature, then this is a positive contribution. They are easy and pleasant; furthermore, for sure no feeling of oppression and fear will be an outcome. Consequently, one needs to develop more intensively in this area. Students watch see the program about nature, when bored and there is nothing more. Therefore, replacing television advertising with various clips about the colorful world of nature, one can admire an unprecedented variety of animals and rest psychologically.


The analysis of various points of view and positions of researchers who explored the activities of television operating in a developed market economy allows people to conclude that they acknowledge its significant role in implementing the mechanism of social control of society. Invading all spheres of public life, television has a colossal, ever-increasing influence on the community and each of its members, which generates another “problem field” that requires a special conversation, namely the issue of social responsibility.

The problem of aggression in the modern world, especially in the American context, associated with the breach of established values and traditions and the formation of the new ones, is extremely relevant, from both perspectives of science and social practice. The media offer materials for each taste, in particular excitement, culture, news, sports, instruction, among others. The mass media are an integral part of human life; however, it may teach many things including aggressive behavior patterns, which can develop fear and anxiety.

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