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Study Shows Watching Mean People on TV May Turn You Into One: Believable or Bogus?

Living 2012/03/11 00:36:20
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We’ve all heard researchers say that watching violence in the media can lead to increased aggression. But now, a new study claims that watching onscreen gossiping, social exclusion, and emotional bullying may have a similar effect.

A group of psychology researchers showed 250 college women one of three fictional video clips. The first portrayed physical aggression (a fatal gun- and knife-fight), the second portrayed relational aggression (girls stealing boyfriends, spreading gossip, and kicking someone out of their social circle), and the third featured a scary but nonviolent scene intended to raise the heartbeat.

After showing the clips, the researchers measured the viewers’ physiological arousal. They also used a Stroop Test (a standard tool in psych research) to evaluate their reaction times to aggressive and neutral words flashed on a screen.

The researchers discovered that all three films produced similar levels of excitement, but that the participants who viewed either of the aggressive video clips reacted much more quickly to the aggressive words (when compared with the women who viewed the scary but nonviolent clip).

According to the authors, this means that, just like with physical violence, watching emotional aggression may prime the brain to emulate such behavior.

"Viewers don't simply choose to imitate TV characters or make a conscious decision to engage in aggressive behavior. Aggressive reactions are more automatic and less conscious than most people assume," said Jennifer Ruh Linder, a professor of psychology at Linfield College and one of the study’s authors.

What do you think SodaHeads? Is the study’s claim that shows like “Gossip Girl” and movies like “Mean Girls” may lead to increased relational aggression believable or bogus?

Read More: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/12030...

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Top Opinion

  • Sexuallobster 2012/03/11 04:07:21
    Believable
    Sexuallobster
    +11
    I believe it.

    I'm 17, I go to school with hundreds of kids who watch stupid shows like 'Jersey Shore' and 'the Kardashians' and all that crap.

    They get so obsessed with it, that they actually try to emulate the stupidity into their own lives. So yea, I believe watching a bunch of 'asses' on tv, could make impressionable people act jut like them.

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  • JAA lorenab. 2012/03/11 16:52:37 (edited)
    JAA
    +1
    It's still their own brains making their decisions for that criminal behavior. TV programs may "influence" someone, but they don't pull the trigger or wield the knife. That's a personal choice. I've known of criminals who have had the greatest of parents, didn't grow up watching horror or violence films, & yet are now spending years behind bars.

    Hitler, Mussolini & Stalin did not have a TV or internet, but I'm quite sure there is some liberal out there that will insist it wasn't their fault, that their parents beat them or they were bullied while growing up. It's always something, but rarely personal responsibility, it seems.
  • lorenab. JAA 2012/03/11 17:04:45
    lorenab.
    +1
    okay, geez! get off it! and yeah, you are right some and im right some, it is like monkey see monkey do some! and yeah, your experiences throught life effect who you become. now im not saying that hitler and stalin wouldnt have done what they did if they werent terribly beaten by their dads, but im sure it effected them.
  • JAA lorenab. 2012/03/11 17:08:10
    JAA
    +2
    I'm not looking for one-upmanship, I thought someone might like to learn something. I apologize for being so bold & brazen. I learn knew stuff on here all the time, & just totally thank the person for helping me to be more informed. If you need to be right, then so be it, but that's often a sign of insecurity (or total arrogance). I'll leave you alone, then. Bye.
  • lorenab. JAA 2012/03/11 17:13:42
    lorenab.
    +1
    haha thanks for your concerns, but im not insecure at the least, or arrogant. i just dont argue with people unless i think im right, and yeah, i know that im really hard headed, and you would probably have to try a lot harder to break through to me, and i dont think that you probably even care that much about it. and yeah, i know its bad, but i like who i am, so im okay with being hard headed haha
  • JAA lorenab. 2012/03/11 17:15:54
    JAA
    +2
    Okay, thanks for the warning. Have a great week!
  • lorenab. JAA 2012/03/11 17:17:40
    lorenab.
    +2
    haha!:D well, its true:D haha yeah... you too!:D
  • Anto JAA 2012/03/11 17:31:28 (edited)
    Anto
    Hitler, Mussolini and stalin had cinejournal propaganda footage, though. Goebbels anyone.
    Tv inlfluences, but the choice is ours. I'm not for censorship, though, as society and media as a whole influences, not only fiction. You know, if everything is sized onto wealth, people will do everithing for wealth. If socialization is different there would be a difference, even in crime rate. Resposibilty remains individual, but media is not guilty free.
  • JAA Anto 2012/03/11 17:56:17 (edited)
    JAA
    +1
    You're correct, as the media obsession with gossip & sex has greatly influenced our society. Bottom line, as you pointed out, is we can't use those as excuses for bad behavior.
  • Anto JAA 2012/03/11 18:19:30
    Anto
    +1
    Yes, analysing sources doesn't provide a justification, rather something to work onto to make individuals more conscious, less gullible, more critical etc, giving them instrument rather than using their same weapon (when this is intentional as in spots or propaganda, otherwise that's just fiction).
  • lmnlme1... JAA 2012/03/12 01:33:11
    lmnlme10921
    I want to go into nursing or forensic nursing. What's your job like on a daily basis?
  • JAA lmnlme1... 2012/03/12 02:37:06 (edited)
    JAA
    +1
    Well, I have two full-time jobs & I've had a large variety of positions as a nurse in the last 35 years. I'm on call for murder & rape cases, so every day is different. When I'm called out, I assess the body at the scene & help process it. I go to local hospitals to collect fluids, help interview & emotionally stabilize the victim, & then do a lot of paperwork. Sometimes I have to appear in court as an expert witness. I work with lawyers, also, in data collection & analysis, medical research, & retaining & working with medical experts for medical malpractice & personal injury cases. I then attend meetings, depositions & trials, when needed, to give attorney support from a medical standpoint. Also, I am a guest speaker for law enforcement & nursing organizations, as well as being an adjunct professor.

    You can read my profile for a general description of my past positions, but I love caring for patients, working with the legal system, and teaching. I don't think I could tell you that I like one over the other, but I do miss hospital nursing & the daily interaction and care of patients from a holistic standpoint.

    You need to really concentrate on sociology, psychology, anatomy & physiology, & biology courses. Take as many of these type courses as you can in your last year or two in high...&&&&&&

    Well, I have two full-time jobs & I've had a large variety of positions as a nurse in the last 35 years. I'm on call for murder & rape cases, so every day is different. When I'm called out, I assess the body at the scene & help process it. I go to local hospitals to collect fluids, help interview & emotionally stabilize the victim, & then do a lot of paperwork. Sometimes I have to appear in court as an expert witness. I work with lawyers, also, in data collection & analysis, medical research, & retaining & working with medical experts for medical malpractice & personal injury cases. I then attend meetings, depositions & trials, when needed, to give attorney support from a medical standpoint. Also, I am a guest speaker for law enforcement & nursing organizations, as well as being an adjunct professor.

    You can read my profile for a general description of my past positions, but I love caring for patients, working with the legal system, and teaching. I don't think I could tell you that I like one over the other, but I do miss hospital nursing & the daily interaction and care of patients from a holistic standpoint.

    You need to really concentrate on sociology, psychology, anatomy & physiology, & biology courses. Take as many of these type courses as you can in your last year or two in high school. Don't take slough off courses as electives when you get to college during your pre-nursing coursework. Utilize your time efficiently & effectively. You'll be a better student if you love learning, approach everything & everyone with humility, knowing that every encounter with others is an opportunity to learn something new. As an instructor, I can tell within about 30 minutes if a student is a good learner. They ask appropriate questions, look alert, & are always willing to learn new things & think outside the box. Teachers don't like having to drag a student, kicking & screaming, through the educational process. Most teachers enjoy students who are adult learners: self-directed, engaged, excited about learning, & with good communication skills.

    Best wishes to you!!
    (more)
  • lmnlme1... JAA 2012/03/12 23:21:11
    lmnlme10921
    +1
    Thank you! We have an elective for psychology at our high school, and I took it, but they used a year-long curriculum for a semester-long course, so it wasn't very thorough.
  • JAA lmnlme1... 2012/03/13 01:32:34
    JAA
    +1
    You might get that with some of your science courses in college. Don't take more than one science per semester if you can help it, because you can get overwhelmed & because it's better that you actually learn the material, rather than just taking it for a grade. If you don't get the basics down, you will be lost in much of your nursing courses.
  • lmnlme1... JAA 2012/03/13 02:13:29
    lmnlme10921
    +1
    Thank you so much for the great advice!
  • JAA lmnlme1... 2012/03/13 15:10:45
    JAA
    Anytime! :-)
  • Anthony Souls 2012/03/11 16:07:57
    Believable
    Anthony Souls
    +1
    I watched positive shows all of my life, seems I turned out pretty positive. I've known people to watch destructive, callous shows all their lives, seems they turned into a likewise representation. Therefore, I think that what you subject yourself to on a regular basis has some kind of effect on your mentality.
  • Miko 2012/03/11 15:59:51
    Believable
    Miko
    +1
    Believe that
  • baby shaker 2012/03/11 15:41:22
    Believable
    baby shaker
    +3
    If you're a mindless sheep
  • olivia 2012/03/11 15:15:21
    Bogus
    olivia
    +2
    I don't believe it because I watch all the shows with mean people in it and I am the sweetest in my class and family
  • blackrings70 2012/03/11 14:34:20
    Believable
    blackrings70
    +1
    The little bitches have to learn it somewhere.
  • JAA blackri... 2012/03/11 16:33:46 (edited)
    JAA
    No they don't. A propensity for criminal behavior is a result of our own machinations. I could (& have) watched violence, or the aftermath, of violence every day at work & it has not turned me into a criminal. What do you think caused the Hitlers & Stalins of the world back in the day when we didn't have TV or internet?
  • blackri... JAA 2012/03/12 13:08:33
    blackrings70
    I was really just referring to the little snots in high school who treat the "uncool" girls like crap and the ones that follow along to fit in. The Hitler and Stalin issue is a whole different ball of wax.
  • JAA blackri... 2012/03/12 14:37:56
    JAA
    Yes, the Hitler & Stalin issue is much more important in today's world. The "little snots", as you call them, are part and parcel of our growth process as humans. The "uncool" people have just as many problems, they're just not as overt. Uncool people can be just as cruel, gossipy, & intrusive into others' lives as the bossy, snotty girls.
  • blackri... JAA 2012/03/12 16:12:16
    blackrings70
    +1
    Okay, got it....
  • Anto blackri... 2012/03/11 17:44:09
    Anto
    +2
    Yes, it is a mix of passivity in watching and environmental influence + obviously playing on the darkest sides of our instinct. Yes the fact it doesn't influences us to the point we lose our control and take action is the reason why I strongly oppose censorship and would rather work on people sense of criticism, filters and autonomous thought. So yes jaa and other people would never be influenced to this point, let alone to violence and given that influence in complicate behaviour is more subtle if confronted to instigation to violent behaviour tout-court, they simply have not been braiwashed to follow every trend, that is the precondition to be gullible to fiction messages, it explains why not everyone gets the same effect by them.
  • blackri... Anto 2012/03/12 13:11:06
    blackrings70
    +1
    I was really just referring to the little snots in high school who treat the "uncool" girls like crap and the ones that follow along to fit in. But, true, not all of us turn into "bully drones".
  • Playerazzi 2012/03/11 14:25:26
    Believable
    Playerazzi
    Sure, it can. May viewers emulate the characters they watch. Some more, some less.
  • harasnicole 2012/03/11 14:17:06
    Bogus
    harasnicole
    +1
    I watch Gossip Girl religiously, and I've never spread gossip about anyone, or turned into a general "mean girl." So, for me, I don't know. To me it sounds like a bunch of psychologists are just trying to play the blame game, again.
  • paul 2012/03/11 13:51:43
    Believable
    paul
    It's TRUE Daym it! full metal jacket
  • harley oldman 2012/03/11 13:50:13
    Believable
    harley oldman
    I coud see where TV could influence some of the younger people. Especially the ones that are litterlly "raised" by a TV set.
    I believe anytype parental guidance would put Kids life in a more realistic view.
    I totally believethat people( Kids) are nor BORN to be mean. This strait wiuld have to be
    developed.
  • TasselLady 2012/03/11 13:43:17
    Believable
    TasselLady
    I don't watch these stupid reality shows, so I wouldn't know. But since many people are influenced by what they watch, it's a big possibility. Look at how many "mean" people we have compared to nice ones who are much rarer????
  • cageaikenz 2012/03/11 13:42:42
    Believable
    cageaikenz
    Yap. People are easily influenced by tv shows , especially teens who became semi-addicts from their kiddie [sic] days
  • Emma 2012/03/11 13:38:24
    Believable
    Emma
    that explains the girls in my school
  • mich52 2012/03/11 13:25:07
  • Get Bashed 2012/03/11 13:03:25
    Bogus
    Get Bashed
    +1
    It's ones own choice....Do you want to be loved or hated? You can't blame television for a simple choice of character!
  • 001 2012/03/11 12:31:25
    Believable
    001
    +2
    TV has a much bigger influence than many people dare to admit. Especially if a certain type of behaviour seems to work in some way (the bitchy kids always get the biggest fan base etc.) teens are likely to copy that behaviour.
  • joe mauro 001 2012/03/12 17:26:55
    joe mauro
    +1
    absolutely true
  • Marine 2012/03/11 12:19:42
    Believable
    Marine
    +1
    Especially vulnerable people like kids or mentally fragile people. Otherwise, you know its fiction ,it's only entertainment.
  • Reality-Check 2012/03/11 12:04:40
    Believable
    Reality-Check
    Studies show that [poorly educated] people live their lives parallel to TV soap operas shows, emulating their favoured stars, and some have even carried that over on to online mediums such as facebook..

    Ignorance is bliss…but that's entertainment for the educated...
  • D D 2012/03/11 11:58:41
    Believable
    D D
    We knew this a long time ago. What we view and listen to influences us. Our society use to care about that.

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