Essay: Society being desensitised to violence

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  • Subject area(s): Sociology essays
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  • Published on: February 21, 2020
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  • Society being desensitised to violence
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Over the years, our society has become numb to a lot of things. Violence has progressively become one of societies desensitized issues. When finding a source to the problem, televisions was found to be a major contributor. In If the Television Program Bleeds, Memory for the Advertisement Recedes, Brad Bushman and Colleen Phillips used a quantitative method of research to explain how the violence televised all throughout America has a direct relationship to real violence in the society. If the shows that are aired on television have any effect on the violence acted out in the real world, has been the question for years now. Being that there are more TV’s than toilets in America (Bushman & Phillips) the answer would seem to be yes. In the article, Bushman and Phillips compares how television violence minimal effect on aggression can spiral into major impacts just like smoking cigarettes play a role in lung cancer. When testing the hypotheses, the response of the test subjects confirmed their hypothesis with surveys indicate that most Americans consider “TV” to be an acronym for “too violent” (Bushman & Phillips). Once realizing that people are aware of how televised violence affects people, the question shifts to why TV violence is televised in the first place. When looking at TV shows, producers such as Leonard Goldenson of ABC argue that they are just depicting images “reflected by the mirror we have held up to our society” (“The Industry: Fighting Violence,” 1968, p. 59) (Bushman & Phillips). When looking at AD’s, the answer is quite simple: people remember violence, thus remember the ad resulting in a greater possibility of purchasing whatever is being advertised.

When conducting the research, the authors used a quantitative method of research to anchor their article. Searching through about 2000 meta-analytic articles (Bushman & Phillips), they narrowed it down to 12 by picking articles that used at least one violent TV program, nonviolent TV program, TV commercial, and measure of memory for the commercial. Meta-analytic articles are articles that “uses statistical procedures to integrate the findings from a collection of studies, and describes the results using a numerical effect-size estimate” (Bushman & Phillips). Literature review differs from meta-analysis because literature review is a formal, structured approach reviewing all of the literature on a certain topic. Whereas, meta-analysis is a statistical structure of numerical data on a specific the same topic. Although these two may differ, they are not mutually exclusive of each other. In one meta-analytic article by L. R. Huesmann, how violence affects the memory and the brain are explored. This article goes into depth about how priming processes, arousal processes and much more play a role (Huesmann, 2007). Another article by William N. Morris and Nora P. Reilly, explain how the moods (such as aggression) can be triggered, and effects, their remedies. After exploring these articles, it has raised other hypothesis I believe should be tested in the near future. Are other methods of advertisement just as effective on memory as violence would be beneficial in decreasing the amount of violence televised in America. How the brain desensitizes itself from such acts like violence would serve as a blueprint for scientist and doctors to find out how exactly this happens to further decrease televised violence. The final hypothesis I would offer is whether or not desensitized violence affects our morale as a nation and has contributed to the shift in morale in our country. The meta-analytic literature review If the Television Program Bleeds, Memory for the Advertisement Recedes by Brad Bushman and Colleen Phillips displays the impact televised violence has on memory opens our minds and eyes to the affects and problems that arise from our desensitized outlook on violence. Hopefully with articles like these, we will one day be able to find better solutions for people of all ages.

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