Observation 1: Essays Examples
Psychology and Popular Media
Brief case description: This article examines the topic of the impact of violence in the media on human behavior from a parent’s point of view. In light of the litany of school shootings and massacres during the past two decades, a plethora of questions has risen regarding guns in the media and recurring images of them as translated into real violence and human aggression. The author underscores the reality that the nexus between violent video games and real-life violence remains quite nebulous. Ninety percent of movies, sixty eight percent of video games, and sixty percent of television has grafted violence into home entertainment. As a result, children more likely to mimic the violence they see on a quotidian basis by “good guys.” The author overtly criticizes video games because they teach young consumers to delay gratification in order to cope with their real-world frustrations.
Psychological Application: This case study revolves around various psychological concepts, but mainly it considers how constant exposure to images of violence impacts human behavior. More specifically, psychologists continue to debate whether the media-nexus correlates with human aggression levels or not. Unfortunately, a paucity of empirical research evidence regarding media violence and violent massacres exist. Nonetheless, the psychological concept of deviant behavior is considered in this nuanced discussion of the media-violence nexus. Moreover, the author also takes into account the variables that undergird human aggression (Kremar & Greene, 2000). Because human aggression is fueled by various dependent variables, it is impossible to prove that constant exposure to violence in the media directly influences real life violence.
Reference: Emmons, S. (2013, February 21). Is media violence damaging to kids? CNN.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/21/living/parenting-kids-violence-media/
Description: O’Brien investigates why consumers are so drawn to horror films despite the fact that studies have proven that the elderly and parents generally have an aversion towards them. Moreover, horror films are usually low-budget and feature unknown actors and actresses. Nonetheless, they have wielded much success because viewers enjoy watching films that incite their curiosity since horror films often depict subject matter that people do not see or experience in the real world. Indeed, curiosity to see things that one was not allowed to be exposed to as a child. Thrill-seeking thus undergirds the curiosity and desire to watch horror films. This sense of catharsis is achieved because horror films facilitate the deconstruction of one’s own monsters. As such, violence plays a critical role in the power of both film and fictive literature.
Psychological Application: This case study alludes to several psychological concepts and theoretical frameworks. The “Excitation Transfer Theory” is closely linked with this notion that viewers who have anger towards or fear of an antagonist in the horror will feel a sense of catharsis once the film conflict gets resolved in the end whether the ending is positive or negative. This exalted feeling is influence by an excitation transfer and results in what psychologists term the “snuggle effect,” which is why couples often watch horror movies during the preliminary phases of dating (Zillmann et al., 1986). It is unequivocal that monsters in horror films are revered for their superhuman faculties, their intellect, and their demonstration of the underbelly of human nature. The theory of detachment and parapathic emotions proffered by Michael Apter (1992) theorized why people enjoy the negative experience and being scared while watching a movie. He concluded that viewers are able to escape the dangers presented once their curiosity has been quenched, which is critical.
Reference: O’Brien, L. (2013). The curious appeal of horror movies. IGN. Retrieved February 8, 2015, from http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/09/09/the-curious-appeal-of-horror-movies
Apter, M. (1992). The psychology of excitement. The Free Press-Macmillan, New York.
Emmons, S. (2013, February 21). Is media violence damaging to kids? CNN.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/21/living/parenting-kids-violence-media/
Kremar, M. & Greene, K. (2000). Connections between violent television exposure and adolescent risk taking. Journal of Media Psychology, 2, 195-217.
O’Brien, L. (2013). The curious appeal of horror movies. IGN. Retrieved February 8, 2015, from http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/09/09/the-curious-appeal-of-horror-movies
Zillmann, D.,Weaver, J. B., Mundorf, N., & Aust, C. F. (1986). Effects on an opposite-gender companion’s affect to horror on distress, delight, and attraction. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 586-594.
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