Hypodermic Syringe Model

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Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the usefulness of the Hypodermic Syringe Model of the Mass Media (33 marks) The Hypodermic Syringe Model suggests that the media are strong and the audience is weak and passive. This means that the messages the media portrays, society will instantly believe without questioning the ideas and morals behind this. The model suggests that children are more susceptible to the messages in the media and accept the information provided as they have not fully developed social skills. In addition to this, the media is thought to ‘inject’ the audience with their beliefs, of whom would automatically agree with this view. The Hypodermic Syringe Model notes a direct correlation between violence portrayed in the media and anti-social behaviour in society. This view is supported by Bandura et al (1963) who investigated whether media content caused violence in children. Bandura showed the children real violence, film violence and violence in a cartoon. All of these acts of violence were towards a Bobo Doll. Children were allowed into a room with several other toys and a Bobo Doll whilst being observed through a one-way mirror. Bandura found that those who watched the violence acted violent towards the Bobo Doll and imitated this behaviour however the control group who did not view the violent film did not act aggressively. This shows that media content may lead to Copycat Violence where children imitate this negative behaviour. This would support the Hypodermic Syringe Model because the media has ‘injected’ certain behaviour into the children who did not question this and instantly acted in an aggressive manner. However, this point can be criticised as the role models who acted aggressively at first were not punished for this yet through the media, children will see people being punished for their actions e.g. on the news. The Hypodermic Syringe Model has also had an effect by those using radio as a source of media, for example...
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