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This essay will be critically evaluating the journal article - Exposure to music with prosocial lyrics reduces aggression: First evidence and test of the underlying mechanism by Tobias Greitemeyer. Greitemeyer, T. (2011). Exposure to music with prosocial lyrics reduces aggression: First evidence and test of the underlying mechanism Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (47), 28-36. In today’s society exposure to media is present in most people’s everyday life. According to Nielson Interactive Entertainment, people in Europe spend an average of 10.55 hours listening to music each week. Similarly the average young American listens to music 1.5 – 2.5 hours each day and this is not including the times they are exposed to music through the use of music videos (Roberts, Foehr, & Rideout, 2003). Other research (Rentfrow & Gosling, 2003) has also revealed that people consider music as an important aspect of their lives, in fact just as important as most of their other leisurely activities. This in turn leads to the suggestion that media exposure could indeed be an important determinant of pro and antisocial behaviour (Greitemeyer, 2008). According to the author, in recent years previous research has primarily been focused on the negative effects of exposure to media in regards to social tendencies. For instance listening to aggressive music increases aggressive cognition, behaviour and affect, also playing anti social video games has been shown to have serious consequences such as physical violence or criminal actions (Greitemeyer, 2010). However, it has recently been argued that the effects of media exposure depend to a large extent on the content of the media. There has also been some research detailing that helping behaviour is promoted by exposure to prosocial videogames along with prosocial music. Greitemeyer’s article is based on the positive effects of media exposure rather than the negative effects. According to the article the present research had two main aims. First of all it addressed whether exposure to prosocial music would decrease aggression and aggression related variables. Then it tried to clarify the casual mechanisms by which exposure to prosocial music decreases aggressive behaviour. To support this idea the author presents five case studies which aid the researcher’s theory that listening to prosocial music decreases aggressive outcomes. The first three studies were relatively similar and focused on aggressive cognition and affect where as the fourth and fifth differed and focused on aggressive behaviour. Studies 1-3 examined the effects of exposure to prosocial music on aggressive cognition and affect. Study 1 Anderson t al., (2003) examined the effects of exposure to antisocial music on the accessibility of antisocial thoughts. It was thought that the results would show that participants who had been exposed to the antisocial songs were more likely to generate aggressive word completions than those participants who were exposed to neutral songs, it was also thought that listening to prosocial music would decrease accessibility of antisocial thoughts in those who were exposed to prosocial songs, it was also thought that they were also expected to be less likely to generate aggressive word completions than those participants who were exposed to the neutral songs. Study 2 was similar to study 1 however had the following modifications: Aggressive cognition was assessed differently this was done by assessing the participant’s attitudes toward war and violence. Generality was also tested and different songs by different artists were used. And the participants were from the UK (rather than Germany), and finally, the researcher controlled for the arousal route of the GLM. Participants arousal and positive and negative mood were measured and it was predicted that listening to prosocial music would lead to less positive attitudes toward war and violence. Study 3 tested the effect of prosocial music exposure on...
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