As much as America has developed over the past hundred years, violence has grown to be a very critical part of today’s society; domestic violence, workplace violence, school violence, gang violence and etc. The rate of violence is enormous and as sad as it is to say, it starts with the young children in our society. Children are growing to be a very significant part of the high violence rates today. People may wonder where children learn violence at such an early age, although many of it is learned in your own house, or at school, the biggest source of violent information is learned from the media. Children’s television such as cartoons who portray violence to be a positive act of entertainment, or video games in which the main objective is to steal, kill and hurt others in order to advance through the game and even movies which pan out a long sequence of various acts of crime and violence. Violence is ultimately everywhere, and it is hard to avoid, especially as a child in today’s growing age, as hard as it is to avoid as a child, it is even harder to not imitate what is seen in the house, or on TV or in particular video games.
Albert Bandura is famous psychologist who is most know for his social learning theory. Bandura believed that all behavior was learned through imitation rather than genetic factors. He believed that social influence such as what is seen on TV, movies and videos games is primarily responsible for children’s growth and behavior. Albert Bandura’s (1961) famous Bobo Doll experiment is a prime example of how children will indeed imitate what they see done by an elder person such as a role model. Selected kids who were chosen as participants for this study sat behind a window and watched as their parents walked into a room and intentionally punched and kicked a bobo doll and harshly beat it. Then as the kids proceeded into the room with the bobo doll, they imitated their parents every move by kicking, punching and beating the bobo doll just like their parents just did minutes prior. Although this experiment has been debated for various reasons in the past, it is still a very powerful and informative experiment that goes to show how vital it is for kids to be exposed to the proper material in order to keep them from disruptive behavior.
Frequent exposure to violent television shows and video games can really affect a child’s upbringing, it begins to desensitize children as well as affect their moral development as they begin to believe that violence and crime are part of the norm, and these immoral acts won’t deviate them from society. According to Funk, Buchman, Jenks and Bechtoldt (2003), “The possibility that exposure to violent video games will result in desensitization and subsequent impairment of the processes involved in the moral evaluation of aggression and violence has not yet been studied. However, violent video games condone, promote, and justify the use of violence while concealing realistic consequences. When playing a violent video game, the player first observes repeated demonstrations of violent actions. To succeed, the player must then identify and select the violent strategies built in by the game designers. Choosing not to apply the authorized violent tactics results in defeat or obliteration. Players who prudently choose violent strategies experience cycles of practice coupled with positive reinforcement for their astute decisions. In violent video games, violence is acceptable because it is not real; therefore, ‘‘victims’’ do not really suffer “(2003, P. 416).
Although their hasn’t been sufficient studies done on the direct desensitization of video games and TV on children, it still has a profound impact on children as they are positively reinforced consistently for the violent acts in video games and as an affect of doing so, it begins to take a toll on their moral development seeing in which they are being rewarded for their immoral acts. “Desensitization to...
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