March 1, 2013
Do violence in the media and interactive entertainment, such as video games and movies, influence children to have the will to kill? According to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, an expert on the psychology of killing, both play a big role in child murders. There are several methods to this madness by which people can actually motivate themselves to take another human life, such as, operant conditioning, classical conditioning, brutalization, and role models. These practices are used in the military to train soldiers to kill, just as the media is doing to our children. Monday, December 1st, 1997 began like any other day for the students of Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. Student Michael Carneal rode to school with his sister, carrying with him, what he claimed to be, an art project. As his fellow classmates gathered that morning in the lobby of the school, holding a prayer group, he fired eight rounds from a .22 caliber pistol. Out of those eight rounds he landed five head shots and three upper torso shots, killing three teenagers. Not only did he land all eight shots, but the shots were so precise that elite military and law enforcement agencies were stunned by his expertise. The fact that he had never fired a real gun in his life was something that disturbed authorities even more. Nowhere in the records of military or law enforcement history could the “equivalent” achievement be found. So what was it that made this young man so violent and deadly at such a young age? ("The shooting," 2010, para. 1) It’s one of the methods used by the military to train their soldiers called operant conditioning, a powerful procedure of stimulus-response training techniques that attempt to influence behavior by manipulating reinforcers. They learn to fire at realistic figures that pop up in the field. The stimulus is the target, and the response is, shooting to kill. This...
References: Grossman, D. (2000). Trained to kill. Retrieved from http://www.killology.com/
Heath High School shooting. (2010). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_High_School_shooting
Metcalf, L., Stubblefield, W., & Ettinger, R. (2011). Learning and behavior, Understanding Psychology (3rd ed.). Redding, CA: BVT.
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