Media Influences Essay

3623 words - 14 pages

Media Influences on Society By Jenn 9 The impact of television on society: Children In previous debates and conversations, claims that TV has a negative impact on children's imagination or creative thinking was heard often, but there was little evidence to prove this fact. A few researchers had found a negative relationship between creativity scores and amount of TV viewing, and offered the interpretation that the more creative students tend to be, the less limited their use of TV was. (Williams, 1995, p.175)But the data couldn't rule out the hypothesis that TV effects creativity itself. Creativity is difficult to define and measure. To some agreement in society, creativity is the ability to generate ideas that fulfill particular requirements, and also the ability to generate unique or unusual ideas. According to Tannis MacBeth Williams research, results indicates that the performance of children on creativity tasks was better without the influence of TV then when TV was available. For some children, TV may take away time that would have originally been used to facilitate creativity. For example, playing games, thinking about various ways objects can be used, etc.Teenagers Television is just one of the mediums of media that are a part of the social environment in which teenagers grow up, and they can contribute to the setting of social norms amongst this age group. Sarah Brown (director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy) said, "young teenagers spend up to seven hours a day watching television and that older teenagers may spend more than seven hours a day listening to the radio, CDs or watching music videos." There is a large amount of sexual innuendo and sexual activity portrayed in the media, and most of that sexual activity is between unmarried people, according to Brown. . In her research, Monique Ward (assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan), found that 29 percent of interactions between television characters is sexual in nature (Ward, 1995). She pointed out that drinking filters through television, with 70 percent of prime time network shows portraying at least one instance of alcohol consumption. There is also some suggestion that the representation of cigarette smoking is on the increase both in movies and on television (Klein et al., 1993; Terre et al., 1991). Little research has been done to record the effect of media portrayals of sexual behavior or alcohol, tobacco, and drug use on the behavior of teenagers. Ward has found some evidence that the media may influence social norms. Her research found that young adults who watch television shows with high sexual content, such as nighttime soap operas and music videos, tend to have more liberal sexual attitudes and to believe their peers are more sexually active than do those who do not watch such shows.The media may also be used to present positive messages to teenagers. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America tries to use advertisers'...

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