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How Credible Is The Hypodermic Needle Theory With Regards To The Effects Debate?

813 words - 4 pages

The hypodermic needle theory regards the audience as passive and the power of media messages strong and that media influences people to behave in a certain way. The effects debate is the argument that the media has the potential to influence an audience, to affect them in negative ways, and that there is a need to protect people from material which might cause harm of one kind or another. The messages in the media are injected into the audience like a drug, but they don’t notice the effects that it has on them. The effects of messages in the media tend to be associated with bad behavior, and negative actions, especially regarding sex and violence. An example of this is the Sandy Hook ...view middle of the document...

One effect that is a concern is that the media is making children desensitised to violence – children will have no reaction to aggressive behaviour, and will think it normal. Another effect is catharsis; concerning that kid’s will release strong or repressed emotions in a vicious way, and will lash out at people. The final worry, and probably the most pressing, is that they will imitate ferocious actions they see on TV, in films or in games. An example of this would be the James Bulger murder – the boys seemed to be copying actions from the film “Childs Play 3”, which their father had rented months prior to the events.
Other case studies than the ones previously mentioned are the Hungerford Massacre, and the Columbine High School Massacre. Press reports of the Hungerford Massacre stated that the man was obsessed with the Rambo film First Blood, which was described as featuring similar events. Violent video games and music were blamed for the killers’ actions in the Columbine High School Massacre. All of the cases were scapegoated on media texts, when few were proven to be true. For example, there was no proof that the boys in the James Bulger murder actually had watched Childs Play 3, just as there was no evidence that the killer in the Hungerford...

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