I am one of the people claiming that there is a so-called ‘casual link’ between violence used in media and in society. The trend in media, especially in television, proportionally attributes violence and disharmony. It is indeed generally known fact that it is a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.
Violence in media especially affects children and the effects can be long lasting. As Wartella describes, there are 3 basic models explaining the situation: social learning (modeling) effects, priming effects and script theory effects.
According to the first parameter, children may take the characters in movies, TV series, etc. as their idol, so ‘learning’ how it is to be like them and acting accordingly. This may arise problems specially if the children in school age are in question since there are lots of news mentioning about children or the under aged killing their teachers, committing suicides, etc. Or, we can simply observe that the children watching cartoons all day are more aggressive or undisciplined.
In terms of the second parameter, we see that people have a tendency to show the same or more violence when they view it especially when interpersonal communication is allowed for. Because what they see, specifically in visual media, is intolerance and display of power. Therefore, this generally causes nothing more than negative psychological effects such as depression, anxiety and traumas.
What scripts theory, lastly, suggests is that human behavior is shaped according to patterns called ‘scripts’ and act analogously. This makes people ‘desensitized’ and ‘overloaded’ like machines, deprived of realizing their own feelings. For instance, we can say that the people who are affected by scripts overestimate the risk of being victimized in a crime in real life since they have already some kind of ‘tolerance’ towards violent behavior.
In the light of these assessments, what do you think the future of our children will be like?