Television's Effects on Society

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Say you are at home watching TV, does what your watching affect how you view TV commercials or even your memory? There have been studies done showing that watching violent TV may affect how you watch and remember commercials.

Since its introduction to American society, television has become an integral part of nearly every home. In the United States, children spend more time watching TV, than they spend at school, and adults spend more time watching television than on any other activity except sleeping and working. The National Television Violence study conducted a detailed content analysis of about four, five hundred hrs. of programming on cable and broadcast television. The results showed that sixty percent of the shows they researched contained violence. By the time the average child leaves grade school, he or she will have seen more than 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 other assorted acts of violence.

Children watching more violence on television are commonly learning aggressive attitudes and behaviors, become desensitized to real world violence, developing a fear of becoming victimized.

A commercial may be interesting, enjoyable, or persuasive, but it may not be effective if the potential buyer cannot remember the brand advertised or the commercial message. Unfortunately, the question of whether television violence influences memory for commercials is difficult to answer because of a dearth of empirical evidence on the topic. The few studies that have been conducted on this topic have confounded violence with other variables that influence memory for commercials, such as arousal. Many violent programs are action-adventure type programs. Previous research has shown that arousing programs impair attention to, as well as processing and storage of, commercial messages. There is also a large body of research evidence indicating that mood can affect memory. Previous research has shown that violent...