Impact of Media Violence


Impact of Media Violence




Impact of Media Violence

Myth 5: Violence in the Media Reflects Violence in Society

In the recent day, people have continuously been exposed to images and violent messages that influence the state of the society in terms of violence being perpetrated. In “The 11 myths of Media Violence”, James Potter provides a detailed account on these myths and the manner in which this vice continuously affects the social setting through tolerating media violence. Its consequential effect is promoting social violence in the global community (Ferguson & Dyck, 2012). The author explores the contribution of various fundamental elements in the society such as media producers, researchers, and policy makers in deterring the eradication of media violence and its influence on the society. Evaluation of the fifth myth in Chapter 6 will shed light and establish comprehension on the relationship between media violence and societal violence.

The fifth myth in Chapter 6 states that “Violence in the Media Reflects Violence in Society”. In its truest description, a myth can be described as a falsified idea or belief held by many people, which lacks validity. For decades, the media has displayed violent acts in form of entertainment. The result has been desensitization of the younger generations’ and glorification of violence within the community (Potter, 2003). The primary aspect that supports this myth is that in the modern day, every activity is done to extreme level thus blurring the distinction between reality and creative film. This fact is supported by “Basketball Diaries” screenwriter; Bryan Goluboss who reiterates that there is decadence in the society hence there is no limitation to what is portrayed in the media. Potter points out that the influence of the violent entertainment on behavioral tendencies further indicate the untrue nature of the fifth myth thus distorting reality. Statistics on school shootings support this claim because 37% of the perpetrators indicate that their interest in criminal activities was derived from violent television shows.

The second erroneous factor that supports the myth is that violence has no influence over the violent crimes perpetrated within the societal communities. The chapter provides insight on likelihood of people imitating these crimes in instance where no punishment is enacted or pain inflicted. The author reiterates that violence depicted in the media does not reflect the ongoings in the society but rather is a contributing element to the increase in crime rates (Potter, 2003). This is validated by the statistical information deduced from National Television Violence study. Using risk and resilience approach, the author further delves deeper into explaining that the likely perception of crime as depicted on media is that aggressive behavior is appropriate. Hence, this justifies the contributive element of violent media on increasing the rates of extreme crimes such as school shootings.

Using theoretical explanations, Potter opines that media violence is a determining factor on increasing of crimes. Seemingly, he maintains that the priming theory, which states that an action is a result of an external stimulus, elucidates on the effects of violence on the community. Conversely, this violence purports concepts of prime aggression that continuously fuel the occurrence of violent crimes in the community due to aggressive behavioral tendencies. The author further disproves the soundness of the myth. He points out that music producers opine that there is a contradictory relation between the crime rates observed in various states that air violent TV programmes and the crime lead stories narrated within this forms of entertainment. This is claim is negated by  evidence provided, which indicates that the more crime programmes were aired on television, the higher the directors of local channel focused on crime discussions on newscasts as a means of increasing awareness on crime.

Desensitization theory is employed by the author to refute the myth. According to the theory, television programmes are often emotionally stimulating. Due to this effect, repeated exposure habitualizes the viewer to such emotion (Potter, 2003). The consequential effect of this process is reduced reaction that might control aggressive tendencies such as perspiration and increased heart rate. Potter opines that lack of this negative emotions caused by desensitization from viewing violent TV programmes enables a person to commit aggressive acts without any remorse. It is valid to state that violence in the society is therefore a product of continued exposure of its people to media that promote violent behavior and actions.

In conclusion, the rebuttal of the myth clearly indicates the causal relationship between societal violent and aggression with media violence exposure. It is clear that various theoretical explanations have been employed in explaining this relation as depicted by Potter. The categorization of these theories and the meaningful insight they provide on this relationship enhance comprehension of this issue, as it has been a heated issue in the social circles and political arena. Statistical evidence has also been an effective tool that indicates that aggression and violence in the society is promoted by media. The cumulative effect of media on aggression is justified by crime rates within states that encourage viewing of violent forms of entertainment (Ferguson & Dyck, 2012). In entirety, the social responsibility calls for regulation and monitoring of media content as a means of eradicating these detrimental effect media has on the community at large.



Ferguson, C., & Dyck, D. (2012). Paradigm change in aggression research: The time has come to retire the General Aggression Model. Aggression And Violent Behavior, 17(3), 220-228.

Potter, W. (2003). The 11 myths of media violence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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