Media Effects Theory

Audiences behaviour is directly influenced by violent behaviour in films, television and video games. They are passive in receiving the media and therefore are more likely to commit violent imitative behaviour. They can cause moral panics: the game Manhunt was banned in 2004 because a murder was committed in the same way presented in the game. The Hypodermic Needle Theory, explored by Bandura, likens the media to needles who inject the passive audiences with violent content.

The Uses and Gratifications Theory suggests that the audience are not passive in receiving violent content, and that they use this to acct out their own violent impulses through enjoying the media, rather that physical committing violent acts.


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