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Psych 2040-Chapter 17: Extrafamilial Influences.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2040A/B
Michael G Mac Donald

Extrafamilial Influences: Television, Computers, Schools, and Peers 11/19/2013 2:59:00 PM TELEVISION  >98% Canadian homes have 1+ TV sets  by age 18, more time spent watching TV than any other activity than sleeping  boys watch more than girls  Notel Study: gave a rural town cable  “before” children higher in creativity and reading than Canadian peers with TV access  “after” children reading and creativity declined compared to peers  advantages and disadvantages overall (not that TV is bad itself)  TV takes away time from other activities— not that TV itself is inherently bad  as long as TV viewing is not excessive, no deficiencies caused by watching TV  can learn a lot from educational programming Television Literacy  television literacy: the ability to understand how information is conveyed on TV and to properly interpret this information  development:  piecemeal understanding in young children:  only pay attention to fast action; direct attention during slower scenes  remember actions rather than goals (what actually happened rather than why)  fictional aspect not understood: view TV as an accurate portrayal of everyday events  middle childhood and adolescence  interpret production features: cuts, zooms, fade-outs, etc.  draw inferences about sense widely separated in time  recognize intent of characters Effects of Watching Violence  Canadian TV less violent than American TV, but Canadians watch American TV  cartoons are especially violent  violence often portrayed with humor o people often not able to understand the underlying message and rather see it as it is  link between TV violence and aggression? o ↑ violent television = ↑ hostility and aggression o strong positive relationship o reciprocal: watching increases aggressive tendencies, which stimulates interest in violent programming o causality not demonstrated  mean-world beliefs: a belief from watching violent TV that the world is more frightening and dangerous than it actually is  desensitization hypothesis: those who watch a lot of violence become less aroused by aggression and more tolerant of violent and aggressive acts Other Effects of Watching Television  gender stereotypes  set by age 2 (?)  more likely to hold traditional views of men and women  lowering of self-esteem and self-concepts  racial/ethnic stereotypes  minorities rarely given central role  non-African American minorities play the villain  marketing in commercials  children don’t understand the manipulative intent of commercials  by 13-14 years, acquire a healthy skepticism about advertising  undermining health  sedentary activity: become couch potato  >5h TV/day = greatest risk of obesity Reducing Harmful Effects  limit TV viewing, especially violent TV (esp. with young kids)  encourage appropriate viewing  explain to non-literate viewers (often children)  help them to understand subtleties  suggest how perpetrators may have been more constructive in dealing with problems  model good viewing habits  deal with effects of advertising  parent authoritatively Contribution to Development  educational television and prosocial behavior o teach prosocial behavior, but few lasting benefits unless child is encouraged to rehearse and reenact lessons learned  cognitive development  social referencing: learn to avoid an object that frightens an actor  can locate a hidden toy if room was shown on TV— learn that TV info can be informative about real world o eg. Sesame Street  aim was to increase social behavior and cognitive skills of disadvantaged children  studies show that it has improved these skills in both disadvantaged and normal children  emphasizes:  counting  recognizing & discriminating numbers/letters  classifying objects  simple problem-solving COMPUTERS  Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI): use of computers to teach new concepts and practice academic skills o drills: difficulty increases from current skill level o games o tools: programs like word can help foster better writing skills  benefits of computer programming  foster mastery motivation and self-efficacy  Logo: translate drawings onto the computer  higher on tests of Piagetian concrete-operational abilities, math solving, creativity  promote rather than impede peer interactions  more likely to seek collaborative solutions  more likely to persist after experiencing problems with a peer  the internet  access to information at home  perpetuates social inequality as disadvantaged children don’t have access to internet  social benefits: closer to peers as anonymity promotes sharing of personal information  health benefits: source of health information, especially on sexual matters Concerns about Computers  video games:  replaces TV time rather than schoolwork and peer activities  exposure to violent games can instigate aggression  small to moderate correlation  strongest for boys  active in performing violence in games: more dangerous than passively watching aggression on TV  likely competitive nature in video games that increase aggression rather than violent content  social inequality: some people can’t afford computers— how do they compare to those who can? access to internet, for school?  internet exposure:  pornography  view sex as purely physical  objectify women and tolerate aggression towards them  recruitment into cults and hate organizations  bullying  deceptive advertisements  isolate from family and peers  parents can:  learn the technology: control access  place computers in common areas: don’t allow isolation  include teen in family activities  limit online time  monitor online activities, but slowly give them independence (autonomy) SCHOOL  intellectual performance dependent on curriculum rather than age  informal curriculum: cooperation, respect, obedience, citizenship  preschool good if socialization with peers is emphasized  determinants of effective schools o composition of student body: highly motivated, intellectually capable peers o school climate: perceived safety o scholastic atmosphere  academic emphasis: clear focus on academic goals  challenging and relatable curricula  classroom management: authoritative instructions, start and end on time  discipline: immediate feedback; make own decisions  se
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