Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Clinical Psychology

Colleges & School

College Of Arts And Sciences

First Advisor

Carole Rayburn, PhD

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Media--Influence; Behavior assessment; Cognition and culture

Abstract

Media can be found everywhere: television, newspapers, radios, computers, and video games. There is little doubt that media has had an impact on the world in which we live. The availability of non-fiction books and Internet sites and educational programming offer opportunities for learning that may reach students or adults where a formal classroom setting may fail. The downside is that while media can be a tool to better the society, its power can be corrupted and abused. Popular media also lobbies for acceptance of an increase in violent content, language, and themes. With an increase in the variety of media types and boundaries on what can be shown, is there an impact on human behavioral patterns? In a world driven by technology, do individuals now model their behavior on the abundance of media rather than their social peers? Also, which populations are more susceptible to modeling media in terms of age and level of education? This study looked at a wide age range to determine if age and development determine not only the type of media exposure, but also what kind of an impact it has had on their behavior or cognitive reasoning. The current hypothesis is that young adults would be the most inclined to model the media, as they are still developing. The adults and seniors would be less likely to model media behavior because for the most part their frontal lobes have finished developing by age 21; also they have had more life experiences to guide them. Along with a diverse age population, it would be beneficial to gather data from people of different educational levels. The study will look at a population gathered from college students and participants at a local church. These participants were asked to fill out a short demographic survey as well as a media survey designed specifically for this study (Appendix B), and the Peace Inventory (Rayburn, Handwerker, & Richmond 2002, 2004). A total of 40 participants responded, mostly from a college educated background. Unfortunately in this study there was a very limited number of minorities who participated. The results show that media did not have a significant impact on cognition and behavior. Also, the results from the Peace Inventory suggest that the population studied was not more inclined to peace, nor violence.

Rights

On-Campus Access

OCLC Number

708247925

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