Afterwards, during periods of play, the violent group was assessed as behaving more aggressively than the non- violent group. However, not all the violent condition children acted aggressively and aggression levels were measured quantatively (amount), not qualitively (type). Critisisms: 1) Ecological validity: the lab situation is different to real life and violence within the lab it is different to violence outside the confines of the lab.
2) Legitimised aggression: in the lab the aggressive behaviour is legitimised by the experimental situation. Participants are told that use of electric shocks is part of experimental process. Media influences on pro-social behaviour, Cognitive priming: Pro social behaviours shown in the media may spark of other pro – social thoughts in the memory pathways. After watching pro-social acts, the viewers might be more likely to behave in helpful ways.
Arousal: Watching people helps others or share resources might result in heightened arousal towards pro- social behaviour. An example of this might occur when watching ‘comic relief’ Sponsor effects: Seeing others perform pro social behaviour might suggest that this sort of behaviour is desirable behaviour. An example of this might include watching celebrities run the London marathon for charity. Good news studies: Holloway et al (1977) Holloway et al (1977) produced support for the cognitive priming effect of the impact of good news.
Procedures: They invited participants into the lab for experiments and while they were sitting in the waiting room played them a news programme over the radio. They were then asked to participate in a study involving bargaining with a fellow participant (actually a confederate). Findings: Those who had heard the pro – social news were more likely to be co-operative in their bargaining, particularly if the news story involved an account of someone who has intentionally given help. Baron (1979) Found that children who watched an episode of the ‘Walton’s’ were more co-operative in game playing afterwards than were control groups.
Criticisms: 1) pro social programmes can be effective. Hearold (1986) analysed over 100 studies and found that pro- social programmes do foster pro – social behaviour in children. This is particularly true if there is no accompanying violence in the programme. 2) Effects may be short-lived. Many studies look at behaviour immediately after the programme is shown. Research indicates that the effects of a single programme ay be short – term, especially in younger children. 3) Regular watching may have longer lasting effects. Despite this, Friedrich and Steins study (1973) indicates that regular watching may have longer lasting effects.