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Natural Born Killers Violence is a constant on our screens whether it be an anvil falling on a cartoon character a war zone on the news a fight in an action movie or a pub brawl in a soap opera But does this screen violence produce behavioural effects in the viewers This is one of the most frequent and heatedly debated arguments in mass media Is it the case that audiences are effected by what they see and that the producers of media texts are instigating or increasing violent behaviour or do audiences have the ability to understand what they have seen without being overly influenced It has to be ascertained as to whether audiences are passive or active This subject has caused controversy within several of different schools of thought and ideologies over the years They have either wide or only slight variations of opinion so it is difficult to come to one definite conclusion as each one also has valid and understandable explanations It is difficult to deny that the whole point of communicating is to influence one another by conveying information Vine 1997 but to what extent does this influence take control To investigate this matter and come to a conclusion as to whether or not screen violence does instigate violent behaviour in the reader we will be critically looking at two of the major ideological models as well as using some specific media texts to validate andor criticise these theories First there is the Hypodermic Needle or Hypodermic Syringe effect This theory has its root in 1950s America when dominant businesses and the then government wanted to discover how far the public were influenced by what they saw on television The Hypodermic Theory came from this Media Effects model which had a heavy emphasis in psychology Businesses and the government alike wanted to know how much media is supposedly injected into the consciousness of an audience via television Price 1993
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