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The Influence Of Violent TV Cartoons Watched By School Children (Other (Not Listed) Sample)


The task was to do a literature review of ten journal articles dealing with the topic of the effect of watching violent cartoons on the behavior of children.


Literature Review
Violence and aggression among children and adolescents has been on the rise in recent years. A number of researchers and psychologists have blamed violent cartoon programs and the effects on the way the children who watch them behave. This literature review presents some facts on the development of children cartoon programs and the effect it has on their perception of the world around them. The literature review also discusses how violent cartoons affect the cognitive development of children and adolescents. It shows the different views held by different people, as well as possible things that can be done to regulate the media content that children view. The world in which we live today is full of factors that influence the character of a person. When television began in the 1950s, many perceived it would be an important educational tool. As time went by, television became the medium through which violent cartoons would be viewed by our children. This raises the question of the effects that the violent cartoons that our children watch on the television on their behavior. The purpose of this focus group research is to discover the effects of aggressive cartoons on children. Whereas some people hold that aggressive cartoons have negative effects on the behavior of our children, others disagree and instead argue that behavior is influenced by other aspects of the children’s lifestyle. In order to be able to comprehend the effects that aggressive cartoons have on our children, this literature review will address the following research questions:
RQ1: What is the effect of animations on children?
RQ2: What are some of the aggressive behaviors that children have developed as a result of watching aggressive cartoons?
RQ3: Why do children behave aggressively after watching cartoons that are aggressive?
Literature Review
A research carried out by Sigel Ergun in 2012 on The influence of violent TV cartoons watched by school children in Turkey found out that “while male children were more influenced by the behaviors and extraordinary actions of cartoon characters, female children were mich more influenced by the characters’ speeches, the topic of and the music in the cartoon” (Ergun, 2012). Imitation is what plays the most important role in modifying the behavior of a child. Humans have a strong tendency to imitate each other and this tendency is even stronger in children. For the children who watch the cartoons, they imitate every kind of behavior. Their attention is attracted more to the extraordinary powers and dynamic scenes (Ergun, 2012). According to the findings of this research, if a child sees other people showing acts of violence, they imitate them. The child, thus, learns shouting at people, throwing stones showing violence, and criticizing people (Ergun, 2012). The tendency to imitate is usually stronger for characters that are more important successful strong and favorite for them. Therefore, in general, this research found out that children who watch cartoon shows that are more action and violence-oriented are likely to become violent as a result (Ergun, 2012). This research recommends that if children watch cartoons that are violence-oriented, they should be under the supervision of their parents, teachers, or elder sibling (Ergun, 2012).
Another research carried out by Sprafkin, Gadow, and Grayson in 1988 found out that physically aggressive cartoons caused the children who watched them to exhibit aggressive behavior. The study also found out that the children who watch aggressive cartoons were more likely than the other children to participate in bullying. This is because the children imitate the aggressive behaviors of the characters they see in the cartoon shows. When compared to the children who watch cartoons that are less violent, there was a great difference in their behavior. This research recommends that children should only watch aggressive cartoons under the supervision of elders so that they can be guided to differentiate between the fiction in animated cartoons and the way they should behave in the real world.
Hassan and Daniyal, in 2013, carried out a study on Cartoon Network and its Impact on Behavior of School Going Children: A Case Study of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. The purpose of the study was looking at the impact of watching cartoon programs on the behavior of children. Two facts were clear from the results of this study. The first is that there is a “strong association between watching cartoon programs and the behavior of children in class…” (Hassan & Daniyal, 2013). The second significant finding was that the violence that is present in the cartoon shows is strongly related to the behavior that children acquire after having watched them. The findings were in line with the findings of an earlier research carried out by Clara and Maria in 1980 where it was found out that teachers have the belief that the in-class behavior of school-going children is greatly impacted by cartoon watching. In the study by Hassan and Daniyal, a strong association was observed between violence depicted in the cartoons and the behavior of children who watch them. The study supports another study carried out by Anderson in 2003 which found out that violence exhibited by video games and programs in the television was evidence enough that contents that are violent will make the incidences of aggressive behavior in children who watch them more; not only in the short term but also in the long term.
An article by Steven Kirsh published in Sciencedirect in 2008 on Cartoon violence and aggression in youth Shows that cartoon violence that is meant for youthful audience tends to involve violence acts that are minor…” (Kirsh, 2008). In addition, cartoons sanitize violence outcomes, in that it is rare to see the victims of the violence shown suffer in a realistic manner. To contrast, live dramas tend to involve major violence acts and show the victim suffer the consequences of the violence (Kirsh, 2005). Although thre is comedy in youth cartoons that show violence, there are cartoons that only portray violence. Cartoons tend to have violence both as disputes begin and end. When evaluating the effects that viewing cartoons have on the youth, it is important to consider the absence or presence of comedy at the time of violence. This is because both research and theory show that comedy can be used to trivialize and camouflage violence depictions (Kirsh, 2005). Watching violent cartoons has the effect of disinhibition, which is a situation in which aggressive behavior that youth had acquired earlier is enacted. Thus, viewing a new act of violence is likely to get rid from the child’s mind what they had seen in another cartoon show. Although the youth cannot mimic imaginary actions done by characters that are imaginary in films, learning of aggression can take place for cartoons that are more realistic. The concept of inhibition makes senseless the claim that cartoons that are unrealistic cannot effect the aggressive behavior of children because it is impossible to reproduce the behavior shown in real life (Kirsh, 2005).
This article also shows that being exposed to violent cartoons negatively affects school children. It shows that exposure to aggressive cartoons results in increased acts of aggression among pre-school children. If the cartoon has comedy that hides the violence in the cartoon, its influence on the aggressive behavior of the child that watches it is minimal. The study also shows that although preschoolers may desire to act in a violent manner after being exposed to aggressive cartoons, they control their behavior because of the way they have been socialized, this supports the claim that the cartoons do not play a major role in shaping the behavior of children; and that it is the responsibility of the parent to teach the child how to behave (Kirsh, 2005). Therefore, if the child is taught the way they should behave beforehand, their behavior is not very likely to be affected by watching cartoons however violent or aggressive they may be.
Madden et al. (2008) found out there was no direct relationship between violence in the media and the aggressiveness of children. The amount of time taken in watching cartoons did not relate to the way the child perceived violence in the media. However, the research found out that if children are exposed to too much violence in the cartoon shows they watch became less sensitive, developed behaviors that were aggressive, and tended to imitate the way the characters in the cartoons behaved (Madden et al., 2008). Data obtained from the study showed that there was no relationship between the number of hours children spend watching cartoons and aggressive behavior. According to the data obtained from this research, also, watching television with either teachers, peers, or parents had no effect on the effect that the cartoons would have on the children (Madden et al., 2008). Most of the children who watch cartoons tend to imitate the behavior of the characters they see in the cartoon shows. The children who imitate the characters tend to fight whenever they come across fighting and use violence in solving problems (Madden et al., 2008). There is no difference in the findings between children who have behavior disorders and those who do not have behavior disorders.
Schiau et al. in their 2013 study on How do cartoons teach children? A comparative analysis on preschoolers and schoolchildren, there is a level of influence on the children’s behavior that comes from cartoons. However, this was shown to depend on the age category of the children, affecting children who were mostly at the language level (Schiau et al., 2013). However, the study emphasizes the importance of parental guidance,...
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