In a research study published in the journal Media Psychology, Andrew J. Weaver, an assistant professor of telecommunications in IU's College of Arts and Sciences, and colleagues tested a common view presented by media producers that children like to watch violent programming.
"Violence isn't the attractive component in these cartoons, which producers seem to think it is. It's more other things that are often associated with the violence. It's possible to have those other components, such as action specifically, in non-violent ways," Weaver said in an interview. "I think we should be concerned about violent content in cartoons in terms of the potential effect. This is one way that we can get around that from a producer's point of view.
"You don't have to cram violence into these cartoons to get kids to like them. They'll like them without the violence, just as much if not more," he said.
Violent cartoons have been a staple of Saturday morning programming for decades and now are readily available on cable television channels specializing in children's shows and cartoons. Many classic cartoons, such as those in the "Looney Tunes" series, have featured slapstick violence. But in recent years, action programs such as "Pokemon" and "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" have drawn much attention both because of their violent content and their popularity with young people.
Some content analyses have found that as many as 70 percent of children's television shows have violent content.
"For many producers and media critics, the question is not if children love violence, but rather why children love violence," Weaver and his co-authors wrote in the paper. "Our goal in this study was to examine children's liking of violent content while independently manipulating the amount of action, which is often confounded with violence in the existing research."
Co-authors include Jakob Jensen of Purdue University, Nicole Martins of IU, Ryan Hurley of North Carolina State University and Barbara Wilson of the University of Illinois.
The researchers used a sample group of 128 school children, ranging in age from five to 11 and from kindergarten to the fourth grade. There were a nearly equal number of boys and girls.
Research assistants showed each child one of four versions of a five-minute animated short created for the study and then led them through a questionnaire. The short was designed to resemble familiar slapstick cartoons. Four different versions of the cartoon were used. Six violent scenes were added to one version, which was carried out by both characters and in response to earlier aggression. Nine action scenes were added to another version. Two other versions had lower amounts of action or violence.
What they found was violent content had an indirect negative effect on whether boys enjoyed a program, due to how they identified with the characters.
"That was a little surprising," said Weaver, the father of two young sons. "There is a lot of talk about boys being more violent and more aggressive, for whatever reason, social or biological, and yet we found that they identified with the characters more when they were non-violent . . . They liked the characters more and they enjoyed the overall cartoon more.
"This is good news. If producers are willing to work on making cartoons that aren't violent so much as action packed, they can still capture their target audience better . . . and without the harmful consequences."
On the other hand, among girls violence did not decrease wishful identification of the characters. Weaver believes this may be because such slapstick cartoons are geared more toward boys than girls. Also, girls perceived the characters as boys, even though they were created without sexual attributes.
"They're not going to identify with what they perceive to be male characters, whether they are violent or not," he said. "They didn't prefer the more violent programming. They were just using other cues besides the character's violent or non-violent behavior to determine how much they enjoyed the show."
Weaver would like to apply his research to characters in more female-oriented programs, like "The Power puff Girls." He also recognizes that violence is seen by producers as an easy means to introduce action and conflict into a story.
"Alternatives could be things related to speed -- characters going fast, moving quickly. It was one way that we manipulated action in this study," he said. "If you can increase action without increasing violence, which clearly is possible as we did it in this study, then you can increase the enjoyment without potential harmful effects that violence can bring. Compiled:Science Daily.
The largest Boon
Of all the attributes to think about in another person, intelligence is probably at the top of the list. Since it is the most stable quality over time, and mainly a product of genetic endowment-although stimulating environments allow it to blossom-it is almost as reliable a guide in children as it is in adults. More than any other trait, it is the great declarer of possibility, an indicator of the likelihood of doing well in life.
Aim to define intelligence and you'll have one of psychology's longest-running fights on your hands. This much can be said with impunity: It encompasses the ability and speed of processing information.
It allows for, although makes no guarantee of, deeper understanding of life, experiences, and other people. It underlies the ability to deal with complexity.
Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman sees it, there are two major types of intelligence-controlled and spontaneous. They operate differently and confer distinct advantages. At the top of the hierarchy is the capacity for conscious, deliberate, abstract thinking, which is what is generally measured on intelligence tests.
Despite growing concern about the effects of media violence in children, violent television shows and movies continue to be produced and marketed to them. An Indiana University research study concludes that violence doesn't add anything to their enjoyment of such programs and their characters.
Psychology Today in Everyday Life
Body language may provide clues as to the attitude or state of mind of a person. For example, it may indicate aggression, attentiveness, boredom, relaxed state, pleasure, amusement, and intoxication, among many other cues.
Understanding body language
The technique of "reading" people is used frequently. For example, the idea of mirroring body language to put people at ease is commonly used in interviews. Mirroring the body language of someone else indicates that they are understood. It is important to note that while some indicators of emotion (e.g. smiling/laughing when happy, frowning/crying when sad) are largely universal, however in the 1990s Ekman expanded his list of basic emotions, including a range of positive and negative emotions not all of which are encoded in facial muscles. The newly included emotions are:
Body language signals may have a goal other than communication. Both people would keep this in mind. Observers limit the weight they place on non-verbal cues. Signalers clarify their signals to indicate the biological origin of their actions.
What is body language?
What is non verbal communication?
Body language is a form of non-verbal communication, which consists of body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. Humans send and interpret such signals almost entirely subconsciously.
John Borg attests that human communication consists of 93 percent body language and paralinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves; however, Albert Mehrabian, the researcher whose 1960s work is the source of these statistics, has stated that this is a misunderstanding of the findings (see Misinterpretation of Mehrabian's rule). Others assert that "Research has suggested that between 60 and 70 percent of all meaning is derived from nonverbal behavior.
Effects of media
violence in children
The lowering of the eyes can convey fear, guilt or submission
Lowered eyebrows and squinted eyes illustrate an attempt at understanding what is being said or going on
A lack of confidence or apprehensiveness can be displayed when you don't look another person in the eyes
One tends to blink more often if nervous or trying to evaluate someone else
If you look directly into another person's eyes you are displaying self-assurance
Wide eyes show more of an interest in a subject or person
If you are irritated with a comment made by another during a conversation, a common movement is to take a quick glance sideways
Staring at someone can be an aggressive gesture or suggest that the one staring feels dominant
Recalling a memory is usually done by looking up and to the right
Looking directly upwards can indicate that one is thinking
Eye contact is normally broken if someone feels insulted by another
As we all know, communication is essential in society. Advancements in technology have transformed the way that we correspond with others in the modern world, yet when conversing face-to-face, it's not only speech we verbalize that matters. Body language is truly a language of its own. We all have quirks and habits that are uniquely our own. What does your body language say about you? And what can you learn about others by becoming aware of what some of the signs mean?
Lowering one's head can signal a lack of confidence. If someone lowers their head when complimented, they may be shy or timid
Touching or tugging at one's ear can indicate indecisiveness
Sincere smiles encompass the whole face (noticeable in the eyes)
A false smile usually only engages the lips
Tilting one's head can symbolize interest in something or someone
Overly tilted heads can be a sign of sympathy
Closing of eyes or pinching at the bridge of one's nose is often done when making a negative evaluation
When a listener nods, this is usually a positive message and relays that they are interested and paying attention
However, excessive nodding can imply that the listener has lost interest but doesn't want to be rude
Touching/rubbing one's nose may indicate doubtfulness or rejection of an idea
Sticking out one's chin toward another may show defiance
Resting a hand on one's cheek is often done if they are thinking or pondering; and stroking the chin can mean the person is trying to make a decision
Pushing back one's shoulders can demonstrate power and courage
Open arms means one is comfortable with being approached and willing to talk/communicate
Folded arms show that there is a sort of barricade between them and other people (or their surroundings) and indicate dissatisfaction
Resting one's arms behind their neck shows that they are open to what is being discussed and interested in listening more
Pointing one's finger can be construed as aggression or assertiveness
Touching the front of the neck can show that someone is interested and concerned about what another is saying
Hand movements that are upward & outward signify positive and open messages
Palms that are faced outwards towards another indicate one's wish to stop and not approach
If one's fingers are interlaced or if the finger tips are pressed together, it usually shows that a person is thinking and evaluating
If offering ideas to other people, many times the sides of one's palms are close together, with fingers extended
Putting your hands on your hips can show eagerness and readiness (also, at times, aggression)
Hips pushed forward, while leaning back can show that one feels powerful (also can be a suggestive gesture)
A wide stance - where one's feet are positioned far apart - signifies more power and dominance
When one sits with legs open and part, they might feel secure in their surroundings
Crossed legs can mean several things: relaxed/comfortable, or defensive - depending on how tense the leg muscles are
When you cross your legs towards another person, you are showing more interest in them than when they are crossed away in the other direction
A confident and powerful position is the "Figure of Four Cross" when one's ankle is atop the other leg's knee and the top leg is pointed sideways
Bouncing your foot if your legs are crossed can show that you are bored or losing patience
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