Aggression leads to violence and mostly violence is inspired from the TV and videogames. These media bear negative psychological effect on a person influencing their behavior. Children spend a lot of time watching television and thus are prone to psychological trauma. Therefore, they decide to choose their actions based on what they have learned from violent films in response to a trigger event.
In the words of Freud, “the tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man” (Freud, Dufresne, & Richter, 2016). It can be inferred that though the aggression is innate the expression of anger may take various forms of violent behavior that the individual has learnt and practiced over time. Children have excessive exposure to television and that inadvertently becomes a medium for learning violent ways of expression of anger. For example, watching wrestling as an entertainment on the television and despite the warnings of “please don’t try this at home” yet still being influenced by the fancy wrestling moves and trying them on our siblings, most of us have been through that. Moreover, children pick up curse words from their abusive parents, and when angered they would most definitely use it to vent out the intense emotion of anger. Cursing makes them feel better because aggression gives them this power and some mild sense of superiority. The more exposure they have to such words on television or indirectly from their friends who watch TV the better they get at using them.
Making a dramatic exit and making a big scene, is another form of expression that allows a person to feel accomplished after a surge of anger. This behavior could be acquired from watching movies where the emphasis is more on such content because of the genre of the film. For example, punching the locker in the school hallway and leaving a dent there. Shouting at people to get them into an embarrassing situation. All such behaviors are acquired from past unconscious learning experiences and are expressed in our fight or flight mode as a defense mechanism.
It is true, from observation that people have different temperaments. Different personality traits demonstrate different aggressive behaviors. For some, its expression appears early and subsides early as well. For others, it is more intense, arises late and subsides late as well. These personalities may be attracted to different kind of responses or behavior to a trigger event. They tend to learn those violent responses that are according to their temperament. Children tend to follow the similar road rage patterns as their elders. Road rage is very commonly shown in the movies to depict short temperedness of the actor and later being subjected to anger management sessions because of the tendency of being more violent.
The negativity acquired regarding violent behavior extends towards the realm of sadomasochism as well. People start taking pleasure in roles of dominance and producing harm or feeling aroused by being dominated by someone in sexual acts. There are multiple instances in movies and TV shows where such actions are portrayed. Watching these scenes encourages sexual aggression, and it can lead to marital rape. The films based on the ideas of sadomasochism raises the expectations of the viewer’s and decreases their interest in regular much safer acts. Hence, they resort to acts of violence to achieve arousal and satisfaction. For example, Fifty Shades of Grey is one such story that depicts hardcore sexual activities and becomes a famous sexual fantasy of teenage girls and boys.
Bullying is also inspired by watching violent shows and cartoons. It gets embedded in our subconscious, and we unknowingly exhibit similar behavior for the sake of fun at the expense of a weak individual.
In conclusion, aggression and temperament are innate, but the behavior is acquired from different mediums like shows and movies on the television. Such behaviors have a negative impact on us psychologically for example, it leads to psychological trauma and emotional suffering. Sensitive individuals may have a much more adverse effect than emotionally stronger individuals because of different past experiences and backgrounds.
Freud, S., Dufresne, T., & Richter, G. C. (2016). Civilization and its discontents. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press.