Behavior Theories

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Behavior Theories

The wide study of human beings has led psychologists to the development of many theories explaining the elements that cause a persons behavior and attitude. In this paper I would like to reflect upon some of the theories we studied such as: the cultivation theory, social learning theory, the attribution theory, and the cognitive dissonance theory, and relate them to my life and surrounding environment.

I’d like to first start off with the cultivation theory (also keep in mind the social learning theory, it is of the same nature). For those unfamiliar with this theory it states, the more media one consumes the more likely he or she will perceive the world as scary place. Now to be totally honest my views about violence in the media and its affects on people were pretty firm. I never agreed with this idea whatsoever. Because I myself watch a ton of violent programs and listen to probably the most controversial music today, it was hard for me to accept that this media was supposedly inflicting harm upon others physically and mentally, when in no harmful way did it affect me. I always felt that people who were “unintentionally” affected by the media and act out violently because of certain programs or music just needed a basis for their stupidity or in other words a cheap excuse. I just believe that if a child is persuaded into burning the family couch resulting in the death of his little sister because he saw it on a past episode of Bevis and Butthead, then I feel that child is unstable. It's not the content of the media we need to examine its the child that needs to be picked apart and dissected. I have yet to experience a personal situation like this in my life the only cases I can relate to are the ones put on display on TV and in the papers. Everyone has their own individual thoughts and mind frames, some choose to be leaders, while others choose to be followers, who do you think is more likely to be persuaded by the media? But I would like to say that after studying both the cultivation and social learning theories in class, I have been able to open up and accept that “some” media content can and has had a negative affect on “some” people. The most interesting thing that I never really thought about until after the discussion of these theories was learning that people are more likely to copy actions that receive positiv...

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...ated. This is one of the biggest problems among us college students today’s, drinking and driving, when are we going to realize its stupid. The answer to that would be Guys you know I don’t like drinking and driving BUT I’ll do it this one last time. When my friends and I go out we always try to have a DD, but a lot of the times being around people that are drinking and acting goofy, is very persuasive in getting that person to drink. Now what. Well now the parties over and everybody’s drunk, so who’s going to drive, obviously someone who was not willing to in the first place because they felt its not smart. But you know how quickly alcohol can change that, “I’ll drive I’m fine, no really I’m fine I only had about twelve beers, I can barely walk or talk, but I’ll drive.

In conclusion, I would like to say that learning about these theories and their meanings and differences has been totally interesting and helpful to me, honestly. I think its pretty cool to know a little bit more about people and why they act the way they do, particularly my family and friends and even myself. It has and will allow me to make better judgements about situations and the behaviors of others.
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