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Criminological Psychology Charlton et al 2000: St. Helena study.

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Presentation on theme: "Criminological Psychology Charlton et al 2000: St. Helena study."— Presentation transcript:

1 Criminological Psychology Charlton et al 2000: St. Helena study

2  In the exam, you may be asked to describe and evaluate a study other than Loftus & Palmer’s  Therefore, the Learning Outcomes for this session are that you will be able to:  describe Charlton et al’s study (APRC)  evaluate* the study (GRAVE)  *make at least 2 positive and 2 negative evaluation points  This relates to the AC in the spec, section 4a, page 44

3  The Island of St. Helena is …  One of the most isolated islands in the South Atlantic Ocean  2000km from mainland Africa  Only accessible by boat  A small, close-knit community where everyone knows each other  And has approx. 5000 inhabitants (1000 children of school age)

4 The study …  Background - before March 1995, the island of St Helena had no access to television  Charlton and his colleagues began their study in 1993 (2 years before television was introduced to the island)  This was a natural (field) experiment, where the independent variable (TV) was happening naturally and not manipulated by the experimenter

5 The study …  Aim: to investigate the effects of television on children’s behaviour, particularly on pro-social and anti- social behaviour

6  Pro-social behaviour is... ... that which is intended to help others; it is characterized by a concern about the rights, feelings and welfare of other people  Anti-social behaviour is... ... behaviour which lacks consideration for others and may cause damage to the society, whether intentionally or through negligence

7 The study …  Procedure:  This was a cross-sectional design  Researchers studied the playground behaviour of a random selection of schoolchildren (aged 3-8 years), from 2 of the island’s largest schools  Video recorders were set up in the playgrounds of the schools four months prior to the introduction of television and once again five years later

8 The study …  Procedure:  The children’s free play during break times was recorded for a two-week period each time and researchers compared the findings to establish whether or not behaviour had changed as a result of television being introduced  Playground behaviours were categorised as such:  Pro-social – pro-social gestures/verbal comments; sharing, turn-taking and helping; displaying affection or consoling others; holding hands/arm-in-arm  Anti-social – anti-social gestures/verbal comments; kicking, hitting, punching; seizing/damaging property; non-compliant holding/forcing

9 The study …  Procedure:  Independent researchers in the UK watched the video footage and tallied the number of times children/groups of children displayed these behaviours  Two researchers watched the same video footage alone as many times as necessary and only agreed tallied behaviours were recorded in the results

10 The study …  Results:  Of 64 comparisons made between the behaviour of children at the start and the end of the study, only nine were statistically significant:  Two showed decreases in anti-social behaviour amongst boys  Five showed increases in pro-social behaviour  Two showed decreases in pro-social behaviour in boys

11 The study …  Results:  Boys tended to display less hitting and pushing after television was introduced, but were also less willing to help and show affection  Both boys and girls showed significant increases in pro- social behaviour overall

12 The study …  Conclusion...  The introduction of television had no negative effect on children’s behaviour – in fact, quite the reverse!  This finding shows longer-term effects and challenges the findings of most of the laboratory research into the effects of TV on children’s behaviour

13 Evaluation...  Strengths:  The findings are high in ecological validity because the children were observed in their natural environment; video cameras were hidden, so the children would have played naturally  Use of video recordings prevented researcher bias and observer fatigue; because the recordings were watched by two different researchers separately and agreed behaviours only were recorded, there was inter-rater reliability (this eliminates subjective interpretation of the behaviours)

14 Evaluation...  Limitations:  The children’s viewing habits (types of programmes, hours of watching, etc.) were not analysed *, so it is difficult to assign any behaviour changes to the effects of watching TV  The culture of parental control and close supervision on the island may have inhibited the children from imitating behaviour seen on the screen  * Later research revealed that the types of programmes watched were different than those shown on the mainland; children’s programmes containing aggression were not broadcast

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