Popular media has integrated itself into nearly every facet of living of an average person in Western society. Not a day goes by that normal individual does not stumble across references to pop culture icons in the form of advertisements, billboards, flyers or brochures. It has influenced an entire generation of individuals to glorify actors, musicians, reality stars and media personalities. People watching shows on television have come to define the lives of stars as the ideal method of living with new methods of thinking adapted from what they see through.
V. and magazines as well as what they hear through music players and radio. Television sets have become the new parents for an entire generation of children with the adults relying on information from the T. V. to inform them of what is going in the world. With this wave of individuals all hooked on popular media it doesn’t come as surprise that they have come to define themselves by it. With people wishing to become more like their actors and actresses that they see on T. V. or the stick thin models they read about in magazines.
Individuals by the hundreds transform themselves psychologically from average people with normal perceptions and average methods of thinking to bulimia and anorexia nervosa sufferers all of who were perfectly psychologically normal one week with the next week turning them into people so crazed with becoming like their idols that they are willing to undergo any means necessary to do so even if it risking possible death. From this it can be said that the behaviors brought about by the influences of popular media are anything but normal that in fact some people can be so engrossed into it that they develop psychological disorders themselves.
Evidence has suggested that numerous environmental and life factors play a significant role in how a person develops bipolar disorder. Factors that play a role in this rang from either experiencing an abusive or traumatic childhood, having a volatile environment at home, being exposed to constant amounts violence, and early experiences of conflict as well as adversity all play varying roles in the development of an individuals mind which may subsequently pose as a potential factor in the development of bipolar disorder.
When taking these factors into account they seem oddly similar to what a person might view on T. V. on a daily basis ranging from either scenes of violence, degradation, questionable morality as well as a host of other programs that might cause a person the same amount of psychological trauma as being in an environment rife with conflict and violence. Not only that but it has been proven that popular media does have a psychological consequence on individuals as evidence by people who have developed bulimia and anorexia due to attempts at trying to look like the stars on T.
V. or in magazines. An underlying connection may lie between popular media exposure and the development of bipolar disorder due to the increasing significant amount of influence popular media has on people. Hypothesis It is the hypothesis of this study that popular media from sources such as television sets has can cause a person to experience the same amount of emotional distortions evident from individuals that have lived lives filled with violence, conflict abuse and adversity.
This is based on the assumption that since popular media has an undeniable influence on the moods, behaviors and attitudes of an entire generation due to patterns of emulation the same can be said for it’s ability to cause a person to develop bipolar symptoms if they have inherent capacity to do so. This study does not state that all individuals who are influenced by popular media develop bipolar disorders rather only individuals who have a degree of susceptibility influenced by genetic factors can develop a bipolar disorder.
From this statement this study assumes that bipolar disorders are a result of both genetic and environmental factors with popular media replacing the environmental factor leading to the development of the symptoms. This study also assumes that if a person who did have the possibility of developing a bipolar disorder was not exposed to the influences of popular media then this individual will not have developed the symptoms at all and would have remained an average person.
With this in mind this paper will create a comparative study between journals which state that television and popular media have an adverse affect on children and compare it to other journals which state that bipolar disorder is a result of genetic and environmental factors. From this point the study will attempt to examine if television acts as a surrogate type of learning for children and if so does it affect the way they think?
If the answer to this is a positive one then it can be assumed that bipolar disorders can occur as a result of popular media influences since television has replaced the environment needed to develop a bipolar disorder with it’s own artificial environment which does the same amount of psychological change and influence on a person. Literature Review When considering the basis of this study it would be apparent to most people that it that television does act as a gateway of information for a majority of the world’s population. As stated earlier it is a form of entertainment, education as well as way to pass the time.
People have spent countless hours watching a variety popular media shows portraying topics ranging from action shows, to mysteries, horrors, psychological dramas as well as a host of different types of programming. It is also clear that the programming showed on many shows has been geared to capture the attention of the audience in order to draw them into the story that they are watching. Unfortunately though as mentioned by critics and parents alike not all programming found on television would be considered wholesome family entertainment especially if a person possesses a satellite T.
V. subscription. As such other shows can portray scenes of utmost violence, human death, as well as a host of other scenes not normally suited for minors. Ironically though it is this constant exposure to violence that has desensitized a majority of T. V. watchers to it. With people spending nearly 6 hours or more in front of a television set it can be said that for them the television is their world with it possessing a majority of their auditory and visual experiences.
If this pattern of television watching starts at an early age with increasing amounts of violent programming be shown on a daily basis due to a desensitized populace demanding greater forms of entertainment then it comes as not surprise that instances of bipolar behavior may occur as television for them starts to replace the traumatic experiences they were suppose to experience in reality with artificial methods of experiencing them yet due to the hold popular media has on people these days the likelihood of an individual developing a case of bipolar disorder due to increasing amounts of psychological change brought about by populace media and entertainment is a definite possibility.
There are actually two cases which illustrate this fact one is the development of bulimia and anorexia nervosa and the growing amount of emulation that children and young adults seem to derive from watching popular media programs. Television and Psychological disorders Studies have proven that the reason why some individuals develop bulimia and anorexia nervosa is due to the inherent influences they acquire from watching television. From models to actresses, singers to media personalities nearly all of them in one form or another state in an unsaid way that being thin is fitting in and becoming popular. It is this particular image of the body that has captured the mind and attention of viewers today that causes them to want to become thin through any means possible.
It isn’t that people are forcing them to do this nor are they driven by any sort of genetic abnormality rather they do so because they think in their minds “if popular media says this is what I should be then I should be like that”. It is this frightening level of influence that the basis of this study is focused on with an aim to show the connection between environmental factors and popular media. What are environmental factors? Environmental factors constitute the world around a person that in one form or another changes and molds a person into their own distinct person. This is due to the fact that people in general tend to absorb the behavior characteristics of world around them in order to adapt to an environment at large.
Thus it can be said that the totality of what a person experience due to outside influences is considered an environmental factor. Unfortunately though not all experiences are good one with some unlucky individuals experiencing environments that so chaotic, so filled with adversity, hate and violence that the end result is that those who emerge from these experiences are usually individual who, as studies have shown, have the most likelihood of developing a bipolar condition. The fact of the matter is the development of a bipolar condition is supposedly due to two factors namely an inherent genetic predisposition to acquire such a disorder and the appropriate type of environment to bring it out.
Considering the fact that violent environments tend to bring out a sense of shock on a daily basis due to it’s very nature and that studies have shown that violent environments seem to be one of the most likeliest methods that a person can develop a bipolar disorder then it can be assumed that it this sense of constant shock that would start the necessary cascade for a person to develop the symptoms. While studies have determined that a large percentage of the bipolar population consists of individuals from abusive or violent environments the studies are limited in that they don’t seem to properly explain how an everyday average person who has not experienced a traumatic or violent childhood seems to develop bipolar disorder on their own. Biological factor behind bipolar disorder
Scientists have stated that one of the biggest proponents of the development of bipolar disorder is an inherent genetic dysfunction which causes changes in different parts of the brain such as the hippocampus, the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex all of which re supposedly anatomically different in size as compared to an average person which explain why they develop the rather unusual set of behavioral patterns of elation and depression that they do. One problem with just this method is that the brain itself processes information depending on the information from the senses. Since his is the case if the brain is fed information that would not cause a person to develop a bipolar even if they have the potential to?
It must be noted that the human brain is a complex organ that bases a person’s temperament and attitude on what a person observes and experiences on daily basis in order to adapt. If the brain does not have anything to base a personality on then it is, for all intents and purposes, merely a blank slate. Television as a medium for the senses Based on what has been stated so far it becomes clear that since the mind is a slate to which information is added onto it can be theorized that the behaviors that develop are a result of what is placed onto this slate. The environment around a person is what acts as the necessary hammer and chisel so to speak in order for the information to be carved into the mind. What must be asked though is if television itself can act as a means to input behaviors into the mind.
With the exclusion of taste, touch and smell the other two senses of sight and sound are the ones engrossed in watching popular media since these are the two senses which most individuals use as a means of interpreting information from the outside world then it can be said that the means for adding behavioral information into the mind is there. By gathering all of the data so far it can be said that aspects seen from television can be integrated into a person’s mind just as well as having the same type of environmental perspective. This particular method of influence was actually referenced in the old 1990’s movie adaptation of “Street fighter” wherein in order to change the mental personality of a captures soldier he was subjected to repeated scenes of violence and rage which was suppose to turn him into a monster. Studies into child behavior have also stated that the different characteristics exhibited by children are at times influenced by what they see on television.
Based on this it can be said that television can act as a viable replacement for an environmental stimulus and as such if exposed constantly to violent programming or shocking programming that popular media is apt to do these days then as a consequence individuals that are vulnerable developing bipolar disorder through violent or shocking behavioral input might just cause the disorder to develop as a result of psychological influences from popular media. Method chosen and Why In order to gain the results needed for this particular study what will need to be done is to gather journals specific to behavioral development of children and adults and compare them to journals indicating the effects of popular media on the behavior of people.
It is only through this method of comparison that a case can be built which can state that popular media can act as means of replacing the environmental factor in the development of bipolar disorder in individuals that are genetically capable of developing the disorder. The use of surveys or questionnaires will not be needed since the entire study is based on academic research and will not need any outside input besides that of relevant academic journals and websites. The reason this particular method was chosen is due to the fact that this study does not have the appropriate time nor resources to observe the differences between children who have a vulnerability to developing a bipolar disorder and those who don’t.
The only way to gather the information using this method is to expose the children to even increasing amounts of violent programming in order to see which set develops a variant of a bipolar disorder. The only problem is this particular method is both incredibly time consuming and immoral as such it was decided that the best possible method would be to merely compare date accumulated by other researchers who have studied the behavior of people watching television and those who have studied behavioral development and merely compare the results of the two. Research Design The research design will consist of two groups that will be examined through journal article research are children since they are the most easily influenced then after that young adults consisting of 18 – 25 years of age or depending on what is found in the research data.
What will happen is that the study will examine data that relates to childhood behavioral development and after that will compare the accumulated data with data indicating changes in child behavior when exposed to television programs, violent of otherwise. It is the assumption of this study that the results will show that children who have been exposed to several hours of unmitigated T. V. viewing will have an inherently different personality than those who have not. As such this would indicate that television can act as a means of environmental influence which in turn can be interpreted as a way in which a child could eventually develop symptoms of a bipolar disorder depending on his/her viewership.
This same type of journal examination will be applied to th adults in the study as well however this time it will be focus on the effects of violent T. V. programming on adults and how it affects their behavioral. Similar to what this study suspects in the case of children the probable result is estimate in showing a definite change in behavior brought about by violent T. V programs which indicate popular media as an effective means of replacing the environmental catalysts needed to develop instances of bipolar behavior. Limitations of the Study This study is limited only to the amount of relevant literature that can be obtained the reference topics in relation to popular media and it’s effect on the behavior of children and adults alike.
Due to the fact that a lot of a lot of groups, especially parents, have complained over the supposed increasing amount of violence that has been shown on most popular shows on television this study estimates that the amount of literature involved will not be few in number and would be well suited in portraying the necessary information needed. Another limitation of this study is that the information that will be examined is based on only two select groups of individuals consisting of two age groups and not an examination of groups that have been examined since they were young all the way up to adulthood this is due to the fact that this study does not have the necessary time nor resources to conduct such an in-depth study.