Stimulation Hypothesis

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  • This hypothesis holds that a subject who is exposed to a particular kind of message will accept and internalize the values expressed in that message and will become more likely to imitate the behavior that that message either expresses or seems to encourage. For instance, the hypothesis argues that a child who observes violent images on television is more likely to think, speak, and act violently and that a person exposed to pornography will be more inclined to approach sexuality in a socially unacceptable fashion. The stimulation hypothesis has been postulated in more than one form. One of these, the imitation hypothesis, argues that violent or sexual images educate viewers in forms of unacceptable behavior and incite them to engage in identical or closely comparable ...

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