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Violence on Television and in Computer Games has a Damaging Effect on Society - Task 2 Band 9 Essay

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that violence on television and in computer games has a damaging effect on the society. Others deny that these factors have any significant influence on people's behaviour.

What is your opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.

You should write at least 250 words.

IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay - Some people believe that violence on television and in computer games has a damaging effect on the society. Others deny that these factors have any significant influence on people's behaviour.

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Model Essay 1

The debate over the impact of televised violence and digital games on societal behavior ignites strong opinions. While some attribute a corrosive effect on societal norms to these media forms, others question their significant influence. This essay contends that such content can indeed foster aggression and desensitization to violence, focusing on the psychological implications and the erosion of empathy as critical discussion points.

Firstly, the psychological effects of prolonged exposure to violent content cannot be understated. Studies have demonstrated that individuals, especially young people, who frequently engage with violent television shows and video games exhibit increased aggression and hostility. This is attributed to the normalization of violence, where repeated exposure not only desensitizes individuals but also embeds aggressive behaviors as acceptable responses to conflict. For instance, a research study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found a direct correlation between high consumption of violent media and aggressive behavior in adolescents, suggesting a mirroring effect where fiction bleeds into reality.

Moreover, the erosion of empathy is a significant consequence of continuous engagement with violent media. As viewers and players become accustomed to the brutality depicted in these formats, their ability to empathize with real-world suffering diminishes. This detachment fosters a society less sensitive to the pain and needs of others, undermining social bonds and compassion. An illustrative example is the decrease in empathetic responses observed in individuals after playing a violent video game, as highlighted in a study by the University of Michigan. This phenomenon illustrates how virtual violence can numb the human capacity for empathy, thereby impacting interpersonal relationships and societal cohesion.

In conclusion, the assertion that violence in television and computer games has a deleterious effect on society is well-founded. The documented psychological effects and the significant erosion of empathy among consumers of such content underscore the need for a nuanced understanding of media consumption. While it is essential to recognize the complexity of human behavior, minimizing exposure to violent media could mitigate these adverse effects, fostering a more compassionate and less aggressive society.

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Model Essay 2

The contention surrounding media violence and its societal ramifications has polarized opinion. On one hand, critics argue it sows seeds of aggression; on the other, skeptics doubt its impact. This essay posits that while media violence is not the sole architect of societal aggression, it plays a contributory role, emphasizing its effect on behavioral conditioning and societal desensitization as pivotal points of discussion.

The concept of behavioral conditioning through media violence offers insight into how repeated exposure can subtly shape aggression as a learned response. The operant conditioning theory, propounded by B.F. Skinner, illuminates this process, suggesting that individuals can be conditioned to adopt aggressive behaviors through the reinforcement seen in media portrayals of violence. For instance, when characters in media are seen benefiting from violence without repercussion, viewers, especially younger ones, might infer such actions as beneficial or without consequence. This theory gains empirical support from a longitudinal study by the American Psychological Association, which found a significant correlation between exposure to violent media in childhood and aggressive behavior in later years.

Furthermore, societal desensitization to violence, fueled by pervasive media representations, erodes moral barriers against violence comprehensively. This growing numbness towards brutality significantly compromises the collective moral compass, fostering an environment where violence is not just normalized but also trivialized. The ramifications of this desensitization process were starkly illustrated in a study conducted after the broadcast of a particularly violent movie, which noted a temporary spike in aggressive incidents. This underscores the potent, albeit transient, influence of media on societal behavior, highlighting a critical area for concern and intervention.

In sum, the influence of media violence on societal aggression, through behavioral conditioning and desensitization, cannot be dismissed outright. Although not the sole determinant of social behavior, its role in shaping perceptions and behaviors warrants attention and moderation. Addressing this issue calls for a balanced media consumption, underpinned by critical engagement and an understanding of the complex interplay between media content and societal behavior.


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Model Essay 3

Some claim that violence in media might have a bad impact on how people behave, while others counter that these things have no consequence on how individuals act. Personally, I am of the opinion that watching violent tv programs and playing aggressive video games may have a negative impact on children, and that this will affect how they behave as adults. However, I also believe that changing the behaviour of adults is harder. I will go into more detail on the matter in this essay.

Young people are always forming their personalities, making them especially susceptible to the impact of the customs and traditions of their environment. Exposure to violent media, such as in movies and online games, may unintentionally normalize aggressive behavior and lead one to believe that such behavior is acceptable in society. This might have negative consequences later in life, with some people perhaps resorting to illegal activity like stealing elderly people or banks that could land them in jail.

On the other hand, changing adult behavior is more challenging since their personalities have already been established and violent media content has a far less impact on them. Adults who grew up with little exposure to violent entertainment may find it difficult to change their behavior since it has been instilled in them since an early age. For instance, a person is more likely to show kindness and compassion in their interactions with others if they were raised in a setting that valued these traits, such as helping an elderly person cross the street. The implication of this is that individuals who were not exposed to violent media content during their formative years may be less affected by it now.

In conclusion, the effects of violence seen on television and other media can have a negative impact on young people' development. However, the likelihood of these people participating in aggressive or dangerous behaviors that might constitute a threat to society decreases if one can avoid exposure to such media during early stages of life.

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Model Essay 4

Some argue that online violence could negatively affect people’s conduct. Others might presume that watching these harmful actions on television has no adverse effect on human manners. I totally agree that, at a young age, children can be negatively influenced by violent entertainment and, consequently, their behaviour in adulthood will be a reflection of engaging in such activity. However, in my opinion, adult habits are significantly harder to change. In this essay I will discuss the matter further.

I agree that humans at a young age are still developing their personalities, and therefore, can be highly influenced by surrounding habits and practices. Unconsciously they are taking in the violent behaviour they perceive in films and online games, leading them to conclude, for example, that being disrespectful and violent towards family and friends is normal in society. Furthermore, this could be detrimental to their adulthood, as many might end up committing crimes, such as robbing elderly people or banks, resulting in a jail sentence.

However, I believe that adult behaviour is harder to change as their character has already been developed and the influence these movies and computer games have in their lives is significantly less. If these violent entertainments are avoided in their childhood, it is harder for an adult to change their conduct as they have been behaving in a kind-hearted way since a very young age and it is something that is intrinsic to him or her. For instance, an adult who has grown up in a non-violent childhood will be more inclined to help an elderly person cross the road due to their kind and caring upbringing.

In conclusion, young adults can be heavily influenced by the violence depicted on the screen which could have detrimental effect on their development. Nevertheless, if exposure to such media is avoided at a young age, it is less likely that these individuals will engage in violent or harmful behaviours that could harm society.

Model Essay 5

The debate surrounding the influence of media violence, particularly through television and video games, on societal behaviour has been contentious. Critics argue that exposure to such content fosters aggression and desensitizes viewers to violence, while proponents maintain that media is a scapegoat for deeper societal issues. From my perspective, the correlation between media violence and its adverse effects on societal norms and individual behaviour is too significant to ignore.

Firstly, the immersive nature of video games provides an interactive platform that can blur the lines between virtual achievements and real-life behaviour. This engagement often leads to the normalization of aggression; players rewarded for violent actions in a game may develop a skewed perception of violence as a viable solution to conflict. The psychological phenomenon of desensitization further compounds this issue, where continuous exposure to virtual violence diminishes emotional responsiveness to real-life violence. For instance, a study by the Global Media Monitoring Project in 2021 revealed a direct correlation between prolonged exposure to violent video games and increased aggression in adolescents, illustrating the potent influence of interactive media on young minds.

Moreover, television's portrayal of violence, often glamorized or trivialized, contributes to a warped perception of reality. This distortion is not trivial; regular consumption of such content can significantly alter one’s threshold for violence, gradually accepting it as a norm rather than an aberration. Beyond entertainment, the broadcasting of graphic news content, without appropriate context or discussion, can also desensitize viewers. This lack of sensitivity is not limited to diminishing empathy; it actively increases apathy towards victims of violence, subtly eroding the societal fabric by normalizing cruelty and suffering as everyday occurrences.

In conclusion, television and video games significantly contribute to societal violence, not merely reflect it. By shaping perceptions and attitudes, these mediums normalize violence, affecting behaviours.

Model Essay 6

While some people believe that violence seen on video games and television has a detrimental outcome on people, others think that these are not considered as a source of people’s reactions. In my opinion, these are responsible for humans’ manners because of their effect on not only people’s psychological situation but also people’s beliefs on normality.

Unfortunately, computer games are a good source to get rid of anger. People, especially young people, play these games when they are angry, disappointed, and unsuccessful. After playing, they may feel satisfied with the success in the game, and they may recover from their anger. Additionally, while playing, there is no responsibility and any real harm to any person. However, sometimes these people can not distinguish between reality and virtuality in their social surroundings. To be more precise, students may lose their control when they are furious and they may harm their classmates without thinking, as if they are in the game. Apart from this, normality can vary due to some well-known television series.

Watching television and playing video games can result in differences in society's opinions. As people tend to consume thoughtless broadcasts, it is inevitable to normalise some immoral habits such as violence against women. For instance, according to the research conducted by the Psychology Department at the University of Bursa in 2020, the incidence of this type of violence is increasing because of the news broadcasted on television mostly. The article emphasises that as murderous individuals witness such events on television, they accept the violence as normal.  

In conclusion, for some individuals, television and video games are harmful in terms of society, unlike others. From my perspective, these have a damaging result on people as these tools are capable of changing people’s mind on normality and resulting in unreasonable reactions in anger. 

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