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Effects of Prosocial Media on Social Behavior Evaluation Essay

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Updated: Apr 28th, 2022

The general purpose of the study and research questions

This current study adopted the General Learning Model (GLM) to test whether prosocial lyrics educe prosocial thoughts, feelings, and its role in participant’s behavior. Greitemeyer (2009) established that previous studies had overlooked the prosocial media effects on the internal state of prosocial lyrics listeners’. Consequently, this current study sought to address this significant research question.

Significance of the research question

The researcher sought to fill the identified research gap, which was overlooked by previous researchers. Thus, by answering the research question identified above, Greitemeyer (2009) study would not only reinforce the findings of previous studies but supply new information for this subject matter.

Who, How or what was studied

Consequently, to address the formulated research questions, the researcher conducted three independent experiments. The first experiment was carried out among 34 students from a German university. This research sample, which consisted of more women than men, was tested to determine whether listening to prosocial lyrics escalated prosocial thoughts.

The experiment group was told to listen to prosocial songs, while the control group listened to neutral songs. The second experiment, which was conducted among 38 students from the same university sought to establish whether prosocial music elicited empathetic emotions among participants.

The third experiment, which was administered among 90 university students selected randomly across various German universities, sought to measure whether prosocial songs had any significant effects on prosocial behavior.

Major steps in performing the study

In experiment one, control group participants were requested to listen to neural songs, while the experimental group was provided with prosocial songs. After listening to those songs, the two groups were required to compile a list of fragmented words, and to answer two questions therein.

Similarly, a similar process was repeated in experiment two, except that the participants were required to read two essays after listening to either prosocial or neural songs. The participants were then asked to explain whether these essays made them to sympathize with the author. Conversely, participants were interviewed on whether prosocial songs influenced their perception towards giving donations to non-profit organizations.

Data were recording and analysis

The researcher recorded word fragments in experiment one that was later analyzed to affirm or refute the formulated hypothesis. Similarly, the researcher interviewed and recorded participant feelings and behavior changes in experiment two and three, respectively.

Type of data analysis

The researcher used ANOVA to analyze the recorded data whereby the variables were compared based on the calculated mean and standard deviation measures.

The results

After controlling the possible confounding variables, the results indicated that word fragments from experimental group contained more prosocial words (M = 0.21, SD = 0.11) that the control group (M = 0.14, SD = 0.08), t(32) = 2.05, p <.05.)

Grietemeyer (2009) interpreted these results to suggest that there was no significant effect of prosocial songs on prosocial thoughts. Results in experiment two indicated that prosocial lyrics elicited empathetic feelings among experimental group participants (F (1, 36) = 6.51, p <.05, n2 =.15).

These results reinforce the research question that prosocial effects of the media affect the internal state of consumers. Correspondingly, results in experiment three also supported the research question whereby the possibility of donating was higher among the experimental group (53%) participants (x2(1, N = 90) = 4.56, p <.05), than those within the control group (31%).

Research conclusions

Successful interpretation and discussion of results led to the conclusion that prosocial media affects not only affected the internal state of the participants but has the ability to elicit prosocial behavior. In addition, this research study concluded that the GLM model was effective in measuring the media violence effects on the recipients.

Cautions about interpreting the study or generalizing the findings

Although the research hypothesis was supported based on the fact that there were noticeable differences in prosocial feelings, behaviors and thoughts between the two groups (experimental and control), the researcher caution that these changes could not be explained. This implies that the results should not be generalized until these changes are explicitly investigated.

Study flaws and experimental design improvement

The most significant flaw identified in this study was based on sample size restriction. Assuming the results are credible, it would be difficult to generalize these findings across the population because it is not clear whether similar results would be observed if the demographic characteristics were to be altered (e.g. high school students, young children).

Lessons learned

This study is extremely insightful, mainly because media effect is a topic that still requires extensive research, owing to the many controversial findings. Moreover, Grietemeyer (2009) research experimental method that combines both control and experimental studies is profoundly insightful because I learned how to deal with confounding variables.


Greitemeyer, T. (2009). Effects of songs with prosocial lyrics on prosocial thoughts, affect, and behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(1), 186-190. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2008.08.003

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