Types of communication
occurs within an individual
Day dreams – self dialogue
It is the base of any other type of com
occurs between a few number of people
the most common type
involves a group of people
sermons – class discussion
involves a great number of heterogeneous
the source is mostly an institution not a
the content is transmitted publicly , timed to
reach audience members simultaneously
Effects of Mass Media
Categories of Effects are:
Old Media Environment
• Your fathers’ media environment:
Five main radio stations
Three daily newspapers
New Media Environment
•Your Media Environment:
Mp3 and I pod
Hundreds of radio stations
Difference between old & new media
▫ Media Scarcity
▫ Content geared to mass
▫ One-way communication
▫ Distinct technology for
each medium (printing
for newspapers –– wires
for telephone – etc)
▫ Media abundance
▫ Content tailored to groups
or even individuals
▫ Two-way communication
(feedback from receiver –
▫ All media use same
technology which is digital
technology (ex. Mobile
Some features of new media
• Digital TV
• New News
• Changes in Advertising
Huge number of
a control box that
enables viewers to
High quality of sound
very high resolution
A unique opportunity
to transmit data
The world wide web. ( WWW.(
A system by which
information on many
computers can be accessed
by many other computers
Newsgroups and mailing
lists which are electronic
message sharing systems
E-mail where millions of
people communicate by
Criticism of Internet
Change from print culture to
electronic culture will lead to
impoverishment of language
• Read in the BOOK:
▫ New News
▫ Changes in Advertising
Will discuss that during the next class
Why do we have to study MC Theory?
• To explain the different effects of mass
media on its audiences
• To explain why do people use mass media.
• To explain how people learn from the
• To explain the role of the mass media in
shaping people’s values and views.
What is a theory?
• It is the ultimate goal of any science.
• It is
A general statement that summarizes our
understanding of the way the world
• It takes one of the following forms:
▫ If …. Then
▫ …….. Is more likely to
▫ The greater the X the greater the y
▫ …… leads to …….
The Role of Perception in
What do you think of this sculpture and
What is the idea behind the illusion?
• Our senses receive the
• And the mind
interprets the data
according to previous
Perception & Communication
Messages we receive from media
are full of words, images, sounds ,
gestures, colors, and many other
forms of expression.
We try to make people perceive our
messages in a certain way that
makes desired effects.
How can we achieve our goals?
What is perception?
If people don’t perceive what we say , we are
talking to ourselves.
• It is a complex process. Without understanding
it, communication goals are difficult to be
What is perception?
It is the Process by which we
what we receive through our senses.
Do we perceive things as they are in the
Our perception is affected by two major
types of influences:
Which come from the
physical aspects of the
Stimuli to which we are
Factors that affect our
Influences on perception
Our perception is affected by many other factors :
• Assumption is based on
• Ex: An elephant has
four legs, so we don’t
see the 5th
leg until we
• People tend to relate or see scenes from their
own culture rather than the scenes from an
• Ex: pair of binoculars each representing picture
from your culture and another from another
• The drive behind an
• Ex: Hunger.
• It’s whether you’re
happy, sad, angry,
• People hold positive or negative attitudes
towards persons, objects , or ideas. These
attitudes affect the way they perceived all of
• Think of your attitude toward this course and its
instructor. Again try to examine how such
attitude affects your perception of what being
said or discussed.
Why do we react to the same message in
Our perception is affected by our needs , wants ,
attitudes , and other psychological factors.
Other Selective processes
Other selective Processes
1- Selective exposure
Which tv channels or newspapers do you prefer more?
Individuals tend to expose themselves to those
messages that are in agreement with their attitudes
and to avoid those that aren’t.
2- Selective Attention
Do you pay the same level of attention to all parts of
a 2 hours movie ?
To pay attention to those parts of a message that are
consonant with their attitudes, beliefs or behavior and
to avoid those parts that go against.
Why do we recall some of our past
experiences, while we fail to recall others?
There is a tendency to recall information
in a way that is affected by needs ,
attitudes, wants, and other psychological
• In general it is a cognitive structure
consisting of organized knowledge about
situations and individuals that has been
abstracted from prior experience.
• It is used for processing new information
and retrieving stored information.
• This term is useful in mass
communication because it helps
understand how people process
• Schemas can help us understand how people
may process many news stories. People
attempt to match information in a new story
to some existing schema. If a match can be
found , some parts of information or
inferences of information is likely to be
stored in the form of a modified schema. If
not , information is likely to pass without
• People can be influenced by stimuli of which
they are not aware.
Problems in Encoding
• Decoding: is an integrated part of any
• Encoding: is the translation of purposes,
intentions, or meaning into symbols or codes.
• These symbols can be in the form of language,
pictures (motion picture film or images) or
• Encoding is a mysterious process, we can’t even
Characteristics of language
• Language has some characteristics that make it
difficult to use carefully, and these characteristics
cause some difficulties in encoding and make
1) Language is Static ; Reality is Dynamic:
Words do not change over a period of time, but the
world around us is full of change. We use static to
express and describe dynamic
1(Language is Static ; Reality is
• The idea that the word does not change over
time can distract us from the fact that reality is
• EX: A man might spend 20 years dreaming of
retiring in Pleasant Valley, a town he visited as a
young man, only to go there and find that it has
become a busy city.
2(Language is limited ; Reality is
• Any language has a limited number of words compared the
facts, events, relationships, and point of views we have to use
the language for.
• In telephone calls we use a vocabulary of about 50005000
• An average novel uses about 10.000 words.10.000 words.
• Can you describe the taste of milk to someone who has neverCan you describe the taste of milk to someone who has never
drunk it?drunk it? We do not have enough words for doing such
• Some times we have to invent words to describe things
“Boom –Chika boom…. Tagh”.
3(Language is Abstract
• AbstractionAbstraction is a process of selecting some details and
leaving out other details.
• What are these objects?
• Though each object has certain characteristics with
different material and with different uses, But as
language is abstract the answer will normally be
Misuses of language
Because language is limited , static , and
abstract, certain misuses are likely to occur.
There are four common misuses :
1)Dead – level abstraction.
3)Two – Valued Evaluation.
Dead –level Abstraction (Wendell Johnson(
There are two levels of abstractions
• High levelHigh level ( peace, freedom , justice, Law…etc).
• Low levelLow level ( where messages contain concrete
words and details).
• Dead level of abstractionDead level of abstraction refers to getting stuck
at one level of abstraction . This level could be
high or low.
• The most effective communication ranges up
and down the ladder of abstraction: An effective
message contains generalizations at a high level
of abstraction , but there are specific details at
a low level of abstraction.
Should Range down and up
the ladder for effective
High level of Abstraction
Low level of Abstraction
• It is the failure to see distinctions
between members of a category or
• Another term for this is categoricalcategorical
thinkingthinking and sometimes referred to as
• One common kind of undue
identification is stereotypingstereotyping.
The following statements all show
failure to see distinction between
members of a class:
• If you have seen one tree, you have
seen them all.
• I will never trust another woman.
• You can not believe a thing you read
in the newspaper.
• Arabs are Terrorists.
• Involves thinking that there are only two
possibilities when there are actually a
range of possibilities.
• It is also called either -or thinking.
• EX:EX: Night and day are two words that do
not begin to reflect the many different
states that occur during the cycle of the
• “ It is not a matter of black and white,
there are shades of gray”.
•It means to project our past
experiences, purposes , and biases
on our perceptions.
•To avoid such problem you are
highly recommended to add “ To Me“ To Me
at the end of a statement youat the end of a statement you
•It is another factor that
•SlantingSlanting is selecting details
that are favorable or
unfavorable to the subject
• If a demonstration opposing governmental policies
is described in the newspapers, how thishow this
demonstration can be described by differentdemonstration can be described by different
newspapers in terms of size and power.newspapers in terms of size and power.
• Pro- government newspapers for example “AL-“AL-
Ahram”Ahram” will choose small estimatesmall estimate while anti –
government newspapers for example “El Masry EL“El Masry EL
Youm”Youm” will choose large estimate.large estimate.
Slanting with statistics
• StatisticsStatistics are often used
selectively to slant or spin
• EX:EX: “10,000 flats are available“10,000 flats are available
now for youth recently married.”now for youth recently married.”
This number compared to the
number of youth recently married
is too small.
Studies of objectivity
Read page 102 to know more about objectivity.
• Objectivity is to separate opinions from
America calls for a new peace conference in
Washington. ( This is a fact )
Why do Americans call for this conference
now? ( This is an analysis)
Arabs should not participate in such
conference. ( This is a commentary)
• There had been a great concern about the
propaganda between the world wars. Propaganda
was extensively and effectively used in the two wars.
• What is Propaganda?
The term was derived from Congregatio de
propaganda Fide that was established by the
Catholic Church in 1622 to counter the reformation.
Definition of Propaganda
• In 1937 Lasswell defined propaganda as “ The
technique of influencing human action by
the manipulation representation”
• The representations may take spoken, written,
pictorial, or musical form.”
• This definition include the practices of
persuasion and advertising.
Functions of propaganda
According to lasswell , objectives of propaganda
To mobilize hatred against enemy
To preserve the friendship of allies
To procure the cooperation of neutrals
To demoralize the enemy
Propaganda & Education
•The main difference between
propaganda and education or
- Propaganda is for the benefit of the
- Education or information is for the
benefit of the audience
There are seven devices
1. Name calling: It is used to make us reject the
idea without examining the evidence. It is not
used in advertising but it is widely used in
politics and public discourse. ( ex. Terrorism Vs
freedom fighter )
2. Glittering Generality
It is to associate
something with a virtue
• In Advertising: Imperial
Margarine, Super Shell. In
politics and business: Law of
• Some times glittering generality
used by advertisers involve
deception to such a degree that
legal action is taken
• This technique
depend on linking
an idea, or product
or cause with
• It consists in having some
respected or hated person say
that a given idea or program
or program is good or bad.
• This technique could use
celebrities, professionals or
regular street persons.
5. Plain Folks
• It is a method by which a speaker
attempts to convince that he and his
ideas are good because they are of the
• The propagandist tries to convince
others that all members of a group to
which we belong accepts his program
and that we must therefore follow our
crowd and jump on the band wagon.
7. Card Stacking
• It is similar to slanting. It involves the selection
and use of facts or falsehoods, illustrations or
distractions, and logical or illogical statements
in order to give the best or the worst possible
case for an idea, program, person, or product.
•Read pp. 111-124 and give at least
two examples for each device we
have studied and try to evaluate
• One of the most basic forms of communication is
• Persuasion is a critical concept for any society
all over the world.
• In a free market and democratic society,
persuasion is the hard core for commercial and
• Persuasion is an integrated part of
Definition of Persuasion
• Persuasion is:
“Attitude change resulting from
exposure to information from
• A great deal of research has been conducted with
communication aimed at changing attitudes.
What is an attitude?
• An attitude refers to whether or not we
• Attitudes are important because they
influence our actions.
• When we are able to change attitudes, we
maintain the control over behaviors.
What is a belief?
• Belief, or the statements that people
assume to be true.
• It is another concept that is closely related
• A man who believes that smoking is likely
to cause lung cancer may avoid smoking.
Components of Attitudes
• Attitudes are often thought of as having three
- An Affective component: liking or feeling about
- A cognitive component: beliefs about an object.
- A behavioral component: actions toward the
• All those three components together refer to the
final evaluation of the object toward which the
attitude is held.
When components are consistent
Ex: A man who feels pleasure or
likes to smoke may believes that
nothing is true about the harms of
tobacco, he will smoke.
When they are inconsistent
• What happens is, pressure is generated for
one of them to change.
• In some cases an individual can hold an
ambivalent attitude made up of favorable
and unfavorable components toward the
• Many attitudes are difficult to change,
while some others are not.
• Whenever the attitudes are tied to
person’s ego or sense of identity, any
attempt to change a person’s attitudes is
seen as a threat and is met with resistance.
Techniques of Attitude Change
1. One – sided and Two-
1. One – sided and Two-sided
• This technique is used whenever the issue has
arguments or controversial.
• One sided message is most effective with persons
initially favorable to the message or with people of
• Two sided message is most effective with persons
initially opposed to the message or with people of
• The characteristics of audience is critical with the
use of this technique.
2. Source Credibility
• There is a wide spread belief that having the
right source can increase the effectiveness of
• When you select an effective source to speak
for your idea or product, you are using the
propaganda device of testimonial.
• This technique is widely used by
• This extensive use ignores the effects of long
• Research findings indicated that results
immediately after test show that the high
credibility source did produce more opinion
change than that of low credibility source.
• But after four weeks the amount of opinion
change retained was approximately equal for the
high credibility and low credibility sources.
• This is not due to the forgetting of the source,
but to a tendency after the passage of time to
dissociate the source and the opinion.
Dimensions of Source Crediblity
• Source credibility has four dimensions:
2- Professionalism or competence: but it deals
more with manner of presentation, than with the
actual knowledge that a person posses.
Mistakes of using this technique
• The most common one is the case of
Micheal Jordan who was at one time
endorsing products of 14 companies.
• So making multiple endorsements can
reduce the effectiveness of a high
credibility for all audience members.
• It is to threaten or arouse some fear in the
• This appeal is being extremely used in public
campaigns. (ex. AIDS, smoking, dental hygiene
• The results of the researches concerning the
effectiveness of fear appeal are controversial.
The amount of fear injected in a
• We had research findings that low and
high levels of fear in a message will lead to
a small amounts of attitudes changes and
moderate levels of fear will lead to the
greatest amount of attitude change.
The success of Fear Appeal campaigns
depends on (Smoking Campaign(:
• The characteristics of the target audience.
(teenagers perceive the threat of death as
• Fear appeal strategy used in these campaigns.
(The more immediate consequences of smoking
or the long run effects).
• Amount of support that come from other
sources (interpersonal sessions).
Making attitudes resistant to
• Sometimes our goal might not be to change
attitudes but to make attitudes resistant to
• Antismoking campaigns are good examples for
such goals .
• One of the most prominent theories in that fields
is called inoculation theory.
• This theory assumes that many people have
many unchallenged attitudes but these attitudes
can be often easily changed once they are
attacked because they are not used to defending
• Ex: When a person is brought up in a germ-free
environment and is suddenly exposed to germs.
• That person’s body is subject to infection because
it has not developed any resistance.
• Such a person can be given resistance either by
supportive treatment or by inoculation a
deliberate exposure to weakened form of the germ
that stimulates the development of defenses.
• It is trying to identify as many attacks
as possible and refute them before
they are presented to the target
In an Anti-Smoking Campaign
• The most common attacking arguments
1-Smoking is cool.
2- Experimental smoking is not addicting.
3-Smoking will not harm me.
•Since the effect persuasive
message tends to decrease
overtime, it might be necessary to
repeat the inoculation from time
to time through boaster time.
1. Inoculation effect is tentative.
2. General resistance that would make the basic belief
unlikely to change is not assured if different attack
strategy was used.
3. While threat plays a role in inoculation by
increasing people’s desire to defend them, the
salience of attitude object may affect inoculation-
that is if the attitude object is not a salient one ,
inoculation will probably not take place.
What is agenda setting?
• The agenda-setting function refers to
the media’s capability, through the
repeated news coverage, of raising the
importance of an issue in the public’s
• Mass media attention to an issue
cause that issue to be elevated in
importance to the public.
Chapel Hill Study
• The first systematic study of the agenda-
setting hypothesis was reported in 1972 by
McCombs and Shaw.
• They studied how mass media set thehow mass media set the
agenda for each political campaign,agenda for each political campaign,
influencing the salience of attitudesinfluencing the salience of attitudes
toward the political issues.toward the political issues.
• The study focused on the “undecideds”
voters in Chapel Hill during the
presidential elections of 1968.
• They made a list of the issues voter
perceive as important and the issues
the media emphasis.
The correlation between the two lists
The findings supported an Agenda
Chapel Hill Study cont…
The Media Agenda and RealityThe Media Agenda and Reality
• This study focuses on the 1960s where many issues
• G. Ray Funkhouser was interested in the relationship
between the news coveragenews coverage, the public perceptionpublic perception and
the issues in realityissues in reality.
• He obtained his data as follows:
The media content:The media content: by counting the number of
articles on each issue in 3 weekly local news papers.
The issue in reality:The issue in reality: based on statistics taken from a
statistical Abstracts of the US.
Results of the study:
• Funkhouser looked at the relationship between
public opinion and media content, and the relation
ship between media content and reality.
• The results of the study showed a strong
correlation between public ranking of an issue as
important and the amount of coverage given the
issue by the media. On the other hand,On the other hand, it seemed
to be that media coverage did not correspond very
well to the realities of the issues.
• TV newscast might be having an impact on
• It is the process in which the media attend
to some issues and not others and thereby
alteralter the standards by which people
evaluate election candidates.
• By setting the agenda of election
campaigns the media also sets the criteria
by which the candidate will be evaluated.
The obtrusiveness of issues
• Zucker suggested that the obtrusiveness of the
issue may be an important factor in agenda
• Obtrusive issues:Obtrusive issues: are the issues that the public
experience directly, EX:EX: unemployment, crime
and cost of living.
• Unobtrusive issues:Unobtrusive issues: are the issues that the
public may not experience directly, EX:EX:
pollution, energy crisis and drug abuse.
• The study demonstrated that agenda
setting may take place for unobtrusive
issues but not the obtrusive issues.
• Zucker also argues that since the only way
people can find out about unobtrusive
issues are through the media or through
talking to other people who have been
exposed to the media.
The obtrusiveness of issues cont…
Abstract and Concrete issues
• Yagada and Dozier speculated that the
audience could find it harder to visualize
the abstract issues, and this may affect the
happening of agenda-setting.
• Abstractness:Abstractness: is the degree to which an
issue is difficult to conceptualize of be
• Results: The study concluded that media
may not set the public agenda for abstract
issues (ex: nuclear arms race)(ex: nuclear arms race), unlike the
concrete issues (ex: energy and drug(ex: energy and drug
Abstract and Concrete issues cont…
• It’s a collective process in which media,
government and the public influence one
another in determining what issues are
considered to be important.
• It’s a six step process:It’s a six step process:
1. The press highlights some events.
2. Different issues need different kind and
amount of news coverage.
3. Events should be “Framed” or given a
field of meanings within which they can
4. Language used affects the perception of
the importance of an issue.
5. The media links the events to secondary
symbols to make it easier to take sides.
6. Agenda building is accelerated when
will-known and credible individuals
speak out on an issue.
Agenda Building cont…
Why do some issues receive more
attention than the others?
• In addition to the actual flow ofactual flow of
eventsevents,, Funkhouser suggested five
mechanisms that operate to
influence the amount of attention an
issue might receive:
1. Adaptation of the media to a stream of
2. Over reporting of significant but unusual
3. Selective reporting of the newsworthy
aspects of otherwise nonnewsworthy
4. Pseudo events or the manufacturing of
5. Event summaries or situations that
portray nonnewsworthy events in a
Who sets the agenda for the MEDIA?
• There are several factors that affect the
1.1. Inter-media agenda setting:Inter-media agenda setting: It’s when the
Elite media set the agenda for other
2.2. Communicators:Communicators: their characters,
attitudes, personal and professional
3.3. Media Routines:Media Routines: deadlines, space or time
constraints, reliance on official sources.
4.4. Organizational influencesOrganizational influences:: all media
organizations have specific goals they want to
achieve, which affects the content.
5.5. Influences from outside media organizations:Influences from outside media organizations:
ex, pressure groups, interest groups.
6.6. Society Ideology:Society Ideology: it represents a society-level
Who sets the agenda for the MEDIA?
What is Knowledge-Gap?
• Knowledge like other forms of wealth
is not distributed equally throughout
• People who are struggling with
financial poverty are also often
The Role of Mass Media
• Mass media targets the public or the
masses, so hypothetically it could be a
very good agent in decreasing the
• Example of the media efforts are:
1. The Knowledge Gap on Public Affairs.
(read from the book P.250)(read from the book P.250)
2. Sesame Street.(read from the book P.251).(read from the book P.251)
• Tichenor, konohue and olien suggest
that knowledge gap is likely to occur
in general interest areas (EX:EX: Public
affairs, Science and the like)
• While it is less likely to occur in more
specific areas of people’s interests
(EX:EX: Sports, Garden care, Lawn and
Possible Reasons for Knowledge-Gap
• Different Communication Skills between those
high and low in socioeconomic status.
• Previously acquired background knowledge.
• People of high socioeconomic status might have
more relevant social contact.
• Mechanism of selectivity (exposure, acceptance
• Mass media itself, as it is geared to people of
higher socioeconomic status.
Refinement of the Hypothesis
• There are certain conditions under which
knowledge-gap might decrease:
1. Conflict on local issues.
2. In Homogenous societies, unlike
(Pluralistic)(Pluralistic) Heterogeneous societies.
3. When the issue has a strong and
General Trends in Effects Theory
• The Bullet Theory (Hypodermic Needle or
Transmission Belt Theory): It was influenced
by the power of Propaganda in WWI and was
very popular in the years prior to WWII.
The Limited Effect Model:
• Certain studies led to the view that mass
communication typically has small effects.
1.It’s effective in transmitting information not
2.Selective perception could reduce the effectiveness
of the message
3.There are some mediating factors that reduces the
effects of mass communication (selective
processes, group processes, group norms and
Conditional effect model:
• Some media has some effects on some people in
Powerful Effect Model
• Under certain circumstances, the mass media
can have a significant effect on large number of
• It was presented by Elizabeth Noelle-Newmann.
• Her spiral-of-silence Theory would fit under the
powerful effect model.
Specific Theories of Media Effects
• Cultivation theory
• Spiral of Silence
• Third-Person Effect
• Social Learning Theory
• Media Framing
• It was developed by Geroge Gerbner and his
• He argues that for heavy viewers, television
virtually monopolizes and subsumes other
sources of information, ideas and
• The original research was comparing between
heavy and light viewers.
• Television citizenship: the teaching of a
common worldview, common roles and
common values based on television content.
• Gerbner added that heavy television viewing
has different outcomes for different social
Refinements on the Theory
1. Mainstreaming: said to occur when heavy
viewing leads to convergence of outlooks
across groups (ex: fear of crime is spread
among low-income and high-income)
2. Resonance: it occurs when the cultivation
effect is boosted for a certain group of the
population (ex: heavy viewers are more likely
to agree that crime is a serious problem than
The spiral of Silence
• It was developed by Elizabeth Neumann, who
argues that the media has powerful effects
which were underestimated in the past.
• She argues that the media has three major
• Cumulation: is the buildup of certain themes or
messages over time
• Ubiquity: is the widespread presence of the mass
• Consonance: is the unified picture of an event or
issue that can develop and is often shared by
Amount of people not openly
expressing deviant opinion
and/or changing from
deviant to dominant opinion
Mass Media Effect
• The mass media can affect the spiral of silence
in three ways:
1. They shape the impressions about which
opinions are dominant
2. They shape impressions about which opinions
are on the increase
3. They shape impressions about which opinions
one can utter in public without becoming
Social Learning Theory
• It was developed by Bandura.
• It suggests that learning takes place through
observing the behavior of others.
• It acknowledges that human beings are capable
of cognition or thinking and that they can benefit
from observation and experience.
Theories on the Effects of media
• A number of different hypothesis have been
suggested concerning the possible effects of
1. Catharsis Hypothesis: it suggests that viewing
television violence causes a reduction of
aggressive drive through a vicarious expression
2. Stimulation hypothesis: it predicts that
television violence leads to an increase in actual
3. Imitation or Modeling Hypothesis: it suggests
that people learn aggressive behaviors from
television and then go out to reproduce them.
4. Disinhibition Hypothesis: it suggests that
television lowers people’s inhibitions about
behaving aggressively toward other people,
which means that television is teaching a
general norm that violence is an acceptable way
to relate to other people.
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