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Audience effects presentation

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A very brief introduction to theories of audience reception

A very brief introduction to theories of audience reception

Published in: Education

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  • 1. Theories ofAudience Reception
  • 2. Media Effects There are different ideas about the effects media products have upon audiences. Three of the main ideas are● Hypodermic Needle model● Two-Step Flow model● Uses and Gratifications model These different theories also take different views of how Active or Passive the audience are.
  • 3. Hypodermic Needle model AKA The Magic Bullet theory. Hypodermic needs precisely deliver their content – it is injected and has its intended effect.● The Hypdermic Needle theory of media effects says that the message of media texts is injected into the audience and they react to it – it has a predictable effect like a drug – it brainwashes audiences.● This theory treats the audience as being Passive – consuming texts and the messages they contain and reacting to them almost automatically
  • 4. The Two-Step Flow model AKA Opinion Leaders. This idea says that there are people in society who have particular understanding of media products and who lead public opinion.● The Two-Step Flow model suggests that opinion leaders (such as critics or TV presenters) form opinions that the rest of the audience then follow● This theory suggests that for the first step, Opinion Leaders take an Active role as audiences, making their own decisions, and that the rest of the audience are Passive, taking in what opinion leaders have said.
  • 5. The Uses and Gratifications model This theory gives more credit to audiences, suggesting that they make choices about media texts guided by what they want from them● This theory suggests that we make choices on what media texts we want to consume and what we want to get out of them – from escapism to information, and from personal identity reinforcement to voyeurism.● Uses and Gratifications theory suggests that audiences are Active – that they make their own choices and enjoy media texts for what they can get out of them.
  • 6. The Descent It will come as no surprise to know that I would like you to consider The Descent in light of these three ideas.● For each theory, explain how this theory suggests audiences might be affected by watching The Descent● Focus on one particular scene, the same scene in each case to make your work specific and detailed.