The Media Equation

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The Media Equation

  1. 1. The Media Equation Of Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass
  2. 2. Basic Ideas <ul><li>A counter-intuitive theory that focuses on interaction between humans and televisions, computers etc. </li></ul><ul><li>People treat communication media as though they were human </li></ul><ul><li>They apply rules of human interaction to machines </li></ul>
  3. 3. COUNTER-INTUITION <ul><li>Theory says people respond to media in a social and natural way even though they believe it is not reasonable to do so, and even though they don’t they do </li></ul><ul><li>Theory moves beyond thinking of media effect as having to do with CONTENT </li></ul><ul><li>Media are more than just tools; people do not distinguish between mediated and unmediated experience </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research Evidence <ul><li>Human-media interactions parallel human-human interactions as in </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expectancy Violations Model tested by (a) varying distance of viewer from set, size of screen, and camera shot (b) a measure of attentiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similarity and attraction: people like a computer if it more like them. Students matched with computers that were similar in “personality” liked them more. When computers have personality-endowments, people respond to them as if they were personalities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source credibility: viewers rate a television that has been labeled “specialist” more highly credible; computer users rate a program more highly if they think it is coming from the computer rather than a programmer. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Other Evidence <ul><li>People will react in gendered ways to computers given male or female “voices” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Critique <ul><li>Proves valuable for hardware and software products </li></ul><ul><li>But we should concentrate on methods that defend people from this tendency to treat machines like people </li></ul><ul><li>Presumption of one-way communication </li></ul><ul><li>Concepts such as perceived “similarity” are vastly different when applied to human-machine as opposed to human-human relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to separate content from media </li></ul>

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