Theory: Hypodermic Needle Model
Theorists: Harold Lasswell
What is the theory?
The theory suggests that media shows an idea to its audience and they will buy into it. Its
as if the media is “injecting” ideas and thoughts into our heads. For example if they were
showing violence in a glorified way on the TV then the audience would believe that
violence was exactly how it was portrayed on the TV.
Does this theory see the audience as active or passive? Why do you think this?
The Hypodermic Needle Theory suggests that the audience is completely passive. I think
this because it says that people will accept anything and will not or can’t think for
What are the criticisms of this theory?
In 1940 Lazarsfeld conducted a study during the election of Roosevelt. He studied the
relationship between voting patterns and the media. He found that most people were not
swayed by the media.