MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES Magic Bullet Theory Two-Step Theory Agenda-Setting Theory Diffusion Theory Framing Theory
MAGIC BULLET/HYPODERMIC NEEDLETHEORYThe "hypodermic needle theory” (aka the “magic bullet theory”)implies mass media has a direct, immediate and powerful effecton its audiences.The theory suggests that the mass media could influence a verylarge group of people directly and uniformly by “shooting” or“injecting” them with appropriate messages designed to trigger adesired response.The effects of this theory suggest that the media couldmanipulate a passive and gullible public, leading theorists tobelieve this was one of the primary ways media authors shapedaudience perception.
MAGIC BULLET/HYPODERMIC NEEDLE THEORY Mass Media Public
TWO-STEP THEORYThis theory asserts that information from the media moves in twodistinct stages. 1 - First, individuals (opinion leaders) who pay close attention to the mass media and its messages receive the information.Opinion leaders are quite influential in getting people to change their attitudes and behaviors and are quite similar to those they influence. 2 - Opinion leaders pass on their own interpretations to the public.The theory refined the ability to predict the influence of mediamessages on audience behavior, and it helped explain whycertain media campaigns may have failed to alter audienceattitudes an behavior.
TWO-STEP THEORY Mass Media Opinion Leaders Public
AGENDA-SETTING THEORYAgenda setting describes a very powerful influence of the media– the ability to tell us what issues are important.Agenda-setting is the creation of public awareness and concernof salient issues by the news media. Two basis assumptionsunderlie most research on agenda-setting: (1) the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it; (2) media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.Agenda-setting theory seems quite appropriate to help usunderstand the pervasive role of the media (for example onpolitical communication systems).
DIFFUSION THEORYWith the diffusion theory, communicators in society with amessage influence/encourage people that have strong opinionsthrough the media to influence the masses.There does not seem to be free will in this case, it is fated as towhat information is received to the masses, they have no choiceto what they are exposed to. In this sense, the theory is scientific. There is one truth,dependent on the messages sent and received by the media andthe opinion leaders.
DIFFUSION THEORY Mass Media Individuals Individuals Individuals Individuals Individuals Individuals
FRAMING THEORYFraming theory and the concept of framing bias suggeststhat how something is presented (the “frame”) influencesthe choices people make.The concept of framing is related to the agenda-settingtradition but expands the research by focusing on theessence of the issues at hand rather than on a particulartopic.The basis of framing theory is that the media focusesattention on certain events and then places them within afield of meaning.
LINKS TO MORE THEORIES Mass Media Theories: http://www.utwente.nl/cw/theorieenoverzicht/Theory%2 0clusters/Mass%20Media/ Mass Communication Theories: http://www.uky.edu/~drlane/capstone/mass/ Defining Communication Theories: http://www.mhhe.com/mayfieldpub/westturner/student_r esources/theories.htm Theories of Communication: http://www.peoi.org/Courses/Coursesen/mass/mass2.ht ml
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