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Media Effects Media Effects Presentation Transcript

  • Communication 130
  • Light Effects Heavy Effects Hypodermic Model Cultivation Theory Uses and Gratifications Two-Step Model Agenda Setting
  • The mass media are so powerful that they can 'inject' their messages into the audience, or that, like a magic bullet, they can be precisely targeted at an audience, who irresistibly fall down when hit by the bullet. In brief, it is the idea that the makers of media messages can get us to do whatever they want us to do. The mass media in the 1940s and 1950s were perceived as a powerful influence on behavior change. Several factors contributed to this "strong effects" theory of communication, including: the fast rise and popularization of radio and television, the emergence of the persuasion industries, such as advertising and propaganda, the Payne Fund studies of the 1930s, which focused on the impact of motion pictures on children, and Hitler's monopolization of the mass media during WWII to unify the German public behind the Nazi party. The most famous example of what would be considered the result of the magic bullet or hypodermic needle model was the 1938 broadcast of The War of the Worlds and the reaction of its mass American audience.
    • 36 boys and 36 girls between the ages of 3 and 6.
    • Study 1: Child was playing with toys while an adult in the corner starting hitting the Bobo doll. Children were then taken into a room with a Bobo doll.
    • Study 2: Children were left alone with sets of aggressive and non-aggressive toys to play with.
    ‘ Aggressive’= Bobo doll, Mallet, 2 dart guns, and a tether ball with a face on it. ‘ Non Aggressive’= Tea set, paper and crayons, two dolls, cars and trucks.
  • First individuals (opinion leaders) who pay close attention to the media and it’s messages receive the information. Then opinion leaders pass on evaluations and interpretations directly to indivduals. Examples: Critics, Bloggers, Political Commentators, etc. The two-step flow of communication hypothesis was first introduced by Paul Lazarsfeld in The People's Choice, a 1944 study focused on the process of decision-making during the 1940 Presidential election campaign
  • This model inverts the hypodermic model, which asks, “What does the media do to people?”, instead asking "What do people do to the media?” Some theorists believe in an active audience, who choose what to read, listen, and watch. For example, a bored individual may watch an exciting show, while someone stressed with work, may pick a program that’s more relaxing. Reasons why someone may watch ‘Jeopardy’: To compare oneself with others, laughing at other’s mistakes, competition with other people in the room, as a break from work, and to improve oneself.
  • Developed by George Gerbner in the 1960’s to study whether and how watching television may influence viewers’ ideas of what the everyday world is like. Cultivation theorists believe media has long-term effects that are small, gradual, indirect but cumulative and significant. Heavy watching of television is seen to ‘cultivate’ attitudes that are more consistent with the world of entertainment that reality. “ The Mean and Scary World”
  • Mass media has a large influence on their audiences by the decision of what is ‘news-worthy’ and how much time and space is devoted to them. The agenda-setting function has multiple components: 1. Media Agenda - issues discussed in the media (newspapers, television, radio) 2. Public Agenda - issues discussed and personally relevant to members of the public 3. Policy Agenda - issues that policy makers consider important (legislators) 4. Corporate Agenda - issues that big business and corporations consider important (corporate)