The uses and gratification theory


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The uses and gratification theory

  1. 1. The Uses and Gratification Theory<br />How media fulfils the needs of the audience<br />
  2. 2. Diversion<br />Diversion, also referred to as escapism, involves the user consuming media in order to escape from the problems within their own lives. Media allows the user to focus on what they are watching/reading, instead of events that are personally affecting them. This could involve someone watching or reading an upbeat story or program to cheer them up, or watching/reading something miserable, and thinking ‘at least my life’s not that bad.’ The Diversion model also includes people consuming media for relaxation or entrainment purposes.<br />
  3. 3. Personal<br />Users often consume media as a form of companionship, developing relationships with onscreen characters. Although one-sided, viewers can feel as if they are developing a relationship with these characters. Many often use what they have seen on television as a talking point, which helps to build relationships, and increase their sociability in the real world. Having a favourite program in common with a stranger can be the start of a relationship.<br />
  4. 4. Personal Identity<br />Personal identity is the ability to compare one’s own life with the life of an onscreen character. Viewers many feel close to a character that is in the same situation as them. Viewers may learn how to deal or not to deal with this situation, by watching how the character deals with it. Alternatively, it might help the viewer come to terms with their own similar situation, and be able to express it. Viewers many also aspire to be like a certain character, which allows the viewer to set goals within their own lives. Likewise, the viewer can draw differences between themselves and onscreen characters, feeling as if they are above a certain character in order to define their own personality. <br />
  5. 5. Surveillance<br />Surveillance relates to the need to know what is going on around you. This leaves the viewer feeling safer due to the fact that they are aware of what is going on around them. The surveillance model is most often used in relation to the news. The news is often filled with stories of tragedy, after watching these stories the viewers are left feeling more secure about their own lives. <br />