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Hypodermic Needle Theory

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Hypodermic Needle Theory

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Hypodermic Needle Theory

  1. 1. Hypodermic Needle Theory
  2. 2. The Theory The hypodermic needle theory implies mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences. 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; O The fast rise an population of radio and television. O The emergence of of the persuasion industries, such as advertising and propaganda.
  3. 3. O The theory suggests that the mass media could influence a very large group of people directly and uniformly by ‘shooting’ or ‘injecting’ them with appropriate messages designed to a desired response. O This theory suggests a powerful and direct flow of information from the sender to the receiver. O The hypodermic needle model suggests that media messages are injected straight into a passive audience which is immediately influenced by the message.
  4. 4. O It expresses the view that the media is a dangerous means of communicating an idea because the receiver or audience is powerless to resist the impact of the message. O People are seen as passive and are seen as having a lot media material “shot” at them. People end up thinking what they are told because there is no other source of information. O The theory assumes what we see or hear we believe and consume. The theory assumes we are brainwashed into believing the media messages.
  5. 5. Example In the 1930s, a radio broadcast of ‘War of the Worlds’ was performed like a real news broadcast to heighten the effect of the story. People listening believed this to be real and assumed mars had come to invade the world. This demonstrates the hypodermic needle theory as the people consumed and believed what was broadcast by the media.
  6. 6. Cons of the theory O Very out dated and invalid. O Not all people consume the media in the same way. O Not everyone watches the news/consumes the media in the same way. O Audience are not simply passive more up to date theory's have proved this, such as Stuart Hall’s Reception theory.

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