SPICE 2012 Media Psychology - Week One Notes


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Week One – “A History of Media Psychology”, which will feature discussion of the early “moral panic” days of research, including The Payne Fund Studies, The Seduction of the Innocent, and a discussion of the psychological underpinnings of the infamous War of the Worlds broadcast. Our discussion this week will also include an overview of the history of leisure and it’s relation (positive and negative) to society.

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SPICE 2012 Media Psychology - Week One Notes

  1. 1. MEDIA PSYCHOLOGY AND INFLUENCEWeek One – “History” of Media Psychology
  2. 2. PreGame: CourseIntroductions Media Psychology and Influence SPICE 2012 (Erfurt) ND Bowman PhD, Instructor
  3. 3. Outline Introductions Syllabus and class policies History of media  Functions of media  Primitive mass communication  Stages and evolution of mass media
  4. 4. What is Media Psychology? Why we need it:  Media technologies are everywhere  People of all ages use media technologies a lot  Young people use them most  Older people worry about younger people  Technology is not going “…I view media psychology as the away intersection of human experience and  We all worry if this is good media. In other words, media psychology is or bad or somewhere in- the applied study of what happens when between people interact with media as producers,  Psychology is the study distributors, and consumers through the of people of all ages lens of psychology.” ~Dr. Pamela Rutledge Media Psychology Research Center
  5. 5. What is Media Psychology? Division 46 - Media Psychology focuses on the roles psychologists play in various aspects of the media, including, but not limited to, radio, television, film, video, newsprint, magazi nes, and newer technologies. It seeks to promote research into the impact of media on human behavior; to facilitate interaction between psychology and media representatives; to enrich the teaching, training, and practice of media psychology; and to prepare psychologists to interpret psychological research to the lay public and to other professionals. The Division has liaisons with the APA Education, Practice, Science, and Public Interest Directorates.
  6. 6. Day One: A History of Media Media Psychology and Influence SPICE 2012 (Erfurt) ND Bowman PhD, Instructor
  7. 7. Functions of Mass Media Harold Lasswell (1948) said media serve 3 functions (broadly) in society  Surveillance  Correlation  Transmission  Laswell was a normative theorist Charles Wright (1960) added  Entertainment
  8. 8. Match the Medium with theFunction Functions: Surveillance Correlation Transmission Entertainment
  9. 9. Charging Bison, Cave painting with natural rock formation.Altamira Caves, Santander, Spain c. 14,000 - 12,000 B.C.One of the paintings described in Schramm (Ch1). What were the artists tryingto communicate? Why place the paintings in caves? What sort of tools wereused to create the paintings?
  10. 10. Prehistoric Communication Why caves?  Ceremonial, extraordinary If you look carefully at the ground in caves where the floor has been damp and soft, you may see not What use? only footprints but also the imprints of boys buttocks in the clay in front  Artistic of the pictures. Here is where they  “sympathetic” magic may have sat while the elders of the tribe instructed them and revealed  Education the secrets handed down from generation to generation. In some of the caves there are also marks of dancing feet, where ceremonies must have been conducted. There are chapel-like rooms with both pictures and reliefs. Thus the pictures were probably symbols of great magic and perhaps of great secrets. ~Schramm, pp. 8
  11. 11. The Sorcerer, recreated by Abbe BreuilOne of the mystifying cave paintings copied by the Abbe Breuil. Most of thecave art is highly realistic rendering of the kinds of animals the cave dwellerssaw on their hunts. A few, however, are not realistic and seem to have meaningrelated in some way to the rituals conducted in the cave. Thispicture, combining animal and human features, has been called The Sorcerer.
  12. 12. Historical account ofcommunication We often talk about different stages of communication  Age of signs and signals (pre-200,000 BC)  Age of speech and language (~200,000 to 100,000 BC)  Age of writing (~3500 BC)  Age of printing (~AD 1500)  Age of Mass Communication (~AD 1800)
  13. 13. Why so important? As our communication patterns changed, so did our society  Signs and signals allowed us to communication our internal monologue to others  Speech and language allowed us to communicate „in action‟  Writing allowed us to document our thoughts without memorization  Printing allowed written word to spread throughout society  Mass communication made variables such as time and space irrelevant
  14. 14. What is a mass medium? We have always had “media” A media (medium) is anything that carries information from one source to another
  15. 15. What is a mass medium? Some characteristics of “mass”  One message, many receivers  Message produced by an organization  Messages delivered at regular intervals  Public communication What would O’Sullivan have to say about all of this?
  16. 16. O‟Sullivan and “masspersonal‟
  17. 17. Technology Adoption
  18. 18. Our mediated selves Today‟s world is viewed through screens  For children (8 to 18), nearly 7.5 hours of each day is spent in front of screens!  Facebook
  19. 19. Day Two: Moral Panic Media Psychology and Influence SPICE 2012 (Erfurt) ND Bowman PhD, Instructor
  20. 20. Outline The Magic Bullet Metaphor Examples of early studies  Invasionfrom Mars  Seduction of the Innocent  The Payne Fund Studies
  21. 21. Magic Bullet Theory24  The Metaphor  Three Assumptions  Direct  Large  Uniform *
  22. 22. Magic Bullet Theory Where does this come from? These perspectives assume a passive audience
  23. 23. Magic Bullet Theory1. Industrialization:  IndustrialRevolution starts, end of 18th C  Transfer from agrarian to manufacturing society  Alienation from society  Bureaucracy as a form of social organization
  24. 24. Magic Bullet Theory2. Urbanization  Folks moved away from home into large, normless cities  Major population shift brings unlike people together  Anomie: “Normless-ness”  Trustfrom social norms misplaced by distrust and skepticism of fellow man  Ex. Replacing handshakes with contracts  Reliance on regulations over norms for social order
  25. 25. Magic Bullet Theory3. Modernization  Innovations in society led to convenience  Notion of schedules and workday (also re: industrialization) separated work from leisure time  Media becomes important aspect of leisure  Films, radio, etc.  Timefor leisure leads to increased interest in world affairs  newspapers
  26. 26. Magic Bullet Theory
  27. 27. Magic Bullet Theory Assumed that in Mass Society, people:  …are socially isolated  …have uniform instincts  …are not influenced by social ties …So them must:  …hear the same messages  …interpret those messages similarly  …respond to those messages similarly
  28. 28. Magic Bullet Theory Theory claimed that the mass media acts as symbolic bullets:  Striking every eye and every ear of everyone  Having direct, immediate, po werful, and uniform effects on everyone
  29. 29. Invasion from Mars The windup…  Timing  MercuryTheatre  Orson Welles …and the pitch!
  30. 30. Invasion from Mars The Broadcast  Style  News format  People and places  Audience size  Coincidences
  31. 31. Invasion from Mars The Response  Supposed Response  Real Response (c) ND Bowman, 2011 *
  32. 32. Invasion from Mars Why did people panic?  Program characteristics  Channel effects  Style of Program  Tuning in Late – Personal Characteristics • Critical Thinking • Self-confidence • Emotional Security • Religious Beliefs
  33. 33. Invasion from Mars – Effect? Was everybody scared?  1/6 of audience reported any ill effects…  …ill effects were often isolated and exemplified…  …and most effects seem to have a non-mediated cause! Is this evidence of  Direct  Large  Uniform
  34. 34. Seduction of the Innocent America in post-WWII Wertham (1954) and the Seduction of the Innocent *
  35. 35. Seduction of the Innocent Among the Methods of Wertham themes  ClinicalInterviews Wertham found were:  Projective Testing • Crime  Content analysis (four major themes) • Horror • Misogyny • Bondage • Homosexuality • Fascism All of these were seen as „injurious to the eye‟
  36. 36. Seduction of the Innocent Understanding Wertham  Clinically Interesting  Not scientific – WHY?  Sensationalism v. truth Outcomes  Salesplunges  Industry self-regulation  “Seduction issues” *
  37. 37. Seduction of the Innocent –Effect? Wertham misunderstood?  Was not a self-identified Comic Book Crusader  Found fanzines and other science fictions to be profound communication and creative tools  Focused more on the [media] ecology of the child (with books as part) than the comic books themselves! Dr. Wertram softened his Pioneered work on: views on comics later  Body image in life. He even spoke  Racism/bigotry at the 1974 New York Comicon!
  38. 38. Payne Fund Studies Series of studies in 1920s looking at the influence of film on children Why?  Advances in science (parametric statistics in social science) + popularity of Hollywood (125% increase in movie attendance by 1930) = funding for research
  39. 39. Payne Fund Studies
  40. 40. Payne Fund Studies Dozen+ studies designed to 1. Assess the content of films and composition of audiences 2. Assess effects of content on audiences
  41. 41. Payne Fund StudiesContent of Films Audience Composition N ~ 1500 films (OH)  Nearly ½ (40M) of weekly contained Specific focus movie audiences were  Crime on: children; 17M under 14; many  Sex • Story themes 5-8 y.o.!  Love • Heroes/heroines • Style and dress  Children > Adults  Mystery • Relationships  War • engaging in  Boys > Girls  Children crimes • vulgarity  Overall, children attended  History • substance at least one film per week  Travel abuse  Comedy 75% of films were  Propaganda Crime, Sex, or Love
  42. 42. Payne Fund Studies Sample of results  Attitude change about social groups and issues
  43. 43. Payne Fund Studies Sample of results  Influencing conduct  Encouraged „scene re-enactment‟  Imitation of (unhealthy?) behaviors  Daydreaming and fantasy  Emotional contagion  Fear and fright, physiological effects  Promotion of unhealthy behaviors  Smoking, drinking, etc.  Eroding moral standards  Screen mores ≠ social mores
  44. 44. Day Three:Entertainment+Leisure Media Psychology and Influence SPICE 2012 (Erfurt) ND Bowman PhD, Instructor
  45. 45. Outline for Today Human Motivation A History of Leisure Entertainment Media as Leisure
  46. 46. Human Motivation“What a man can be, he mustbe.”~Maslow, 1954
  47. 47. What is Leisure? Leisure is understood as:  Time left after survival needs are met  Time when we are free to do things that are intrinsically gratifying (autotelic) THINK – “What separates us from the wild?”
  48. 48. What is Leisure? Time left after work:  In1850, the average work week was 70 hours  By 1950, this shrunk to 40 hours (de Grazia, 1962). In the industrial world, we have between 30 and 35 percent of our days that we can dedicate to leisure (Szalai, 1972).
  49. 49. Emergence of Leisure Time Leisure evolved around 600,000 years ago alongside the species Homo Why? Because man:  „organize the hunt‟ (Lee & DeVore, 1968)  „domesticated‟ fire (Pfeiffer, 1971) Neolithic Era (4000 – 2000 B.C.)  First sign of art and music for leisure purposes
  50. 50. Emergence of Leisure TimeAncient Egypt and China Evidence of „highball parties‟  Egyptian nobles employed laborers and slaves to do their work, thus creating a “high society”  Chinese officials had lavish banquets  For the „blue-collar man‟, the first beer halls for communal tale-telling appeared  Organized sports were played, but not for competition
  51. 51. Emergence of Leisure TimeEarly Elitism (Greece 500 – 300 B.C.)  Entertainment dichotomy develops  A starkdifference between leisure for the privileged vs. the common man  Greeks were the first to consider social role of entertainment  Aristotle(trans. 1984) endorsed only the „finest‟ of leisure activities, but…  …he also considered the Catharsis Doctrine, the “proper purgation of … emotions”
  52. 52. Emergence of Leisure TimeRome: The Leisure State• The first signs of mass entertainment and the democratization of leisure. – From 93 to 200 holidays per Coliseum year (50,000 cap.) hosted gladiator wars, and animal- baitingCircus Maximus (250,000 cap.)hosted chariot races, brassbands, acrobats and clowns
  53. 53. Christians are no fun. 313 A.D. – Constantine converts the Roman Empire to Christianity Effects on leisure:  Christians objected to unnecessary violence of gladiator fights and chariot races…  …were offended by the „raunchy‟ theatre  Objected to the required worship of Roman deities before all leisure activities Relegated leisure to Sunday, the day of rest  Advent of leisure sub-cultures (i.e. histriones, pagans, etc.); leisure went underground
  54. 54. Rebirth of Merriment?  Later Christians saw value in leisure as a way to teach morality  The „Passion Play‟ and other moral allegories  An early way of “repackaging” God?  However, disenchanted clergy took the theatre back to the „common people‟, and “dropped the God-talk.”
  55. 55. Mass Audience forEntertainment 17th Century  First audiences (re)emerge 18th Century  A middle-class economic force  A new market for “popular” culture 19th Century  Media appeals to „The LCD‟ 20th Century  The popular market expands  The “culture debate” ensues
  56. 56. The Culture Debate  What is the relative merit of elite versus mass cultural art forms?  Historical perspectives differ:  Pascal said cultural art forms should inspire nobility (argument for Highbrow)  Montaigne said cultural art forms should gratify needs (argument for all three really, and individual preference argument)
  57. 57. The Culture Debate-Recent Shils (1971) Elite Theory distinguishes three levels of culture:  Highbrow – superior and refined, containing the best qualities of society (i.e. opera)  Middlebrow – the mediocre that aspires to be highbrow but which lacks originality, subtlety or depth (i.e. independent film)  Lowbrow – the brutal and worthless aspects of a culture (i.e. Hollywood)
  58. 58. The Culture Debate-Recent  “Mass (pop) culture is Bad” argument  It dissolves cultural distinctions (McDonald)  The only link connecting masses is the least common denominator  Eventually it drives out elite culture  It does not refine tastes or inspire (Vanden Haag)  Total effect is to distract us from boring lives and isolate people from each other
  59. 59. The Culture Debate-Recent “Mass (pop) culture is not so Bad” argument  Relative increase in exposure to elite culture (Shils)  Shared emotional experiences from media create common ground (Buck)  Social links are developed from mass audiences  “Global Village” notion based on emotional grounds more so than informational grounds
  60. 60. Entertainment Everywhere
  61. 61. Modern-Day Media Spending According to the 2002 U.S. Census:  $944 billion spent annually  4.1 million people are employed Revenue in $Billions Employment in Thousands 423 303 75 58 78 514 1089 242 412 6 73 1,440 40 291 Film/Music Publishing Broadcasting Internet Publishing Film/Music Publishing Telecommunication Internet Services Performing Arts/Sports Broadcasting Internet Publishing Telecommunication Internet Services Performing Arts/Sports
  62. 62. Time spent with leisure
  63. 63. What is entertainment? Literally, something to “hold the attention of” or be “agreeably diverting” Can be A particularly neat  Product aspect, as experiences are  Service perishable and intangible; in  Experience economics we refer to an “experience good” as one who‟s value is only known after consumption!
  64. 64. Leisure as play Play defined as an autotelic process:  Voluntary  Setapart from reality  Bounded, limited  Rules-governed  Persistent social community  Sacred, profound
  65. 65. Experience of play Media can provide play  Passive absorption  Active cognition  Fantasy spaces  “Aesthetic” of media?