The persistent case of media effects research [lecture 2011]

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Lecture slides for MAC201 Media Studies 1 students

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The persistent case of media effects research [lecture 2011]

  1. 1. 1The persistence case of ‘media effects’ research
  2. 2. 2 Commercial broadcasters Politicians Audience 5% Policy planners 14% share 13% Regulators 0-16 Health care professionals 19% 17-24 18% Academics 25-34 35-44 Technology companies 45-54 Content producers 31% 55+ The general publicThe importance of audience research data
  3. 3. 3BooksArtFilmTelevisionInternetVideo gamesMusicComics The media terrain is wide…
  4. 4. 4Different stakeholders = different interests
  5. 5. 5Time consuming, costly and complex
  6. 6. 6Myths
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. 8‘The history of audience research is littered withthe corpses of studies that have tried and failedto demonstrate, once and for all, a cause andeffect relationship between media message andreceiver behaviour’(Ross & Nightingale, 2003: p9) Myths
  9. 9. 9Sensitive to ideological objections
  10. 10. 10Effects Research
  11. 11. 11A few useful background texts
  12. 12. 12The direction of effects research
  13. 13. 13‘despite decades of work in which researchershave tried to demonstrate the cause-effectrelationship, it has never actually been possibleto isolate out the specific influence of mediafrom the other factors, including individualpathology, on human behaviour’(Ross and Nightengale, 2003: 72)The direction of effects research
  14. 14. 14Effects Uses and Encoding / Now? Gratifications Decoding Passive Active Socially Autonomous situated ? Interactive? The basic historical trajectory
  15. 15. 15Phase 1 – media as all-powerfulPhase 2 - media as all-powerful challengedPhase 3 – powerful media revisitedPhase 4 – negotiating media meaning4 phases (see McQuail, 1993, 2010)
  16. 16. 161900-1930sMedia as a top-down model of communicationFrom the power elites to ‘the masses’Phase 1 – media as all-powerful
  17. 17. 17Ivan PavlovPhysiologist1901‘Conditional reflex’Classical conditioningPhase 1 – media as all-powerful
  18. 18. 18Phase 1 – media as all-powerful
  19. 19. 19The tail wagging the dog?
  20. 20. 201930s-1950sStudies into voting patternsStudies into juvenile delinquencyAcknowledgment of multiple variablesImpact of positivismInfluence of behaviourism Phase 2 - media as all-powerful challenged
  21. 21. 21B.F. SkinnerBehaviouristSchedules of reinforcementOperant Conditioning Chamber(aka the Skinner Box)Cause and effect Phase 2 - media as all-powerful challenged
  22. 22. 22Phase 2 - media as all-powerful challenged
  23. 23. 23Phase 2 - media as all-powerful challenged
  24. 24. 241960slonger-term effectsmore subtle shifts in comprehensiondiversity in motivations of media useGeorge Gerbner’s cultivation analysis theoryPhase 3 – powerful media revisited
  25. 25. 25Albert Bandura1961-63Social learning theoryThe Bobo Doll ExperimentsExposure to aggressive modellingPhase 3 – powerful media revisited
  26. 26. 26Phase 3 – powerful media revisited
  27. 27. 27Criticisms?Ferguson (2010) suggest the Bobo Doll studiesare not studies of aggression at all•  Children were motivated to imitate the adult in the belief the videos were instructions.•  Children were motivated by the desire to please adults rather than genuine aggression.•  The external validity of the study noting that Bobo Dolls are designed to be hit.Phase 3 – powerful media revisited
  28. 28. 28 1970s onwards Focus on media message construction and how audiences deconstruct these An examination of what audiences did with media, rather than what the media did to audiences Qualitative research EthnographyPhase 4 – negotiating media meaning
  29. 29. 29A new dimension?More cause and effect?Brain science?Neuroscience + psychology? What happens next?
  30. 30. 30Models have changedCyclical arguments, claims and counter-claimsIdentification?Addition?Desensitisation?Morals? Summary
  31. 31. 31•  The research approach: –  Content analysis? –  Physical stimuli? –  Trend analysis? –  Closed question surveys? –  Participant observation? –  Focus groups? –  Ethnography? The biggest problem?
  32. 32. 32Read this
  33. 33. 33The tartanpodcast, 2009, Social Media OutpostsM. Mackenzie, 2008, Top Secret Codeword Data$PHPhoto, 2008, Time is MoneyFrozenCapybara, 2007, Wait, where am I again?Ramkarthikblogger, 2009, DirectionNina Leen (LIFE), 1964, B F Skinner training a ratHolah.co.uk (date unknown), bobo2Mal Cubed, 2005, MB1NR-3A. Diez Herrero, 2007, creative commons -Franz Patzig- Images

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