Theories of mass media effects What is a theory?
Research study In groups of 4/5, calculate your groups’ media consumption for the past week. TV Digital music Movies Outdoor advertising Mobile/Cell phone Internet Print (books) Print (newspapers)
Now compare how much time sleeping or talking to others… Does media have an influence on you?
Media Theories • Explain media phenomenon… • Helps us understand the media phenomenon • Offers a simple explanation of how media function on our brains • Demonstrates a depth of study of media and its effects • Based on observation, experimentation and reasoning • Can be useful to explain behavior
Basic Media Theories • Magic Bullet: direct, universal and lasting influence (1920s) • Indirect Influence: May affect child development; may affect voting behavior (1940s study); viewer often controls the effect. • Long-term Effects: Subtle, gradual influence (Cultural Imperialism)
Socialization Theory (indirect influence) • We learn how to act in society • Agents of socialization • Family • Peers • Education • Religion • Mass Media
Socialization Theory • … the media are continually offering pictures of life and models of behaviour in advance of actual experience. Dennis McQuail (2005 Theory of Mass Media)
Specific Socialization Theories • Modeling theory • Children (and adults) acquire attitudes, emotional responses, and new styles of conduct from media… • Social learning theory • Albert Bandura (1977) • Bobo doll experiments • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHHdovKHDNU
Cultivation theory(Long-term effects) George Gerbner • Famous in US academic institutions for counting the incidences of violence since 1970s • “Mean World Syndrome” • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw9DsOA1Y-w
Spiral of Silence Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann People KNOW what constitutes popular opinion. A person may be uncomfortable DISAGREEING with what she/he perceives as the majority opinion. As a result… minority views become devalued even by those who originally believed the minority view. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32bWr30kxlM
Hegemony • Term used to explain how the elite social class exerts its authority over other classes maintaining the status quo • The power the ruler derives from the ruled • Explains social, economic and political power • Contributes to “cultural imperialism” • Domination of one cultural over another without firing a shot… but through dominant cultural products or superior production/technology
Marshall McLuhan 1960’s media theorist (Canadian) • First to recognize the electronic age • “… it will radically alter the way people think…” • He believed that the way we live is largely a function of the way we process information • Believed three invention were most crucial to human behavior • Phonetic alphabet • Printing press • Telegraph
Marshall McLuhan • These three inventions caused CULTURAL CHANGE… changed the way people thought about themselves and the world • Change in modes of communication dramatically alters human life • Changes in modes of communication or media are the primary cause of cultural change • “The MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE”
Marshall McLuhan “the dominant medium of any age dominate the people…” Industrial civilization is restrictive, unbalanced and inhumane… McLuhan hoped to awaken a sleeping generation to a nightmare of standardized tastes and opinions
Results of Examination of Media Effects Theories • Regulations • Content Quotas • Strategies to mitigate “cultural imperialism” • Media Literacy Education • TV and Movie Ratings • Labels on CDs/DVDs • Advertising Strategies • Public Relations Strategies
What about personally…How TV (or all mass media) Effect Your Brain Chemistry • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw_7CJ5ozaM • http://www.kcci.com/r/22709760/detail.html • But what is the psychological relationship?
Causal vs. Correlational Relationships If A always causes B = causal If A sometimes causes B = correlational It’s not causal because there may be another variable contributing to the cause Example: Turning on the seatbelt light in airplane = turbulence?
Video Game Violence • What should be done about violent video games? • http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=678389n&tag=contentBody;storyMediaBox