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Media effects

Media effects

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Media effects

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  1. Media effects

  2. Laswell’s Model of Mass Communication • Who • Says What • In Which Channel • To Whom • With What Effect

  3. Effects Theories • Walter Lippmann: Public Opinion (1922) • We see the world as "pictures in our heads" • Media shape perception of things we have not experienced personally

  4. Powerful Effects Theory • Media have immediate, direct influence • Assumes people are passive and absorb media content uncritically & unconditionally • “Hypodermic Needle” model • “Magic Bullet” model

  5. Minimalist Effects • Paul Lazarsfeld Erie County study (1940) • Mass media had hardly any direct effect • Personal contact more important than media contact • Media effects mostly indirect

  6. Two-step Flow model • Media affect individuals through opinion leaders • Opinion leaders are those who influence others • Clergy, teachers, neighborhood leaders, etc.

  7. Status Conferral • Media coverage can create prominence for issues & people Agenda Setting • Maxwell McCombs & Don Shaw • Media tell people what to think about – but not what to think

  8. Media can: • Create awareness • Establish priorities • Perpetuate issues • Intramedia effect as well

  9. Narcoticizing dysfunction • Media do not energize people into taking action • Media lull people into passivity by overwhelming them with information • People deceive selves into believing they’re involved when they’re actually only informed

  10. Cumulative Effects Theory • Media influence is gradual over time • Effect is often powerful Spiral of Silence (Noelle-Neumann) • Vocal majority intimidates others into silence

  11. Focus on the audience • 1940s challenge to audience passivity

  12. Uses & Gratifications • People choose media that meet their needs & interests Needs such as: • Surveillance • Diversion • Socialization

  13. Surveillance • Media provide info about what’s going on • Both news & entertainment

  14. Diversion Media as entertainment • Stimulate • Relax • Release

  15. Socialization • Mass media can help initiate people into society • And help them fit in • Demonstrate dominant behaviors and norms • “Observational learning”

  16. Role modeling • Imitative behavior • Impact can be negative or positive ("prosocial”)

  17. Socialization via eavesdropping • Children learn about adult topics by seeing them depicted in media

  18. Parasocial interaction • False sense of participating in dialogue • Communication is actually one-way

  19. Consistency theory • Individuals exercise control over media’s effects on them • People choose media & messages consistent with their existing views & values Selective: • Exposure • Perception • Retention & Recall

  20. Selective Exposure • People choose some media messages over others • People ignore messages that contradict their beliefs

  21. Selective Perception • People tend to hear what they want or expect to hear

  22. Selective retention & recall • People retain & recollect some media messages and not others

  23. Bottom line: • Individuals have a large degree of control over how the mass media affect them

  24. War of the Worlds Revisited Why did the Orson Welles broadcast have such a powerful effect on its audience? EarthStation1.com's Radio Sounds Showcase: The 1938 "War of the Worlds" Radio Broadcast Wavs

  25. “Reverence” for radio as a reliable medium • Predisposition to expect bad news • Selective perception • Gullibility fueled by awe of science • WWI memories – gas warfare • Failure of common sense

  26. Determining Causality • Correlation means that 2 or more variables coexist • Causality means that one variable causes another • Beware of bad science (studies purporting causality)