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Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. --Zora Neale Hurston, writer.

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Presentation on theme: "Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. --Zora Neale Hurston, writer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. --Zora Neale Hurston, writer

2 Media Effects & Cultural Approaches to Research

3 Media Research Studying the impact of messages transmitted by various mass media

4 Copycat Incidents NBC, The Doomsday Flight

5 Copycat Incidents NBC, The Doomsday Flight Judas Priest court caseJudas Priest court case

6 Copycat Incidents NBC, The Doomsday Flight Judas Priest court case Disney movie The Program

7 Copycat Incidents NBC, The Doomsday Flight Judas Priest court case Disney movie The Program Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers

8 Copycat Incidents NBC, The Doomsday Flight Judas Priest court case Disney movie The Program Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers Columbine High School Shootings

9 Copycat Incidents NBC, The Doomsday Flight Judas Priest court case Disney movie The Program Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers Columbine High School Shootings MTV’s Jackass

10 Key Theories in Media Research Hypodermic Needle Model –Leni Riefenstahl films for Hitler: Triumph of the Will Olympiad –Orson Welles Oct. 30, 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds

11 Key Phases in Media Research Minimal Effects Model - –Selective exposure –Selective retention

12 For some children, under some conditions, some television is harmful. For other children under the same conditions, or for the same children under other conditions, it may be beneficial. For most children, under most conditions, most television is probably neither particularly harmful nor particularly beneficial.

13 Key Phases in Media Research Uses and Gratifications Model –Why do we use the media?

14 Three Main Scientific Approaches 1. Experimental Research –Experimental Group –Control Group –Random Assignment

15 Payne Research studies: studies, conducted over a 3-yr. period In one study, the researchers divided the children into various control groups Some children drank 2 cups of coffee at 8:30 Some children were kept up until midnight and then awakened really early in the morning Another group was made to watch movies before bedtime The study concluded that watching movies caused just as much sleep disturbance as did drinking two cups of coffee at 8:30 p.m.

16 Bobo doll experiment SOCKO!!!!

17 Three Main Scientific Approaches 2. Survey ResearchSurvey Research –Does not control variables –Shows correlations, not causality –But, generalizable to larger population –Problems of validity of questions

18 Three Main Scientific Approaches 3. Content AnalysisContent Analysis –Systematically code and measure media content

19 What counts as “violence” on television? Is driving a sport-utility vehicle through a stream violent? Is shooting a man before he sets off a bomb that’s about to kill 100 people violent (or is that a good deed)? Is a parent screaming at a child violent? Is it violence if the child screams back? Is an accidental shooting by a police officer violent? Is an image of a gun violent? Is an act of nature violent?

20 What counts as “violence” on television? Is the context of violence important? If there’s remorse after a violent act, or “real” consequences to violence in a certain program, does that mitigate the conception of violence? Is it possible to count acts of violence? Can the context of violent acts on television be objectively understood, or is context more a matter of personal interpretation? If there can be many definitions of violence, how can we decide how much violence is on our screens?

21 Theories of Media Effects The Cultivation Effect: Heavy TV viewing leads individuals to perceive reality in ways that are more consistent with TV’s version of reality. –“mean world syndrome” –Italian TV: BerlusconiItalian TV

22 Theories of Media Effects The Cultivation Effect: Heavy TV viewing leads individuals to perceive reality in ways that are more consistent with TV’s version of reality. –“mean world syndrome” –Italian TV: BerlusconiItalian TVBerlusconi

23 Theories of Media Effects Agenda-Setting: The more the news media covers a subject, the more importance audiences attach to that subject. e.g., Earth Day, Jaws, child abduction

24 Theories of Media Effects Spiral of Silence: People are generally scared to voice their opinions if they differ greatly from the opinions presented in the media as “majority” opinionsSpiral of Silence

25 Cultural Approaches to Media Research Cultural Studies –Textual Analysis: close reading of textsTextual Analysis

26 Cultural Approaches to Media Research Cultural Studies –Textual Analysis: close reading of textsTextual Analysis –Audience Studies: focuses on people who use the text

27 Cultural Approaches to Media Research Cultural Studies –Textual Analysis: close reading of textsTextual Analysis –Audience Studies: focuses on people who use the text –How do teenage boys watch WWF wrestling and why? –How do midwestern women read romance novels and why

28 Cultural Approaches to Media Research Cultural Studies –Textual Analysis: close reading of textsTextual Analysis –Audience Studies: focuses on people who use the text –Political Economy: focuses on economic and political forces that control media content –Chris MartinChris Martin –Bettina FabosBettina Fabos

29 Cultural Approaches to Media Research Cultural Studies the cultural approach, unlike media effects research, which is grounded in the social sciences, “does not seek to explain human behavior, but to understand it….It does not attempt to predict human behavior, but to diagnose human meanings.” –James Carey:


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