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Theories of mass media effects What is a theory?.

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1 Theories of mass media effects What is a theory?

2 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)

3 Now compare how much time sleeping or talking to others… Does media have an influence on you?

4 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 observation, experimentation and reasoning Based on observation, experimentation and reasoning Can be useful to explain behavior

5 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)

6 Socialization Theory (indirect influence) how We learn how to act in society Agents of socialization – Family – Peers – Education – Religion – Mass Media

7 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)

8 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


10 Cultivation theory (Long-term effects) George Gerbner Famous in US academic institutions for counting the incidences of violence since 1970s Mean World Syndrome 1Y-w 1Y-w

11 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.

12 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

13 Marshall McLuhan 1960s 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

14 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 MESSAGEThe MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

15 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

16 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

17 What about personally…How TV (or all mass media) Effect Your Brain Chemistry zaM zaM But what is the psychological relationship?


19 Causal vs. Correlational Relationships If A always causes B = causal If A sometimes causes B = correlational Its not causal because there may be another variable contributing to the cause Example: Turning on the seatbelt light in airplane = turbulence?

20 Video Game Violence What should be done about violent video games? n&tag=contentBody;storyMediaBox n&tag=contentBody;storyMediaBox

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