Presentation on theme: "Propaganda and Persuasion / Media Effects (chapter 4)"— Presentation transcript:
1Propaganda and Persuasion / Media Effects (chapter 4)
2An Evaluation / Analysis: What works and what doesn’t
3The beginning of psychological and sociological studies 1918: Thomas and ZnanieckiThe foundation of modern empirical sociologySocial psychology as a study of attitudes.
4The study of attitudes Gordon Allport (1935) Attitudes, in A Handbook of Social PsychologyThe Likert Scale: measurement of attitudes(5-point scale: from “strongly approve” to “strongly disapprove”)Also: The semantic differential scaleThe ‘shades’ of meaning of a concept, from ‘good’ to ‘bad,’ ‘black’ to ‘white,’ ‘love’ to ‘non-love’ (usually 7-point differential with 4 = neutral)
5Attitude-Behavior Relations Richard Lapiere study of 1934:Low connection between reported attitudes and actual behavior
6Attitude-Behavior Relations Icek Ajzen & Martin Fishbein Psychological Bulletin, 84,5. 1977 A review of available empirical research supports the contention that strong attitude-behavior relations are obtained only under high correspondence between at least the target and action elements of the attitudinal and behavioral entities.
7Studies in Public Opinion Walter Lippmann’s Public Opinion (1922)Free file at the Gutenberg Project HERE
8Hypodermic Effect (1900-1930s) The press is a powerful force in shaping public opinion.Messages were conceived as being ‘injected’ into the mind where they changed feelings and attitudes.
9Limited Effects or the Social Influence Model (1940s to 1960s) The period of strong advances in the psychological studies. In this period the foundations of the media effect were established.Surprisingly, the general conclusion was that the media don’t have as strong effect as it was thought before.
10Lazarsfeld et al (1948) Erie County Study in 1940. Hypotheses: The Media:1. could arouse public interest in the campaign and encourage voters to seek out more information about the candidates and issues.2. could reinforce existing political beliefs (make them stronger and more resistant to change)3. would convert attitudes and change voters’ support from one to another candidate.
11Lazarsfel et al. (1948) Erie County Study in 1940. Findings1. YES. People who read or listened to a substantial amount of campaign media coverage were more likely to become more interested in the election.2. YES, BUT... Their interest and activation were selective in that they tended to seek out stories that were consistent with prior political attitudes.3. NO. Those relative few who did change their minds did so not because of attending to the media directly but by filtering of information to them from people in the community (so-called “opinion leaders”)
12Erie County Study in 1940. Important Conclusions The media don’t have a direct impact, but are filtered by the community, by the opinion leaders“Two-step flow of communication.”“Multi-step flow” This revision included the flow of information from the media to multiple opinion leaders and between them. Further, it included also the concept of “gatekeepers.” The leaders were not just simple conveyor belts but also decided which information will pass through.
13The Yale StudiesThe effects of source credibility on information processing (diminishing effectiveness of credibility, the “sleeper effect”)The ordering of arguments (primacy-recency)Explicit versus implicit conclusionsThe fear appeal: Effective appeal must include fear but also an option for eliminating fear
14Other theories Consistency theories / Cognitive dissonance Theory of Exposure Learning (comfort in familiarity: the more exposure, the more persuasion and liking)
15Other approachesDiffusion of InnovationAgenda Setting Hypothesis
16Diffusion of Innovation a process of filtering information through the media, interpersonal communication, and cultureFive steps:Knowledge: learning about an innovation,Persuasion: forming an attitude toward the innovation,Decision: a decision to adopt or reject,Implementation: implementation of the new idea,Confirmation: confirmation of this decision.
19Diffusion of Innovation Factors influencing the process:1. Personality, social characteristics, and individual needs.2. Social / cultural system3. Characteristics of the innovation
20Agenda Setting Hypothesis Although the media may not be successful in telling us what to think, they are successful in telling us what to think about. (Cohen 1963)By seeing certain subjects more often we are becoming convinced that they are important.Further, we evaluate other news in terms of what is important
21Types of Agenda-Setting Media agenda-settingInstitutional agenda-settingThe public agendaIt is important to remember that there are some objective constraints on agenda-setting (objective conditions).
22GatekeepingControl over the selection of content discussed in the media;
23PrimingThe ability of the media to affect which issues or traits individuals use to evaluate political figures.Individuals base their vote choice more on issues covered by the media than on issues not covered by the mediaThe media's content will provide a lot of time and space to certain issues, making these issues more accessible and vivid in the public's mind
24FramingFraming effects result from the media’s description of an event or issue that emphasizes potentially relevant considerations to help individuals make sense of the issue (e.g., suggesting causes)Individuals view policy issues consistent with how they are portrayed by the media
25FramingA frame defines the packaging of an element of rhetoric in such a way as to encourage certain interpretations and to discourage others.E.g., Counterterrorism as law enforcement" vs. "Counterterrorism as war.
26Types of frames (examples) Causes of eventsStructural (socio-political structure)Attitudinal (beliefs/attitudes of individuals)ConcernsEthical (human rights, personal responsibility)Material (economic resources, environment)
27ImportantIn evaluating media-effects theories it is important to remember that:Most individuals have strong beliefs and views formed before a particular media influenceIndividuals are also influenced by things other than the media (e.g., friends)
29Models of Mass Media Reporters of Objective Fact Neutral Adversary Public AdvocateProfit-SeekerPropagandist
30Reporters of Objective Fact An accurate reflection of “reality”Problems:The media are unable to report all facts—someone must select the factsIs it possible to report the facts alone?
31Neutral adversaryReporters are gathering, evaluating and challenging available information, but are neutral(e.g., they challenge government officials and others in power).Problem:Reporters’ interests and values could influence newsgathering process
32Public AdvocateReporters are agents of the public interest. They determine what the public interest is, they promote it, and engage citizens in the process.Problem:But what is public interest?
33Profit seeker What becomes news is a byproduct of profit seeking Problem:newsgathering and news reporting are the key to a profitable business
34PropagandistThe chief purpose of the media is to support and advance the interests of those in positions of power.
35Motives of reporters/editors Say,Reporters of Objective Fact (50%)Neutral Adversary (20%)Public Advocate (20%)Profit-Seeker (5%)Propagandist (5%)
36Motives of media owners Say,Reporters of Objective Fact (40%)Neutral Adversary (5%)Public Advocate (5%)Profit-Seeker (40%)Propagandist (10%)
37Media bias (news content) TimelinessHuman interest and dramaConcrete eventsFocus on known actors (e.g., presidents)Crime, scandals, etc.Government conflictVictims (e.g., of crime, natural disaster)
38Media bias (ideological) Liberal or Conservative?
39The conservative critique: media have liberal bias The decisive power over the news lies with journalists; owners and advertisers are irrelevant or relatively powerless.Journalists are political liberals.Journalists use their position to advance liberal politics.
40The liberal critique: media have conservative bias The decisive power over the news lies with owners and advertisers.Editors and reporters are independent only within the general boundaries of owners’ preferences.The owners are political conservatives.The owners use their position to advance conservative politics
41What is the point of reference? Is there a bias in the media (conservative or liberal)?How do you know that?In comparison with what?