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1 Social Effects of Mass Communication Chapter 19 © 2009, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Social Effects of Mass Communication Chapter 19 © 2009, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Social Effects of Mass Communication Chapter 19 © 2009, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 2 CHAPTER OUTLINE Investigating Mass Communication Effects Effects on Knowledge and Attitudes Media Effects on Behavior: A Short History The Impact of Televised Violence Encouraging Prosocial Behavior Other Behavior Effects Research about The Social Effects of the Internet Communication in the Future: Social Impact

3 3 INVESTIGATING MASS COMMUNICATION EFFECTS Focus on scientific studies Two methods common –Survey Panel study –Experiment Field experiment

4 4 EFFECTS ON KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES The dividing line between knowledge and attitudes is fuzzy. We will consider both We will examine several topics that have generated the most research interest

5 5 Media and Socialization Socialization is how individuals come to adopt behaviors and values of the group –Agencies of socialization include media

6 6 The Media as a Primary Source of Information Learning is important part of the socialization process –Media, especially TV, are primary information source Especially politics and public opinion –Entertainment media also provide information About diverse topics such as occupations, crime, relationships, minorities, morals, etc

7 7 Shaping Attitudes, Perceptions, and Beliefs Media can play important role in transmitting attitudes, perceptions, beliefs –Especially in young people who are heavy viewers of TV, when stereotypes consistently recur, and when they have limited exposure to alternative beliefs or other socializing agents Creating stereotypes Effects of heavy viewing Absence of alternative information

8 8 Cultivation Analysis Heavy TV viewing cultivates perceptions of reality consistent with the view of the world presented on TV. –Methodology –Research findings Mainstreaming Resonance –Criticisms of cultivation analysis Determining cause and effect Factors other than TV may affect people Wording of questions on surveys

9 9 Children and Television Advertising Given extent of childrens exposure to advertising, most people accept that children deserve special consideration from advertisers, due to: –Vulnerability of the audience –Effects of special selling techniques –Consumer socialization

10 10 Agenda Setting When the media emphasize certain topics, we begin to think these topics are important Most agenda-setting studies examine information-based media, especially political campaigns and issues Agenda-setting research has led to –Framing research –Agenda-building research

11 11 MEDIA EFFECTS ON BEHAVIOR: A SHORT HISTORY 1940s research was prompted by concern about political effects of mass media, especially radio 1950s-1960s: Growth of TV shifted concern to affects on young people 1970s-1980s-1990s: Concern about affects of violent content –2007: FCC urged Congress to allow the agency to regulate violent content

12 12 THE IMPACT OF TELEVISED VIOLENCE The impact of televised violence is a complex issue, and the definitive answer has not yet been found

13 13 Survey Results Decades of surveys reveal a significant correlation between viewing violent TV and aggressive behavior in real life –Correlation does not prove causality Panel studies have provided stronger evidence that there is a mutual causal connection between watching TV violence and performing aggressive acts –Connection is small and influenced by individual and cultural factors

14 14 Experimental Results: The Catharsis Versus Stimulation Debate Two rival theories on impact of media violence –Catharsis –Stimulation Experiments support stimulation, not catharsis

15 15 Banduras Experiment Albert Bandura, 1960s –Experiments with Bobo doll –Found that film and TV might teach aggressive behavior to children

16 16 Complicating Factors Many factors can influence the outcomes of experiments into the effects of violent content, including: –Experimental setting –Participate age, gender, social class, family history, economic background, etc –Length and type of content viewed –Reactions of others to the same content

17 17 Field Experiments Field experiments are more naturalistic –People react more naturally –Harder to control for other outside influences Field experiment results vary but tend to support the notion that viewing TV violence fosters aggressive behavior

18 18 What Can We Conclude A consistent thread appears –Tentative acceptance that watching violence on television increases aggression in at least some viewers –Effects are weak or small, but are not necessarily trivial

19 19 ENCOURAGING PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR Most media research has studied potential negative effects of media Research on prosocial behavior studies potential positive effects, including –Cooperation, sharing, self control, helping

20 20 Experiments Lab experiments have shown that film and TV content can affect young childrens self control, cooperation, sharing, and helping

21 21 Surveys Survey data measure what TV programs children watch, and how often they perform prosocial acts A wide variety of prosocial behaviors have been examined

22 22 Research Results Research in this area is hard to interpret –Prosocial behavior covers many areas Experiments indicate moderate short-term impact of exposure to prosocial behavior Surveys reveal moderate impact of voluntary exposure to prosocial programs –Positive impact about as strong as that of the negative impact from exposure to violence –Altruism is most strongly-affected prosocial behavior

23 23 OTHER BEHAVIOR EFFECTS Researchers have also studied other potential effects of media exposure

24 24 Political Behavior Negative advertising Effects of mass media on voter choice –Conversion –Reinforcement –Crystallization Effects of televised debates Television and the political behavior of politicians

25 25 RESEARCH ABOUT THE SOCIAL EFFECTS OF THE INTERNET Two trends in Internet studies –Impact of Internet use on other media Greatest effect on TV usage Internet important as source of news –Relationship between Internet use and social involvement Contradictory results dont yet support conclusions

26 26 COMMUNICATION IN THE FUTURE: SOCIAL IMPACT Advances in media technology usually have an upside and a downside

27 27 Privacy The widespread exchange of information has had both positive and negative consequences Personal information is uncomfortably easy to find

28 28 Fragmentation and Isolation Mass media serve needs of ever more specialized audiences –Directing people to ever more selective content exposure –Could result in smaller and smaller interest groups The cocoon effect

29 29 Escape People could always immerse themselves in world of mass media, and tune out of the real world New technologies have caused those fears to resurface –HDTV, the Internet, virtual reality, role-playing games

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