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Social Effects of Mass Communication

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Presentation on theme: "Social Effects of Mass Communication"— Presentation transcript:

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

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

Focus on scientific studies Two methods common Survey Panel study Experiment Field experiment

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

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 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 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 Children and Television Advertising
Given extent of children’s 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 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

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

The impact of televised violence is a complex issue, and the definitive answer has not yet been found

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

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

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 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 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

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 Experiments Lab experiments have shown that film and TV content can affect young children’s self control, cooperation, sharing, and helping

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 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

Researchers have also studied other potential effects of media exposure

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

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 don’t yet support conclusions

Advances in media technology usually have an upside and a downside

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

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 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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