Unit 2 - Exposure, Attention, and Processing

General Purpose:  Apply the "information funnel" to understand how 
we expose, attend, and process media messages.

Unit Outline 

I.   Exposure, Attention, and Processing

     A.   The Funnel

     B.   Exposure (Defined and Examples) - putting yourself in a
            position to receive information

     C.   Attention (Defined and Examples) - Raising awareness to one 
	    message while lowering awareness to all other messages

     D.   Processing (Defined and Examples) - interpreting the message

II.  Exposure Patterns - Non TV (Biaggi, 1994)

     A.   Print:  Newspapers, Magazines, Books

          Newspapers - 

          1.   2/3s of households subscribe
          2.   3/4 of Revenue comes from advertising
          3.   $40 billion business generated from newspapers

          Magazines -

          1.   Over 10,000 different magazines
          2.   400 million subscribe
          3.   Made over $25 billion in subscriptions and advertising

          Books - 

          1.   40,000 different book titles produced
          2.   Textbooks are the single largest
          3.   $20 billion business in sales

     B.   Electronic:  Radio, Recording

          Radio -

          1.   Average 3 hours per day spent listening to the radio
          2.   country western, adult contemporary, and talk  are the 
		most popular formats
          3.   $10 billion in revenue (mostly from advertising)

          Recording -

          1.   On the average, consumers buy 4 CDs per year 
          2.   Costs $1 million to produce a new CD 
          3.   $12 billion in audio recording sales


     C.   Film:  Movies, VCR

          Movies (admission):

          1.   1 billion tickets sold in 1994
          2.   Produced 200 different titles in 1994
          3.   $5 billion in ticket sales


          VCR (rentals):

          1.   80% of all American households have VCRs
          2.   On the average, consumers rent one video per week.
          3.   4 billion rentals/yr
          4.   $12 billion in rental sales/yr

III. Television Exposure

     A.   Amount of general exposure

          1.   98% of all American households have one TV
          2.   Average TV is on 8 hours per day
          3.   18 year olds and older spend 4 hours per day

     B.   Age - see page 9

     C.   Gender 

          1.   Since more women are at home, they watch more TV than men. 
		Women average 4.5 hrs/day.
          2.   Men watch more TV on weekends. Men average 3.75 hours/day.

     D.   Socioeconomic Status (SES) - income, job, and education level

          1.   Higher SES, watch less TV--have more money to spend on other things
	  2. TV is used as a babysister for lower SES
	  3. Lower SES have less money to spend on other things (theatre, etc)



IV.  Media Totals

     A.   Dollar Expenditures - Americans spend $200 billion per year 
            or $700 per person on media.

     B.   Time Spent - We spend 3300 hours/year or 37% of our time with 
	the mass media.

     C.   Lifespan - In a lifetime, we have 16 free years of that 7
 	is spent with TV.

V.   Conclusions

     A.   A Very Big Business

     B.   A Large Part of Our Lives

     C.   Something This Big Could Have Some Impact

VI.  Attention and TV (Anderson, 1984)

     A.   Attention Determines Impact - If you're not paying
            attention, there is little impact.
		No attention, no process, no impact
		More attention, more impact


     B.   Observation of Families Method - Anderson observed how
            people behaved while watching TV.  
		Thrill camera in family room to keep a video diary
		Observed the face and eyes of receivers


     C.   Major Findings

          1.   Is anyone out there?  15% of the time the TV is on
                but no one is in the room.

          2.   Attention rates - Kids have a 70% attention rate
                and adults have a 60% attention rate.

     D.   Conclusions

          1.   Attention rates are low.
          2.   Erratic findings due to attention spans.
	  3.   Must affect processing

VII. Processing TV (Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 1990)

     A.   Time-Sampling Method with Beeper - Used random alerts from
 	beepers for one week, everytime he beeps you you write what
 	you're doing, thinking, and feeling to keep a journal of
 	activity.



     B.   Mental State While Watching TV

          1.   Passive and relaxed
          2.   Low alertness and concentration
          3.   TV is the plug in drug.



     C.   Feelings and TV Watching

          1.   Before Watching TV - If you're feeling angry,
               hostile, depressed, sad, or lonely, take a hit of TV.
		Bad affect preceeds watching tv
		If you feel bad, likely to turn on tv


          2.   During TV - no feelings, no affect, neutral affect


          3.   After Watching TV - If for a long period of time,
                you feel awful, angry, or depressed.  If for a
                short period of time, you feel better.

     D.   Light Viewers versus Heavy Viewers (average is 4 hours)

          1.   Light viewers feel better throughout their lives.
          2.   Light viewers feel better when watching TV.
	  3.   Heavy feel worse throughout the day



     E.   Conclusions - light viewers feel good. TV is Plug in drug. More is worse


VIII.Conclusions 

     A.   Large Amount of Exposure: lots of time and money

     B.   Erratic Attention: 60-70%

     C.   The Plug-in Drug? Tune in and zone out.

     D.   Effects Dilemma (Exposure, Attention, Processing) - lots
          of exposure but erratic attention 



Back to Notes Table of Contents



Notes prepared by Teresa Jones, Spring, 1996 and Charlene McErlane, Spring 2000. Page created April 21, 1996; updated on October 26, 2000. Edited by Mike Lowry. Copyright © Teresa Jones and Steve Booth-Butterfield and Charlene McErlane and Mary Toale, 1996-2001.