General Purpose: To define, compare, and contrast the effects orientation with other approaches to mass communication. Unit Outline I. Effects Perspective A. Definition of Effects - how media messages influence the way people think, feel, and behave. B. The Message Is The Message - no hidden message. C. Comparison to Other Disciplines - Journalism is concerned with legal issues, production orientation, etc. Sociologists are concerned with cultural issues, etc. D. Social Scientific Orientation 1. Using theories 2. Quantitative orientation - look at numbers 3. Research orientation - scientific publications 4. We want to know how people react II. Three Historical Effects Perspectives A. Direct Effects: Magic Bullet Theory Earliest theory (ran through approximately WWII - 1940's). Example - see it in the movie, bang you are influenced, can't do anything to fight it off. Believed that media is a dangerous and powerful drug. B. Indirect Effects: The Paper Tiger (looks big and bad but shreds easily) After WWII through approximately Vietnam (1960's through early 1970's). Media influence is indirect. Media messages observe what we do and is shown back to us. Example - Leave It To Beaver tells us how to behave as Americans C. Powerful Effects, Limited Conditions During Vietnam War, studies were done on how TV violence effects kids. Began to realize that people are influenced but in context (some minor and some major). This is a combination of the direct and indirect. D. The Effects Continuum Powerful, Direct Weak, Indirect <----------------------------------------------------> Powerful, but Limited III. Process of Effects A. How Does a Message Cause Anything? Messages aren't drugs Receivers must react. B. People Transform Messages into Meaning - we make meaning out of the messages. C. Meaning then Stimulates Change (compare males and females on violence) D. Message----------> Process-----------> Effect E. Process Occurs within Person IV. What's a Theory? A set of statements which defines concepts and their relationships. A. Media Theories - theories have to include the technological device and how they influence change. Tells us how this stuff works together B. Modeling - monkey see, monkey do 1. A Great Story - Third graders see instant replay on TV then imitate on playground. Other examples: Beavis and Butthead, The Program 2. Observation, Imitation, and Consequence a. Observe - see it b. Imitate - try it c. Consequence - it works or it doesn't 3. Inhibition (stop) and Disinhibition (go) - acquire the behavior and the rules of inhibition and disinhibition disinhibited- allowed to do something inhibited- when teacher walked in you stopped 4. Conclusions a. Great media application - does not require a real model b. Enormous research support - we are changed through modeling c. Strong behavioral change C. Cultivation Theory (Gerbner et al., 1986) - media plants seeds in our minds, allow to grow, and then develop ideas 1. Description - long-term process of developing perception about reality based on consistent and uncontradicted media messages. 2. Effect of "counter-evidence" - will destroy the cultivation effect. As soon as there's counter evidence perception is shattered 3. The Cultivation Differential - the more media you watch the more cultivation you get. 4. Conclusions a. Operates over long term process. b. Contradictions in your own experience will effect the cultivation theory. c. Cultivation theory works on changing the thinking process. V. Researching Media Effects A. Experiments - means of collecting data 1. Characteristics a. random - no bias on how you select group b. control - independent variable, see what happens c. comparison - who's different compared to other group(s) 2. Advantages a. can draw a causal statement b. Control, so know what the people saw Disadvantages a. not real, people act strange in the lab B. Surveys 1. Characteristics a. self report b. large groups c. complex analysis 2. Advantages a. cheap in terms of costs b. very fast Disadvantages a. will people tell you the truth C. Critical Issues 1. Realism of Research: Ecological Validity - Can people believe it? Did people lie to you? artificial lab setting creates a weird social situation. 2. Ethics and the Truth - Can do some experiments, like young kids and pornography. VI. Quantifying Media Effects A. The Box Effect - see page 22 B. Example of Effect Sizes - see page 198-200 1. Small Effects - 10% (45:55) 2. Moderate Effects - 30% (35:65) 3. Large Effects - 50% (25:75) VII. Media Effects Model Source (encodes) (decodes) ----> Message ----> Channel ----> Receiver thinking, feeling, behaving A. Thinking - change thinking with new facts, beliefs, attitudes, etc. B. Feeling 1. immediate, emotions right now - short emotional states 2. long term mood states - depression C. Behaving 1. Overt - can see it (observable), buy, vote, hit 2. Covert - can't see it:physiological, heart rate, blood pressure; behavior change VIII.Total Effects Model - see page 24 IX. Conclusions About Media Effects A. Determine Amount and Direction of Effect - is anything going on? B. Determine an Explanation for Effect - why did it happen (due to modeling or cultivation) C. Importance of the Effects Depends 1. Statistical Amount - small, moderate, or large 2. Theoretical Significance - does it help us understand the world better. does our research play a role in the theory 3. Practical Significance - how practical is it? Example - does it affect voting, etc.
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