Mary Jackson Pitts, Ph.D.

 

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Theory of Mass Communication

Lecture two

Dr. Mary Jackson Pitts

State of the profession

n    Where have we been?

n    Where are we going?

 

 

Levels of Communication

n      Intrapersonal

n      Interpersonal

n      Group

n      Mass Communication

 

Media Functions

n    Lasswell

n    Surveillance  

n    Correlation of the components of society 

n    Transmission of the social heritage 

Media Functions

n     Rivers and Schramm:

n     Entertainment function

n     Selling of goods and services

Media Functions

n     Lazersfeld and Merton 

n     Status conferral: the bestowal of prestige upon an individual by the mass media.

n    Dysfunction 

n    Narcotizing Dysfunction

 

Why study theories?

n    Foundation for research

n    Criticisms of media effects research and theory

Changing mass media theories

Should theories change?

Walter Lippman

 Pictures in our heads.. 

1922  ďPerception is reality.Ē

Testing theory-- Powerful Effects

n    Scientific methodologies

n    Concern over the influence of the media

 

Lowery and Defleur Media effects Theory--  

n    Theory of Uniform Influence

Lowery and Defleur  Theory of Selective or Limited Influence

n    based on Individual Differences

n    based on Social Categories

n    based on Social Relationships

Theory of indirect influenceó

n    Powerful but limited

n     Modeling

n     Meaning

 

 

Theory of Uniform Influence

n    Powerful Effects Theory

n    Magic Bullet Theory 

n    Direct Influence

n    Hypodermic Needle 

Theory of Uniform influence

n      The media present messages to the members of the mass society who perceive them more or less uniform.

n    Such messages are stimuli that influence the individuals emotions and sentiments.

 

 

Theory of Uniform influence

n      The stimuli lead individuals to respond in a somewhat uniform manner, creating changes in thought and action that are like those changes in other persons.

n     Because people are not held back by strong social controls from others, such as shared customs and traditions.  The effects of mass media are powerful, uniform, and direct.

   Theory of Selective or Limited Influence

n     Based on Individual difference (1920s)

n    Media present info, but messages are interpreted selectively.

n    The basis of this selectivity lies in variations in habits of perception among members of the society.

n    The selectivity occurs because of a personís unique personal organization of beliefs, attitudes, values, needs, and modes of personal gratification that has been acquired through learning.


Theory of Selective or Limited Influence

n     Based individual difference

n    Because perception is selective, interpretation, retention, and response to media messages are also selective and variable.

n    The media effect is limited by individual psychological differences.



 Individual Differences

n       Hovland, et al

n        Why We Fight 

 

 

   Theory of Selective or Limited Influence

n    based on social categories

n    Media messages are received and interpreted selectively.

n    Selectivity is influenced by the location of the individual in the differentiated social structure.

Theory of Selective or Limited Influence

n      based on social categories

n     The social structure is composed of numerous categories of people, defined by such factors as sex, age, income, education and occupation.

 

n     Patterns of media attention and response are shaped by the factors that define these categories, making response to mass communication somewhat similar in each.


n     The effects of the media are neither uniform, powerful, nor direct, but are selective and limited by social category influences.

 

 Social Categories

 

n    Lazersfeld , Berelson and Gaudet   (Erie County, Ohio

n    Hovland,  et al.  

 

 

   Theory of Selective or Limited Influence

n    based on Social Relationships

n    Media present info, but messages are interpreted selectively

n    The effects of media are limited and shaped by the personís social interactions with others.

Theory of Selective or limited influence

n    Based on social relationships

n    brought to bear when an individualís decisions regarding behavior toward mass communication are modified by family, friends, acquaintances, or others.

n    Patterns of media attention and response uniquely reflects the networks of meaningful social ties of each individual in society.

Theory of Selective or limited influence

n    Based on social relationships

n     Thus, the effects of the media are neither uniform, powerful, nor direct:  they are greatly limited and shaped by the personís social interactions with others

 

 Social relationships

 

n       Katz and Lazersfeld.

n       Decatur study

n    Food, fashion, movies and public affairs

n       Opinion Leaders 

 

Theory of indirect influences

n     Modeling

n         The individual perceives a form of behavior described or portrayed by a character in media content.

n    The individual judges this behavior to be attractive and potentially useful for coping with some personal situation that has arisen or might arise.

Theory of indirect influences

n   Modeling

n       The portrayed behavior is reproduced by the individual in a relevant personal situation.
         

n    The reproduced behavior proves useful or effective in coping with the situation, thereby rewarding the individual


Theory of indirect influence

n   Modeling

n   With further use, the modeled behavior becomes the personĀfs habitual way of handling that type of situation, unless it is no longer effective and rewarding.



Theory of indirect influences

n     Modeling

n        Bandura

n        Social Learning Theory

n        Bobo 

Theory of indirect influence

n     Meaning

n    The individual perceives a form of  behavior described or portrayed by a character in media content.


n    That situation is labeled by a standardized symbol or symbols from the shared language.

Theory of indirect influence

n     Meaning

n    The media content effectively links the label and the portrayed meaning for the individual.

n    By such presentation, the media can establish new meanings, extend older ones to include new elements, substitute alternative meanings for older ones, or stabilize the language conventions concerning the shared meanings for symbols in the language community.

Theory of indirect influence

n    Meaning        

n    Since language (standardized labels and their shared meanings) is a critical factor shaping perception, interpretation, and decisions concerning action, the media can have a powerful, but limited long term effect.
         
 

 

 Theory of indirect influence

 

n     Meaning

n        Gerbner

n        Cultivation Theory

 More recent theoretical

n    Uses and gratification

n    Spiral of silence

n    Ball Rokeach and DeFleur dependency model

n    Agenda Setting

Future by Krippendorff

n    Humans are cognitive autonomous beings

n    Reflective practitioners with communication with others

n    Morally responsible interveners in the creation of social reality.