Com 101, Weeks 10-11 Notes
Research = an attempt to discover something
Social Science = an examination of how people interact with objects in their environment Giovanni Benedetti decided to test Aristotle's guesses at various things. He performed the ball drop experiment
Ways of knowing:
∙ Tied to prior held beliefs
∙ Beliefs are hard to change
∙ The 4th way of knowing
∙ Requires systematic analysis
∙ Always open to new information
o Nothing is ever "proven" with science
∙ Tests questions of fact
Differences between hard and social sciences:
∙ Hard sciences deal with the inanimate or nonhumans, like elements and forces and animals ∙ Social science deals with people
∙ Observation If you want to learn more check out How much oxygen is required to completely react to 0.50g of so2?
We also discuss several other topics like Amines is derived from what?
o Reduce variables as much as possible
o Administers questionnaires to research
o Be careful with wording the questions
o Be careful of question order We also discuss several other topics like What is bertrand model?
∙ Focus Groups
o Small panel of people who discuss what the researcher interested in
o Problems with maintaining focus
If you want to learn more check out What is the distance of hydrogen bonds?
o Danger of one person dominating discussion
∙ Content Analysis:
o Counting things to get statistics
o Sample size must be large enough
o Time consuming
o Must specifically define what you're looking for
What are media effects?
∙ Media effects approach
o Focus on audiences (vs. media system)
∙ Try to reduce variables
∙ Types of Outcomes in Effects Research: We also discuss several other topics like What is the difference between meiosis and mitosis?
o Behavioral - buying a product
o Physiological - jump scene in a scary movie
∙ Eras of Media effects:
o Magic bullet/ uniform effects
∙ Also known as Direct Effects
∙ Pre- 1945
∙ Focus on war propaganda
o Limited ( or indirect effects) - two step flow
o Powerful effects in limited areas
∙ Early 1970s to present
∙ Move to focus on cognitions and perceptions
- How do we know what is going on? Get information from news.
- Relevance: proximity
- Importance: prominence
- Interest: conflict oddity
- Conflict needs to be odd + out of the norm.
- Agenda Setting:
o Media tells us what to think about – which leads us to perceptions of what matters o Media doesn’t tell us WHAT to think If you want to learn more check out In erikson's theory, the gap between the secure roles of childhood and the full independence of adulthood is known as?
- People care more about what gets news coverage even if something else is more of a threat - Framing:
o Media tell you not only WHAT to think about (agenda setting) but HOW to think about it
o Explains why people have similar opinions/reactions
o Shanto Lyengar (1991)
o Examined how issues were presented on television
▪ Episodic: there is a problem that is solved at the end of the episode
▪ Thematic: a main theme running through all episodes
o How a story is told
- Game Frame: Horse race (politics): Who is leading the race and winning. It implies 1 candidate is better than another.
- Value Framing: Implies the story is around something that the people watching value - Frank Luntz: really good at framing by choosing specific words. Chose the wording for estate taxes which = “death” taxes to evoke a stronger emotion
- Talking Points: words and phrases in a news story which will evoke lots of emotions, and are given to anyone who wants to be interviewed about the subjects will hit them. They become part of the world view.
- Beginning of Spiral of Silence:
o Created by Elisabeth Noelle – Nuemann (1984)
o Examined originally by considering the content of train passengers conversation o Certain topics of controversy that don’t come up to keep the peace
o Individuals who are in the minority will often keep their opinions to themselves = minority views are less often heard.
o The more the loud voices make noise the more it seems they are the majority - The Big Lie: Joseph Goebbels
o Say something often enough and loud enough, then people will believe them.
Basics of the Knowledge Gap:
∙ Increasing info in the environment will increase knowledge
∙ High SES individuals acquire info at a faster rate than low SES individuals
o Essentially the" rich get richer": people with higher SES get better information than lower SES
o Societal and democratic implication
Why The Gap Exists:
∙ Differences in cognitive/ communication skills
∙ Less about memorizing new facts, but rather learning to think about the new information ∙ People do not like reading because they view it as a chore, especially because reading is slow ∙ Listening is a skill that needs to be practiced and mastered
∙ Differences in prior information and knowledge
∙ Access to information
∙ Selective exposure to information
Desire for Consistency:
∙ People generally like to hear information that agrees with beliefs they already hold ∙ Cognitive Dissidence - the personal experiences that create our world
Cognitive Dissonance Theory:
∙ Cognitions: bits of knowledge individuals have stored in their mind
∙ Individual cognitions have one of three relationships with one another
o Dissonant relationship
o Consonant relationship
o Irrelevant relationship
Magnitude of Dissonance:
∙ Importance of the cognitions
∙ Ratio of dissonance to consonant cognitions: the more new cognitions received that conflict with existing thoughts the more discomfort. The fewer = less discomfort and less of the need to escape. ∙ Degree of cognitive overlap: the similarity of the choices
Necessary Conditions for Cognitions Dissonance:
∙ Aversive consequences
∙ Freedom of choice
∙ Insufficient external justification - can’t find enough outside sources to support what you believe, and reject the new information
∙ People rationalize things in absurd situations
∙ We tend to expose ourselves to info sources that are likely to reinforces our views ∙ Happens at three levels:
o Selective Exposure
o Selective Perception - people tend to see what they expect to see. Personal experience influences all the time
o Selective Retention - we remember things that are important to us.
Effects of Violence/ Aggression:
Why is there violence in media?
∙ Its exciting
∙ It attracts attention
So Why Violence?
∙ Quickest and easiest way to show the conflict and solve it
∙ Less time consuming than verbal talking
∙ Makes it easier to write the story
∙ Has been a way of solving problems for a very long time
NTVS Results: Context
∙ 24-28% of perpetrators are "good" characters
∙ 37-40% of perpetrators are "attractive"
∙ 71-75% of violent scenes do not have punishment of perpetrator
∙ 15% of violent scenes show blood and gore
∙ 51-58% of violent incidents do not show the victim in pain or harm
∙ 39-43% of violent scenes involve humor
Basic Assumption of human behavior:
∙ Much of it is learned
∙ Learning - the process of acquiring, through experience including observation, new and relatively enduring information or behaviors
∙ Thoughts, perspectives, and expectations, -- remembering the past (whether the past is real or not) relating it to the present, and making predictions about the future.
∙ Trial and error - come up with a solution and try it
∙ Algorithms - a step-by-step process to solving a problem. A lot like a computer science problem ∙ Heuristics - mental shortcut to solve problems. Faster than the first two. Your solution could be completely wrong, where the media comes into play, because the media offers superficial
problems, that barely resemble personal ones. If people apply these solutions, there will not be a correct solutions
∙ Pavolv's dogs
- helps explain stimuli trigger an automatic response
∙ Process of learning an association between stimuli (dogs learning that the ringing of the bell means food will soon come)
∙ Unconditioned stimulus - natural stimulus that reflexively produces a response without prior learning (a bell)
∙ Unconditioned response - unlearned reflexive response (dogs drooling)
∙ Conditioned stimulus- originally unpaired with anything, but soon is used to elecit the conditioned response (The bell which makes the dogs drool)
∙ Conditioned response - the response that is associated with the conditioned stimulus. (Drooling after bell is rung)
∙ Reward vs. Punishment: people want reward and avoid punishment
∙ Albert Bandura: Psychologist at Stanford
∙ The bobo doll experiment: children watched a video of an adult playing aggressively with a bobo doll, then were placed in a room with many different toys, one of which was a bobo doll. The children began imitating the adults by playing aggressively with the doll. ∙ The three steps of learning
∙ Key info is taken in and processed
∙ Integrates the info and makes rules about how things work
∙ Put those rules into practice
∙ His findings lead to the Social Learning Theory
∙ Issues with the bobo doll experiment:
∙ The bobo doll is a punching bag, that is its purpose
∙ The children could be just following instructions
∙ The person who is to be imitated needs to be of status to the imitators
∙ It was a doll and not a person
Priming: causes certain memories to come to the top of your mind because there is a reminder of something in you past that comes to the front.
We can be primed to think of things.
Studies on priming and violence:
∙ Watch violent or non-violent clip
∙ Watch a cartoon (fuzzy vs. clear)
∙ Next students were interviewed with walkie talkies and microphones
∙ Frustration came from fuzzy video clips and walkie Talkie
Modeling - Bandura, people will imitate observations
∙ Attention - pay attention to the media
∙ Retention - retain the story
∙ Production - the subject has to be able to reproduce the study
∙ Reinforcement - positive reinforcement presents
∙ Mirror neurons allow us to vicariously experience other people's experiences o We feel what others feel by simply watching it
∙ Kids will imitate what they see on television
∙ The more time you spend with media, the more you think it is an accurate representation of the real world
∙ George Gerbner (1976)
∙ It predicts that watching TV will cultivate attitudes that are more related to the TV world rather than the real world
∙ If you watch a lot of TV you think life is like the world you see in TV
∙ Tv brings up social stories that bind a society together
∙ Mean World Syndrome:
o People believe an event is more possible to happen if they can think of examples of it o Because there is so much coverage people believe events are common, even when there aren't that many instances of it
∙ Desensitization - people who are exposed to a lot of violence, its effect on them decreases as they become desensitized to it.
o Decreases arousal
o Indifferent to real-life violence
o Less willing to help
o How does it work?
∙ Classical conditioning
∙ Catharsis: cleansing, the audience experiences great emotions when showing tragic events and they also experiences a great relief after it is solves
o viewing of violent media content helps to purge violent impulses
o Exposure to violent television should reduce aggression
o Almost all the evidence is inconsistent with this theory
o This doesn’t happen because in real life it can't
∙ Everybody knows that they are unjustified beliefs about a certain group of people that separates them from everyone else. But this definition only is about people.
∙ Fixed form or convention: something lacking in originality or individuality
∙ The human mind gathers info and stores it in memory, and uses it to compare to new things ∙ How we get info:
o Somatic: what we personally experience through our senses
o Extrasomatic: Sources of information external to your personal experience ∙ Mechanical sources
∙ Extend our senses
o Association: depends on who we associate with, also known as socialization ∙ Associative impressions = a problem, associated with a variety of people
∙ Impossible to avoid
o Vicariously: through imagination and through media
∙ Have a built in drawback: limited by the senses of the creators of the sources ∙ Complication of limited means of communications (words, pictures)
∙ A pale shadow of the real thing
∙ Great advantage: it is objective to you, it opens up the possible ways of viewing things ∙ What do we do with all the info?
o Sort into categories
o The categories are stereotyped
o Why categories?
∙ So we can consciously think about things
∙ It’s the way the human mind works - we remember the past, relate to the present, and project the future. We decide what we would like to have happen, and then follow the steps to get the desired outcome.
o People think of everything belonging to one group or another
∙ Put any and all info we gather about anything, regardless of source, into a box, the stereotype
∙ New boxes are created when new information comes in
∙ If the new information is not important, it will not create a new box
∙ Stereotypes are shortcuts to thinking:
o Called "heuristic" device
o Identify superficial characteristics
∙ See, hear, smell something
o What you perceive triggers a stereotype box