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by: Eric Jackson


Eric Jackson

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This is the study guide for the final exam on everything from cultivation theory to schemas, including the worst questions from exams 1 and 2, which will be on the final in some form. Also included...
Theories of Mass Communication
Angelini,James R.
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This 27 page Study Guide was uploaded by Eric Jackson on Monday December 14, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to COMM370010 at University of Delaware taught by Angelini,James R. in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 204 views.




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Date Created: 12/14/15
Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM COMM370 FINAL EXAM STUDY GUIDE 2015 8 WORST QUESTIONS FROM EXAM 1 Which of the following is NOT a tool of science? A. a concept B. tenacity  tradition is not science! C. variable D. All of the above are actually tools of science. E. Actually, none of the above is a tool of science. While reading a newspaper articles you see the phrase, “First Lady Michelle Obama smiled warmly.” What type of bias is this article guilty of using? A. Adjective bias B. Adverbial bias  describes an adjective C. Attribution bias D. Contextual bias E. Outright opinion True or False: The Dvorak keyboard was an innovation which did not diffuse. The primary reason it did not diffuse was because there was not relative advantage to the Dvorak keyboard as compared to the existing and widely used QWERTY keyboard. A. True B. False  it had a relative advantage, but it lacked compatibility Which of the following is NOT TRUE about early research on groups? A. Asch’s research showed that group pressures influence individual declarations B. Asch’s research showed that reference groups were more influential than primary groups  he didn’t study reference groups, he focused on casual groups C. Lewin’s food studies showed that group discussion influences the persuasiveness of lecture material D. Sherif’s research using the autokinetic light effect showed that even casual groups influence individual perception E. All of the above Mass communication theory is based on… A. authority B. intuition C. science  the others are all related to naïve theory D. tenacity E. All of the above Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM One of the chief dysfunctions of the surveillance function of media in society is that the presentation of too much information may force them into a state of apathy or passivity. What is this effect also known as? A. depersonalization B. dissonance C. gatekeeping D. homophily E. narcotizing  imagine like a narcotic where it dulls your senses Jacqueline decides to Skype with her friend Kat who is studying abroad this semester in Norway. Jacqueline tells Kat about her relationship with her boyfriend, about the classes she’s taking this semester, and about her recent car troubles. Unfortunately throughout the chat the video freezes, forcing Kat to reload the program and in turn missing pieces of the conversation. Jacqueline can visibly see Kat’s frustration with the technology and decides to try their chat another time, hopefully when Skype is working properly and both have stronger WiFi signals. Which of the following five theories best explains the situation described? A. Information Theory  talking back and forth then there is noise B. Social Accessibility Theory C. Social Identification Theory D. Theory of Idiosyncrasy Credit E. Two-Step Flow Typically critical theorists view the media as a ______ to society and the world A. filter B. interpreter C. mirror D. screen  see it as a barrier E. window BEST/WORST QUESTIONS FROM EXAM 2 Which of the following perspectives on audiences is based upon audience size and count? A. Audience as Active B. Audience as Aggregate C. Audience as Instrument D. Audience as Market E. Audience as Mass Which of the following in NOT a way in which reality and fantasy are differentiated? A. Alertness – Emotion B. Aware of Threats – Removes Threats C. Enlightenment – Wish Fulfillment D. More Anxiety – Less Anxiety Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM E. Actually all of the above are ways in which reality and fantasy are differentiated. True or False: It is believed that one of the greatest strengths of the uses and gratifications theoretical approach is its explanation of habitual usage of the media. A. True B. False  this is the greatest criticism of this approach! Which of the following is one that Perse found for people’s use of erotica, which involves a more solitary use of erotica, primarily for fantasy, and is considered to be a safe and positive outlet for sex and sexual behaviors? A. diversion B. sexual enhancement C. sexual release D. substitution E. none of the above Match definition to the term that explains why the media has powerful effects on public opinion: A widespread presence of the media because it is everywhere and there are few locations we can go where it is not present. A. abundance B. consonance C. cumulation D. proliferation E. ubiquity Which of the following is NOT TRUE about views about audiences? A. Audiences are localized to a time and a place. B. Nielsen ratings are an example of a view of the audience as a market. C. The idea of the audience as mass would hold that propaganda is effective. D. The view of the audience as aggregate is not originally a communication- centered approach. E. The uses and gratifications approach takes the view that audience is active. True or False: The uses and gratifications approach focuses on why people select media content but does not concern itself at all with the effects media can have. A. True B. False  intentional and unintentional effects of the media are considered Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM Match definition to the term that explains why the media has powerful effects on public opinion. A unified picture of an event or issue is presented across media. A. abundance B. consonance C. cumulation D. proliferation E. ubiquity Herzog in the 1940’s studied the reasons why fans of radio soap operas tuned into these programs each and every day. One possible reason what that of wishful thinking. Perse did a similar study in the 1980’s with TV soap operas. Which of the following categories of needs found by Perse best matches up with Herzog’s wishful thinking? A. Escapist Relaxation B. Exciting Information C. Pass Time D. Social Utility E. Voyeurism ____________ is the pleasure derived from the media, though what causes this differs from person to person. A. Excitatory Potential B. Hedonic Valence  measures positivity or negativity C. Hegemonic Masculinity D. Personal Integrative E. None of the Above True or False: According to Spiral of Silence theory, a fear of isolation from others is the driving force behind why the vocal minority does not discuss their opinions and attitudes about an issue. A. True B. False  the vocal minority are the ones who do speak up! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CULTIVATION THEORY This comes from the third phase of media effect research (powerful-effects model) - Idea that mass media impacts a lot of people (but not everyone) What is Cultivation? - The teaching of a comprehensive concept of the world as a whole – common worldview and values - What do we as a society hold as most important? - Long-term television viewing has effects on people’s perceptions, attitudes, and values - Differentiates between heavy and light viewers (how much TV you watch) Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM Three Essential Assumptions to Cultivation Theory - TV presents “realistic” content – programs/stories that people can identify with - TV is different from other media – TV is media device in the largest number of American homes o We spend the largest amount of time with TV than any other device (though those numbers are changing) o Pay for services like cable, Netflix, Hulu - TV viewing is nonselective – people view by the clock, not the programming (it is more ritualistic) o Most controversial part of the theory because people today have more options to choose from o Critics argue that we sometimes are selective and sometimes are not Effect on Social Construction of Reality - Beliefs and attitudes that everyone holds about society and world - Heavy TV viewers will believe that the real world mimics the TV world - Particularly apparent when audience lacks first-hand experience o Not a lot of interpersonal experience with people of different backgrounds/cultures Cultivation Theory Methodologies - Content Analysis o Counting certain things within the media o Focus on themes that cut across all networks  Ex: violence or sexual conduct o How TV world differs from real world  More violence on TV than in real life  Demography – what kinds of people make up the population  More white, young, affluent people portrayed  Certain jobs more represented than others  Stereotyping  Used to make it easier for audiences to identify groups - Survey o Ask audiences about their perceptions of reality to know what people really think about society o Questions gauge beliefs and opinions o Examples:  What percentage of Americans work in law enforcement?  What percent chance do you have of being involved in some sort of violence over the next week?  Can people be trusted? o Different Belief Types Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM  First-order belief – beliefs concerning facts about the real world (there are statistics out there)  Numbers  Ex: % Americans in law enforcement  Second-order belief – extrapolation from facts to general expectations (people need to interpret)  Opinions and attitudes  Ex: can people be trusted? Influences on Cultivation - Mainstreaming o TV viewing may override differences in perspective that stem from other social influences o Social influences: socioeconomic level, level of education, etc.  Ex: people of high SES may not believe that crime is a serious issue  But if they are heavy viewers, they might believe that it is but just from the programming - Resonance o Effects of TV viewing will be boosted for certain members of the audience o The issues “resonate” with certain groups more - There is no across-the-board effects on all heavy TV viewers o SES, education level, biological sex all have an effect on what cultivates people Program-Specific Cultivation - Ritualistic television viewing o Different types of programs have different themes or narrative styles so they will affect audience members in different ways o Ex: soap operas have a large effect on heavy viewers’ willingness to trust other people and make them more suspicious o Ex: night-time dramas affect heavy viewers’ thoughts on political efficacy and they are powerless against the gov’t o Ex: action adventure programs make heavy viewers more likely to think that violence is more prevalent than it really is - Effects of Pornography o Men high in exposure to pornography have greater sex role stereotyping  Assign traditional gender roles more readily  Also use sexuality stereotyping – hypersexualize women and have skewed views of homosexuality o Not found in men low in exposure to pornography or in any women Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM MEDIA DEPENDENCY AKA Media Systems Dependency Active Audience select certain media to achieve personal goals. - Become dependent on the media for this to meet specific needs - Repeatability is big here – if we know that something elicits a certain response in us then we will choose that over and over again - Dependency means that the media is important to the individual o Media has much more influence and power than some members of the audience actually realize - People rely more on mass media and less on interpersonal networks/relationships for information o Turn first to the mass media – totally against two-step flow because there is no interpersonal communication  takes opinion leaders out of the equations Ambiguity - We face different kinds of questions and uncertainty in our everyday lives - Perceived ambiguity: person faced with entirely new social situation that they do not at all understand - Focused ambiguity: people understand social situation but don’t know what to do next o Unable to determine appropriate actions within a known situation o Ex: natural disasters – you know what a tornado is but when one comes it’s hard to know what to do – turn to media for help - Audience is dependent on media to resolve this ambiguity Influences on Media Dependency - Number of needs a single medium can meet o If one source can be informative and entertaining, it is more likely that someone will become dependent on this one source rather than one informative and one entertainment - Number of available media sources o Become dependent on a select few media o More sources means less dependence needed on a single source o Ex: small town with one newspaper – very likely that someone would become dependent on that one source alone - Familiarity o If someone is already familiar with a topic, they will not be dependent on the media to learn and understand o Perry – gave groups identical foreign news stories  ½ people told it was about a well-known European country  ½ people told it was about an unknown African country  People were more dependent on the news stories about the unknown Africa company and took more info from it o Prentice – college news story study Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM  Same idea – story about the unknown university was more influential and persuasive - Overall level of uncertainty o If faced with a situation you’re extremely uncomfortable with, you’ll turn more to the media for info o Lowrey – September 11 thstudy  Large metropolitan city in the south  Respondents were asked how effective they thought media sources (TV, radio, etc.) were at giving information about terrorism  Increased suspicion in some people Intensity of Media Dependency - If the media is doing a good job  people will be more dependent on that - Categories of groups o Social and self-understanding – learning about your place in the world o Action orientation – deciding what item to buy, how to handle certain situations – how to act/react o Social and solitary play – goal is to relax, bring some sort of enjoyment to individual or group SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY Much learning takes place through observing the behavior of others - Observational learning – you see someone do it and learn that way - Reinforcement theory – earlier version of learning theory o Learning only occurs with a reward o Keep behaviors that reward us and avoid those that punish us - Bandura thought this wasn’t a good way to describe all learning – learning doesn’t require a reward, just observation Three Principles - People learning by observing behaviors (and their outcomes) - Learning can occur without a change in behavior o You don’t need to replicate the behavior of someone else to have learned something - Cognition plays a role in learning Important concept: Modeling - This is the actual reproduction of what you see - Four basic steps o Attention – you have to actually see the model to be aware of the behavior o Retention – person observing must remember the behavior o Reproduction – observer’s physical ability to replicate the behavior Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM  This can be quite difficult due to possible physical limitations in the observer o Motivation – observer must want to reproduce and learn the behavior  If they don’t want to do it then they won’t do it well - Past reinforcements vs. past punishments o Remember the last you did something you got something positive out of it  you want to do it again o Remember last time you did something you were punished  you won’t want to do it again - Promised reinforcements vs. promised punishments o Not necessarily given something just the idea of one at first - Vicarious reinforcements vs. vicarious punishments o Observer knows of someone else who has done the behavior and was either rewarded or punished o Basically there is some anecdote that they know and they associate it with happening to them if they do the action Self-Efficacy - People’s judgement of their ability to exert control over their level of functioning and events that affect their lives - We have to believe that we are capable of reproducing the actions we observe Bobo Doll Experiment - Sparked many more studies about effects of viewing violence on children - 72 nursery school students were divided into three groups with an equal breakdown of male/female o Talked to teachers ahead of time to see which ones were already more aggressive o Group 1: Aggressive Group – put into a room with an adult model and told they could play with crayons and stickers and a Bobo doll in the corner  After they finished playing with the other toys, the adults would hit the Bobo doll o Group 2: Non-Aggressive Group – same set-up at the first with adult model but the adult model did not attack the Bobo doll o Group 3: Control Group – no adult model present o After the ten minutes of play they were all moved to a room with typical toys like firetrucks, building sets, etc.  Some were told they could not play with certain toys because they were “reserved” o Next put into a room with a Bobo doll to see what they would do Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM - Children exposed to aggressive (violent) models were more likely to exhibit the same violent behaviors - Control group acted more aggressively than the non-aggressive group because they had no model to teach them not to Further Studies - Real-life vs. live-action vs. animated o How would each of these affect the children’s aggressive motivations? - Reward vs. punishment o Adults were given candy or scolded - Regardless of how the violence was shown, children still modeled the behavior - Those who saw a reward were more likely to reproduce the violent behavior - Boys were more likely to reproduce this behavior than girls Social Cognitive Theory (evolved from Social Learning Theory) - Created in an attempt to explain why not every child reproduces a behavior - Says it isn’t just the learning that takes place that causes this, the individual has to put some thought into doing the action – why? o Self-efficacy – individual has to believe they are physically able to complete the action o Lack of identification – observer has to identify with model in some way  With kids, the biological sex of the model can influence them  Model’s race, economic status, other identifying features o Self-regulation – aka self-control – decide if the behavior is truly something we want to put into action o Self-reflection – evaluate our thoughts and inner feelings and decide if the behavior fits how we normally act o Forethought – we plan out things in advance and can see consequences before they happen MEMORY Why were some of last week’s video clips better remembered than others? - Some clips required more cognitive effort to process the content than others o Basically you had to pay more attention to some than others o Ex: sewing clip only had one continuous camera shot while one like the Encyclopedia Britannica clip had multiple shots/angles o More changes = more cognitive attention required Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM Orienting Response - Each camera change generates an orienting response - Occurs when something new or unfamiliar happens in your environment o Ex: if someone dropped a book in the middle of class, everyone would orient some attention to that o In media – new information appearing on screen will elicit a new orienting response - In television, orienting response comes with every camera change (CC) o Requires more cognitive resources to process - How do you know, based on CC’s, which video clips will require more resources? o Counting CC’s – watch video and count how many changes occur o Information Introduced – count the changes and perform content 2 analysis on each CC (I ) Counting CC’s - Two types of CC’s o Cut: complete change of visual scene in a single frame o Edit: switch from one camera to another in the same visual scene o How clips are classified  Add together CC’s: fast, medium, slow Information Introduced (I )2 - Not all camera changes require the same amount of cognitive effort/attention - Some introduce more new information than others - Better captures how much cognitive effort a broadcast requires o Each camera change coded on 7 dimensions o Higher number is more cognitively taxing o Sewing clip has a score of 0 because there were no camera changes Seven Dimensions of I 2 - Object change o Does the focal object change between camera changes? o If a new object is introduced in the scene it will require more cognitive attention o Gets a point if the focal object is different o Ex: chair in one scene, apple in the next – score of 1 - Novelty o Have we seen the focal object before? o It can still be a change between scenes but if it hasn’t been seen on screen before it will require more cognitive attention o Gets a point if we have not seen it before - Relatedness o Does the info after a CC follow logically with info before the CC? o Gets a point if the info after does not follow Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM - Distance o Has the focal object moved closer? o As objects move closer to us, they become more compelling and require us to use more cognitive attention to figure them out o Gets a point if it has moved closer - Perspective o Is the focal object seen from a different angle? o If camera angle is changed  gets a point - Emotion o Does the emotional tone after CC match the tone before the CC? o Happy  happy = no points o Happy  sad = 1 point o Cognitive attention is required to process the new emotion - Form Change o Does the message use a different formal feature after a CC? o Ex: color  B&W, pictures  text, live action  animation Each CC can earn a score between 0 and 7. - Nothing really gets a 7 because then there is just too much going on - But you can get a score of 0! - Message’s total I is sum of all CCs 2 o Messages are classified as being high or low in I - Cognitive attention required can be taxing on the audience and affect how well the message it received or remembered But that isn’t all that is taken into consideration… Arousing Content - Every message is also coded for how arousing the content is o Arousing messages require more cognitive resources versus calm messages o Not the same impact as pacing - Video clips are classified on two dimensions o Pacing: number of CCs or Information Processing - What within us causes fast-paced, high I2, arousing messages to not be remembered as well as other messages - Limited Capacity Model of Motivated Mediated Message Processing o AKA LC4MP (2005) o This is a theory about how individuals process mediated messages  Can be applied to all different kinds of media Five Assumptions of LC4MP - Nature of cognition – people are limited capacity processors Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o People only have a limited number of cognitive resources available to process content at once - Nature of motivation – message must be motivationally relevant o Somehow taps into our cognitive system in a way that plays into our emotional responses or basic survival needs o People have two underlying motivational systems  Appetitive: motivated towards positive things  If this system is activated, we want to approach whatever activated it  Aversive: want to avoid certain things  Used as a warning of dangerous things  Activated by negative messages of the media because of the danger of emotional or psychological harm  Both of these were developed via evolution - Nature of the media o Media is made up of information presented through multiple sensory channels and formats o We need to be able to perceive the media through our senses to process its content - Nature of time – human behavior is a dynamic process - Nature of communication o Communication is the interaction between the motivation system and the communication message  Depending on if appetitive, aversive, or both systems are activated will affect how we receive a message  Communication is a continuous, interactive, dynamic process - Theory holds all of these to be true in order to describe how humans process media messages Three Cognitive Sub-Processes - Encoding – taking in the info - Storage – keeping it in your memory - Retrieval – pulling info out of your memory - These all occur constantly, continuously, and simultaneously Encoding - How we process a message’s content - Creating a mental representation of the content of the message we encounter - Note though: this is not an exact copy of the world, just the important aspects - Select information from the environment for future processing - Processing (cognitive) resources are allocated for encoding o Basically you need some sort of mental energy to do this Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o This can happen automatically or manually/controlled - Controlled allocation o Related to ongoing goals and interests o If we are very interested in the media content, we will put more cognitive attention into encoding for it o Ex: if we want to learn about a particular topic, we’ll pay more attention to that to encode it - Automatic allocation o Environmental reasons can cause the allocation of resources  Orienting response can occur (camera change, etc.) and you can’t help but devote more CA to that  When viewing motivationally relevant stimuli – devote more resources when topic is focused on survival/sustainability - Encoding is measured through recognition o Memory testing is often used to test extent of successful encoding o Recognition memory test sees if audience member recognizes the most important elements of the message o Encoding is the selection of important elements from the message - Recognition memory example: Aladdin clip o What did the Sultan say? LC4MP – Storage - Link recently encoded information to previously stored info - These links are necessary to even begin to keep things in your long-term memory - More links to old information  the better stored it will be - Like encoding, storage requires cognitive resources o Encoding doesn’t predict storage!! - Cognitive Overload: occurs when the number of cognitive resources required for processing a message is greater than the amount you have available o Without enough resources for each process, one or both will suffer o However, you cannot tell which one will suffer o Can only tell if cognitive overload occurred after someone takes a memory test following a clip - Measured through cued recall: open-ended questions are used to test someone’s memory by giving them a small hint in order to see if they’ve made the link to the information and encoded it o From Aladdin clip: What do you remember about the Sultan? o You remember the shekel piece of information  encoded success LC4MP – Retrieval - Retrieving previously stored information - Memory is basically loose bits of information that are linked to one another in some way - One bit activates another, which retrieves a stored memory Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o Encoded information become “bits” o Stored by making links to other “bits” o In order to make the links, the other “bits” have to be retrieved - Cognitive overload is again a possibility o Resources are independently allocated for each sub-process o If CO does occur, it is possible for only one sub-process to be affected, or two, or all three - Retrieval is measured through free recall o Individuals remember items in any order and in virtually any way they desire o This task is meant to activate one “memory bit” to then activate another and then another… o Could be asked: What do you remember from the clip?  Remember one piece of information then go on from there to potentially remembering one piece of info in particular - How do you measure if cognitive overload occurred and which sub- process it impacted? o Free recall – no hints – indication that retrieval has been affected o Cued recall – given hint – storage may have been affected o Recognition – determining if encoding has suffered o If all three fail, then cognitive overload occurred on all three and the clip was too cognitively overwhelming COACTIVATION THEORY Dual-System Approach - Comes from the approach and avoid motivational systems - Emotion is functional – focus on how these systems are activated o Avoid danger o Overcome obstacles o Find food and mates - Two primary emotions: o Valence – how negative or how positive you feel  Continuum from extremely negative to extremely positive o Arousal – how excited you feel  Ranges from very calm to very excited (continuum) Valence - Positive emotions activate the appetitive system o Things that make us happy so we want to approach them - Negative emotions activate the aversive system (omg no way wow) Arousal - Impacted by how strongly activated motivational system o Incredibly positive thing – more positively “aroused” by it Coactivation deals more with valence emotions. Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM Motivational Systems - Originally thought to be activated reciprocally o Activation of appetitive system would lead to equal amount of deactivation in aversive system - These systems actually act independently of one another o Reciprocally o Both are inactive (coinhibition) – no negative or positive emotions experienced by individual o Uncoupled (completely unrelated) o Coactivation (simultaneously active) – always going when we are conscious Inherent Characteristics - Appetitive System o More active in a neutral environment – allows us to investigate things we are not familiar with  This is what makes us leave our homes basically o Positivity offset (difference between appetitive activation and aversive activation in a neutral environment - Aversive System o Responds more quickly to stimuli than appetitive system  This makes sense because it is usually something unfamiliar that quickly enters our environment o Used to protect against danger – we have to act quickly so that’s why this “ramps up” o Negativity bias – this means it has a steeper slope (“ramp up”) - Positivity Offset o Sensation seeking behaviors  Higher positivity offset = more likely to do dangerous activities like skydiving, etc. o Indicator of drug and alcohol use and abuse, especially in younger individuals o Enjoy lots of camera changes, faster paced programming in media - Negativity Bias o Avoidance of sensation seeking behaviors o Little to no excess drug/alcohol use o Startle enhancement – you startle more to a new unfamiliarity entering the environment  Eye blink reflex occurs when startled (this happens to everyone)  This indicates that you should move away from whatever startled you (i.e. the danger)  Harder eye blink = more perceived danger  Thus you have a smaller blink for positive stimuli o Stronger eye blinks for negative media have been found  Indicative of the body’s desire to avoid such media Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM Everyone has differences in positivity offset and negativity bias - Different thresholds before appetitive and aversive systems are activated o These can change as we grow up and mature  Children are higher in positivity offset – they do not have as much of a sense of what to avoid - Measured through Motivational Activation Measure (MAM) o Exposed to 121 still pictures o Mini-MAM (35 still pictures)  Had to be adjusted for children because some of the pictures could not be shown to children – Youth Oriented MAM (YO- MAM) – 45 still images  Not at all positive  very positive  Not at all negative  very negative  Not at all aroused  very aroused  Mix of positive and negative  Mix of arousing and calm pictures - Calculations are made for each individual’s positivity offset and negativity bias High Positivity Offset High Positivity Offset Low Negativity Bias High Negativity Bias Risk Takers Coactives Low Positivity Offset Low Positivity Offset Low Negativity Bias High Negativity Bias Inactives Risk Avoiders Applications in Mass Communication - Used to examine the effectiveness of public service announcements o These ads are attempting to stop kids with high positivity offset by giving a high negativity bias to try to balance it - Predictor of channel changing behavior - Design of video games o Use many positive and negative images – researchers examine which types of activities in the games work best ELABORATION LIKLIHOOD MODEL (ELM) ELM examines what it is about content of the message that affects cognitive processes - Specifies the conditions under which persuasion is mediated by message-related thinking - What about messages makes us more likely to think about them? - What makes it more or less persuasive for an individual? - Also examines alternate peripheral (outside) mechanisms account for persuasion when these conditions are not met Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o Basically what else besides the message makes us think about the message that persuades us Elaboration: the extent to which people think about issue relevant arguments contained in the persuasive messages - If message content is not relevant to us then message will be less powerful and less persuasive - Depends on existing attitudes, how capable we are of understanding and processing the messages content Two Basic Routes - One of two basic routes is taken toward correct attitude adoption: central or peripheral - Central Route o Requires more effort by the individual o Carefully scrutinizes the issue and relevant arguments based upon prior experience and knowledge o Thus there is considerable amount of elaboration going on here o Elaboration is likely to occur when variables ensure motivation and ability for relevant thinking o Attitudes formed on this route are persistent and very difficult to change because so much cognitive effort was required o Change can occur but only when there is a very convincing counterargument is made with a comparable amount of cognitive effort put into it - Peripheral Route o Persuasion occurs due to a simple cue o This cue can be something like how attractive the source is or the number of arguments presented  They don’t have to be good points, they can just overwhelm you with information in an attempt to persuade you o Change happens without elaboration on the true merits of the information presented - Factors that do not initiate central processing take over - Attitudes formed are less persistent and easily subject to change o Ex: what if an even more attractive person comes along with a counterargument? You could be easily swayed. - Requires much less cognitive effort overall - Diverting to this route can be an effective method of persuasion o You don’t want people to think too deeply into your argument Factors That Influence Elaboration - Those that impact motivation (how willing you are to devote time to thinking about the argument) o Personal involvement in the topic – you will be more motivated if you have some personal connection Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o Mood – good mood will make you more receptive to the argument so you don’t elaborate as much!  You’ll dwell more and elaborate when you’re in a negative mood o Need for cognition  How much an individual likes/enjoys to think about things  High for this need are more likely to take the time to think about persuasive messages more – they’ll rely more on central processing - Those that impact ability o Distraction – you won’t be able to focus fully on the message o Fear/arousal – if someone feels threatened, they will be less likely to take the peripheral route o Use of rhetorical questions – message is less persuasive if it uses these because it doesn’t give the individual much to consider  Nothing super concrete to evaluate/elaborate on  Acts as a disruption of central processing o Vividness of messages content – emotional/colorful examples interrupt central processing route - Construction of strong vs. weak arguments o Strong arguments elicit favorable thoughts  These will affect long-term changes in attitudes/opinions o Weak arguments elicit unfavorable thoughts  There isn’t much substance or facts to support the argument  Not very likely to change attitudes Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o What makes something a strong or weak argument is a completely subjective categorization Major Criticism of ELM - If an argument impacts motivation and ability at differing levels, how can its overall persuasiveness be measured? - Petty and Caccioppo’s Response: o Measure the variables that would impact the route taken to determine the arguments effectiveness for each individual KNOWLEDGE-GAPS Mass media gets information out to people not usually reached. - However there are unintended negative effects! o Mass media may actually increase the gap of knowledge between social classes o Could occur because of geographical location, different educational backgrounds, or socioeconomic backgrounds o Less access to new media technology can also cause this Education Level - Better educated people will gain knowledge faster about heavily publicized topics - Research has shown this gap to occur between groups with different educational backgrounds Causes of Knowledge Gaps - Communication skills and socioeconomic status - Prior education and knowledge o This broadens the knowledge gap because you don’t have to catch up on the basics if you got them previously - Relevant social contacts o Might have discussions on topics and broaden the gap that way - Selective exposure o Some people in a lower SES aren’t interested in higher publicized topics because they don’t think it’s relevant to their lives - Nature of the media system (access) o Normally people of a higher SES have more access to these other media sources like journals or alternate newspapers Important Concept: Digital Divide - This is a gap between those with access to information technology and those without o Happens either through:  Differences in physical access  Differences in skills needed to use the media technology - Groups often discussed in this context: Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o Socioeconomic (rich/poor)  Have money to get technology and education to use technology and interpret media o Racial (white/non-white) o Geographical (urban/rural)  Takes more time for technology to diffuse to rural areas Sesame Street - Original goal was to target under-privileged inner-city children to help them be more ready when they started school - This idea was soon challenged – argued it would not equalize education as intended - How much is it really watched in homes where the heads differ in their educational background? o i.e. education isn’t as important in some houses o It was found that the higher the level of the education of the head of the household, the more likely Sesame Street would be watched o Thus it really wasn’t closing the knowledge gap - Even among those who do watch, the advantaged children receive better achievement test scores o Could be because they have more access to resources or simply because education was more important in their household - Gap does appear to be reduced in the heaviest viewers! o There is some benefit to the show Refining Knowledge-Gaps - Gap declines when there is a perceived conflict over an issue o Both sides have a vested interest in the issue to be able to make the best arguments possible to engage in discussion - Widens in pluralistic community – one with a diverse population with many information sources - Reduces in homogenous communities o Few resources of information shared by everyone o People get info from the same places so they’ll have the same knowledge (less choice = less knowledge gap) - Declines when an issue has an immediate and strong local impact Overcoming Knowledge-Gaps - Ceiling effects – eventually someone will know everything there is to know about a topic o Everyone else will start catching up to them - Identify target audiences to tailor messages to o Find people who lack the specific knowledge to help them learn - Provide identical messages in different formats o Ex: English and Spanish versions - Highlight the information’s utility – make sure the audience understands why and how the info is important Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM THEORY OF REASONED ACTION (TRA) Used in persuasion and providing persuasive messages - Dr. Martin Fishbein (1967) - Wanted to understand relationship between attitudes and behaviors o Predicting if people will go through with a particular behavior - Work leading up to theory distinguished between attitude toward an object and attitude toward a behavior related to the object o Object: breast cancer o Behavior: seeking a mammogram  Might know that it’s a good thing to get but don’t want to get it for certain personal reasons o Fishbein thought that people’s attitudes towards the object would influence their attitude toward behavior  Ex: if people had negative attitude towards breast cancer they’d have a positive attitude towards getting a mammogram – THIS ISN’T ALWAYS TRUE o Attitude of a behavior is a better predictor of that behavior  Better predictor is person’s attitude towards getting a mammogram - Behavioral Intention: perceived likelihood of performing a behavior o Result of a combination of:  Attitude towards behavior  Subjective norms – will other people around them approve or disapprove of the behavior? Attitude towards the Behavior - Behavioral Beliefs – belief that a behavior is associated with certain outcomes or attributes - Evaluation of Behavioral Outcomes o Belief that outcomes are positive or negative o Based on how positively or negatively some outcome/attribute is perceived - Perceived likelihood of an outcome also comes into play Subjective Norms - Normative beliefs: beliefs about if others would approve or disapprove of the behavior - Motivation to comply: how motivated you are to cooperate with what others think o Depends on who is telling you to do or not do the action Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM Evolution of the TRA - TRA assumes the most important direct determinant of behavior is behavioral intention o Based on behavior being under volitional control o Basically people will be more likely to perform the behavior if they can exercise a large degree of control over the behavior - Believed TRA isn’t sufficient for predicting behavior when this control is reduced o i.e. when environmental conditions may prevent the behavior o Led to TPB THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOR (TPB) Perceived Behavioral Control - How much volitional control an individual has over a situation - Consider: o Control beliefs – perceived likelihood of occurrence of each facilitating or constraining condition o Perceived power – perceived effect of each condition making behavioral performance difficult or easy  How much control do you feel after assessing these conditions?  Condition helps you  feel more power  Condition hinders you  feel less power - Crafting Persuasive Media Messages (PSAs) o Looks at people’s motivations and others perceptions of them o Identifies key behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, and environmental factors that can affect a behavior  Smoking  Drinking  Substance use  Seat belt use  Oral hygiene HYPERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION Computer-mediated communication that is more sociably desirable than face- to-face interaction Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM - Potential effects: o Problematic internet use o Internet addiction o Depression o Distraction o Atomization Problematic Internet Use - Three main characteristics: o Depressed/lonely people have negative perceptions of their social competence  Believe people they’re interacting with will develop negative attitudes about them in face-to-face interactions o These people will prefer online social interactions – why?  Greater level of anonymity – no one knows who you are  Greater control over self-presentation – you’re not actually seen so you can lie about yourself to make a depiction of yourself how you want to be, not as you actually are  More intimate disclosures – people feel more free online to discuss normally “taboo” topics  Less perceived social risk – if you think you’re being judged, you don’t care as much as if it happened in person because the judgements seem less valid from anonymous people o This preference leads to excessive and compulsive computer interactions  They crave those environments and relationships because they feel more welcome and accepted  Often lose track of time spent online  Like the state of flow Internet Addiction - Characterized by spending 40-80 hours per week online - Disrupts individual sleep patterns - This has recently become a medically recognized mental illness/psychiatric problem - Alters the brain physiologically o Americans average 30+ hours a week online o Looking at pictures of brains of heavy versus light users – prefrontal cortex was different o Brain is activated in different ways online versus on paper - Has a lure like that of food and sex, not drugs and alcohol o Food and sex are needs but can be harmful if excessive - Share similarities to other types of addition and impulse control disorders - Internet addition and depression: o Depression is often tied to addiction Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o Undergrads who showed signs of depression were most intense internet users  Anhedonia: inability to experience emotions  This can happen from quickly switching between many websites looking for emotional stimulation Depression - Facebook Depression o Seen in some preteens and teens when they spend a great deal of time on social media sites o Online world is intense for social acceptance - FOMO: Fear of Missing Out o Most smartphone users under 50 check their text messages, e- mails, or social network sites every 15 minutes Distraction - Issue constantly raised, particularly for young people - Reduces ability to concentrate, use imagination, use critical thinking skills - Time spent with digital devices deprives our brain of needed downtime o Working against the learning process because of excessive stimulation - Also causes impatience with the offline world Atomization - This means disconnecting individuals from one another and their communities - The technology of the internet – what about this makes people disconnect from one another? o Algorithms – sets of data that when combined determine what content people see on the internet o Cookies – an identifying code added to a computer’s hard drive by a visited website - The algorithms take into account what you’ve looked up and seem to enjoy to try to extrapolate and tailor ads and webpages to you o Filter bubble: ecosystem of information created by algorithms for each individual o This gives us information that fits behaviors, needs, and biases that we’ve displayed in the past o It never challenges us or who we are – it isolates us and doesn’t allow us to expose ourselves to the multitude of information out there o They concentrate control over what we see and what opportunities we are offered Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM SCHEMA THEORY A schema is a mental structure which represents a person’s knowledge about some aspect of the world. - These are abstracted from prior experiences to shape our reactions for future encounters - These are used to process new information and retrieve stored information o We can retrieve info easily if we have a “database” of schemas - Set up expectations about what is probable in a given situation Graber (1988) - People use schemas to process news stories o Straight matching a story to a schema o Processing through inferences – your brain may take a similar but not identical situation and attribute factors from one schema to that situation o Multiple schemas might be necessary to process a situation - Cueing: tactic used by news providers to access a specific schema in the audience members o Trying to get them to think about a situation in a certain way - If info is matched with a schema, some portion of the information will be stored as part of a modified schema o It’s an iterative process, your schema will be altered for the next time you encounter a similar situation - What happens if a matching schema isn’t found to help you process it? o Information will pass by without being absorbed or it will force you to form new schemas, at least foundations of them Schema and Processing Television - Social schemas are based on our knowledge and expectations of the world o We expect events to take a place in a certain event, occur in a certain order, and involve certain kinds of people - Textual schemas are based on our knowledge of the media Social Schemas - Within this, there are script/event schemas o This is a schema for a familiar event that is common to a lot of people o Sequential list of the characteristic events involved in a common routine o Also includes props, roles, enabling conditions, and outcomes  Props include physical items that will bring up schemas and act as cues for remembering a certain schema - Role Schemas o Knowledge of behaviors expected in particular social situations Theories of Mass Communication – FINAL EXAM o Stereotypes come into play here Textual Schemas - Story Schema o Expectations about how a narrative conventionally proceeds - Genre Schema o Knowledge about related kinds of texts/programs o Ex: you know what to basically expect from sitcoms, dramas, etc. - Schemas for the “Formal Features” o Expectations for editing and camera works o Where/why zooms and camera changes will occur Gender Schema - Mental structure which guide the processing of information about men and women o How they look, feel, and act o We start developing these schemas at a very young age - These are formed through personal experience (observation), including exposure to the media o Get some info from parents, loved ones, but a lot comes from media reinforcing certain stereotypical schemas o Role schemas are used a lot in television so that people can identify a character quickly o Children who are heavy TV watchers are more likely to become gender stereotypes - Inconsistencies with schemas tend to go unnoticed by children o Activation and reinforcement must occur to change schema o They need to see non-stereotypical examples repeatedly to change this schemas I would also highly recommend going back through the UDCapture lectures to review the Clicker questions – I’ve done this for the past few exams and some of the questions in some form or another pop up on the exams!


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