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by: Morgan Christensen


Morgan Christensen

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Mass Communication Theory & Effects *Know the names associated with the theories for the exam. Dates are not necessary.
Mass Comm & Soc
Lisa Swenson
Class Notes
Communications, Media, Theory
25 ?




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Popular in Communications

This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Christensen on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMMS 101 at Brigham Young University taught by Lisa Swenson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Mass Comm & Soc in Communications at Brigham Young University.


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Date Created: 09/26/16
COMMS 101 WEEK 4: 09/26/16 Mass Communication Theory and Effects (How Society and Media Interact)  You will not be quizzed on dates, but you do need to know the people associated with the theories. MEDIA EFFECTS  2-hour violence movie vs a 30 sec super bowl ad ($4.5 billion to make us buy a product) … YES it has an effect on us  Powerful/Strong/Direct Effects Model o That messages effect many people the same way o Propaganda — dissemination of info with the intent to mold a public opinion (there is a cause behind it); a belief, cause, doctrine, etc. a deeper channel than simply advertising. o I.e., Orson Wells, War of the Worlds o i.e., Copycat crimes — shootings in CO, NJ, CT, etc. you want to copy things that you see/ hear in the media. Summer of Shark attacks (2001) o i.e., Media’s impact on Body Image — Dove Beauty Campaign — Who decides what is beautiful? o “Hypodermic Needle” or “Magic Bullet” Theory  We are passive people that observe all we see. Everything affects us in the media  Message Effects o Cognitive effects — what you think about the message you see o Attitudinal effects — feelings about certain brands o Behavioral effects — when you actually do something. A message that causes you to actually do something o Psychological effects — your reaction to those messages  Limited Effects Model o Paradigm shift — (mid-century) where people realized the media’s power over the public was seem limited (defy magic bullet theory) o Media effects are actually good o People are more likely to turn to friends, opinion leaders, neighbors, etc. rather than the media  Two-step flow model  Medium Effects o Joshua Meyrowitz — development of media can lead to changes in society i.e., video game and texting addicts o Marshall McLuhan — “the medium is the message”, the medium can affect the message you are trying to get out COMMS 101 WEEK 4: 09/26/16  Media ecology — study of media environments and their effects  Active Audience Effects o Know the impact of your message — geographics, demographics and psychographics (i.e., urban city dwellers that are pet lovers)  Media Representations o Semiotics — the study of signs and symbols o Properties of signs:  Signifier —a sign's physical form (such as a sound, printed word, or image) as distinct from its meaning  Signified — concept the sign stands for  Symbolic Interactionism  Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis o Words are symbols that only exist conceptually if we’ve given a word to it.  Functional Analysis Theory (Harold Lasswell) o Major social functions of the media  Surveillance — provide information, how to find out what’s going on  Correlation — how we interpret and make sense of our world  Transmission of culture — one generation to the next, how we learn the values of our society, binding across time and distance  Entertainment — (added by Charles Wright)  Uses and Gratifications Theory (Elihu Katz, 1959) o People go to the media to satisfy needs  Entertainment/Time Punctuation  Information/Surveillance  Escapism/Nostalgia  Companionship/Conversation building  Problem Solving  Personal Enrichment and Development  Catharsis/Tension Release o Assumptions  Active audiences have specific wants/needs  Media competes with diff sources of gratification  Audience consciously chooses media content  Audience makes value judgements about media uses o BASICALLY, WE GO TO THE MEDIA> THEY DON”T ATTACK US  Media Dependency (Sandra Ball-Rokeach & Melvin DeFleur, 1976) o The more depending an individual is on the media for having their needs fulfilled, the more important the media is to them. o i.e, 9/11, dependency on the news media increased 7x and then returned to normal by the end of the week COMMS 101 WEEK 4: 09/26/16  Agenda Setting Theory (Donald Shaw and Maxwell McCombs, 1972) o Not what to think, but what to think about o Framing the Message  How to think about it. i.e., how you put together your ad or magazine. How will your message be perceived by your audiences?  Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura) o We learn by observing. (Bo Bo doll studies) o i.e., imitating violent video games or wrestling moves o TV Violence and Children  Greater aggressiveness, gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems, identify with certain characters, violence becomes the norm and become “immune to it”  Desensitization Theory o People who are experienced to a lot of media violence have a higher tolerance for real-life violence o Media can make socially unacceptable behavior seem normal o Cultivation Analysis (George Gerbner)  Watching lots of TV create a different real world view (mean world syndrome — more suspicious, view the world as viscious)  TV distorts reality  Stereotyping o Shared understanding of the group o A coping mechanism (decisions made on generalization) o Can be good or bad o Used to compensate for inability to get first-hand info


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