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Lecture Notes - Week 3

by: Eric Jackson

Lecture Notes - Week 3 COMM370010

Marketplace > University of Delaware > COMM370010 > Lecture Notes Week 3
Eric Jackson
Theories of Mass Communication
Angelini,James R.

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The lecture notes from week 3. A lot of good information on theories, types of research, models, information theory and groups. Hope it helps! Eric
Theories of Mass Communication
Angelini,James R.
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Eric Jackson on Friday September 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to COMM370010 at University of Delaware taught by Angelini,James R. in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 32 views.


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Date Created: 09/18/15
Theories of Mass Communication Week 3 Types of Mass Communication Research Applied practical Academic theoretical These are not mutually exclusive although they sometimes are treated that way Applied Research Solves practical problems Looks at immediate problem question not long term 0 Ex Might want to test how persuaded audience member is after being exposed to public service announcement Typically proprietary only one person has access to the results sold for some amount to companies individuals who want it Usually for profit Rarely advances theory does not want to add to breadth of scientific knowledge or for later creation of theory Ex ratings private polls focus groups program concepts Q ratings music research Academic Research Interested in general explanations of how the world operates based on the use of theory Advances theory add to the breadth of scientific knowledge and understand phenomenon in the world Can have applied value does not directly affect industry as much as applied research but still can in uence what content they choose Paul Lazarsfeld University of Vienna Applied Mathematics Marienthal Study effects of unemployment on opinions Office of Radio Research at Princeton funded by many outside companies Linked applied and academic research Famous Studies 0 War of the Worlds studied panic that followed the broadcast less than 25 of those who listened actually panicked 0 Appeals of soap operas why the appeal to US women at the time found interesting links between people who were addicted to these shows 0 LazarsfeldStanton Program Analyzer two buttons given to participants to determine which portions of programs they liked or did not like 0 Erie County voting study ow of information from media to masses people would look to people they knew for advice more so than media like radio newspapers Theories of Mass Communication Week 3 Mass Communication Models Model consciously simplified theoretical representation of a concept of some aspect of the real world 0 In words or a diagram 0 Points out areas in which further research is needed Two basic kinds 0 Structural model visual representation of something s structure I Ex model of an atom 9 electrons neutrons nucleus etc 0 Model of a process visual process of how something occurs I Ex Aristotle s model of Communication examines how a speaker communicates a message Invention 9 Arrangement 9 Style 9 Delivery of Message Purposes of Models To organize order and relate data similarities and connections that people may not have perceived on their own Predictive explains things that were not understood so it allows for predictions to be made Heuristic can be learning devices Measurement how to make quantitative predictions with a degree of precision Purposes of Models Recap Organize Predict future trends can be determined Heuristic can learn from them Measure quantitative predictions with some level of precision Limitations of Models Simplistic boil down large scale topics into basic images representations 0 Nuances are lost a lot of the time 0 Do not take into account fully represent all factors of situations 0 Tend to oversimplify in some cases Incomplete Model of a Process Two Step Flow mass media 9 opinion leaders 9 followers Verbal models also exist Lasswell s model 1940s 0 Who Says what Through which channel To whom O O O 0 With what effect Theories of Mass Communication Week 3 Shannon and Weaver Model Based upon information theory a theory of signal transmission 0 Describes how verbal visual signal is transmitted and then received Start with an information source group of people with a given purpose 0 Express purpose in the form of a message Purpose must be translated into some kind of code through use of some kind of encoder 0 Picture you talking on the phone you 9 source telephone 9 encoder which then sends signal sound somewhere else Pass through some kind of channel voice written etc 0 However there is the potential for noise in the transmission I Noise something that blocks the transmission of the encoded message in some way I 2 basic kinds 0 Physical loud car drives by as you re talking 0 Semantic other s knowledge level or communication skills stop them from getting the message ex distraction language barriers wrong emphasis in message attitudes toward the sender message Next the message enters some kind of decoder to allow the receiver to understand it 0 Ex getting an email in Arabic can see the message physically no noise but without a decoder you can t understand it Finally must be someone at the other end of the model to act as a receiver for the message to actually be successfully transmitted 0 You receive feedback through different signals from the receiver ex head nods verbal confirmation etc Feedback travels back to the source to complete the cycle Feedback ShannonWeaver Model Important Notes on Information Theory Focus on the message as a signal what actually travels Focus on the channel how signal travels Focus on channel capacity channel s ability to transmit the info well 0 All channels have some kind of upper limit as to how much of a message can actually be transmitted 0 Need to make sure you don t give TMI Groups and Mass Communication Part of the 1930s trend in social psychology People are social beings we seek groups Types of groups Theories of Mass Communication Week 3 0 Primary groups long standing intimate face to face relations I Ex sports team fraternity sorority job group 0 Reference groups group you identify with and base yourself against but are not necessarily a member of I Ex before joining a frat you may dress or act like members in it to later become a member 0 Casual groups one time group of people who did not know each other before they were brought together I Ex this class people you re with on an airplane Groups Encourage Conformity Muzafer Sherif first to study in uence of groups on conformity o Studied norms shared rules standards within a group Autokinetic Light Effect 0 Person is seated in a completely dark room 0 Suddenly a light is turned on you perceive it as moving 0 It only appears to be moving because your brain is trying to make sense of it since it comes out of nowhere 0 Participants in this study would say how far the light moved and how long the light was on and they all formed their own standards 0 Their standards differed when they were alone in the room however when placed in groups and hearing everyone else s estimates they would all develop a new group norm 0 People depend on other people for guidance Conclusion groups have effects on perception Other Group Effects Solomon E Asch studied group dynamics 0 Studied group effects on declarations o Sherif s experiments were kind of vague 0 Very little ambiguity in his experiments 0 How groups in uenced an individual s will opinions thoughts etc Asch showed individuals one card with one line other line with three 0 Second card had letters corresponding to different lengths 0 Had to then say which line from the first card corresponded with which letter 0 Individuals did pretty well with this 35 of people got them all right on their own 0 Next groups of 8 people 2 people in each were working for Asch and were instructed to give the wrong answer 0 More than 3 4 gave the wrong answer so they would not stand out from the rest of the group o Tried smaller groups next same result Theories of Mass Communication Week 3 0 Last trial he made it so that one person gave the right answer people then responded correctly with their own intuition because they had at least one verification acceptance of their thought Kurt Lewin considered the founder of group dynamics 0 Group effects on persuasion 0 One experiment tried to get housewives to use different kinds of meat that were not typically used at home serving organ meat 0 Had two conditions I Lecture oral sessions about prep nutrition potential health benefits of these new cuts of meat I Group discussion housewives talked about recipes reception to the meals saw how their ideas problems lined up with each other think focus group o The women in the group discussions were more likely to change their buying habits Other Group In uences Group polarization tendency of people to make more extreme decisions than normal when they are in a group Social loafing people make less effort to achieve a goal when in a group versus by themselves 0 Think group projects that one group member who doesn t do squat 0 Individual contributions to a group are not necessarily evaluated as heavily as the entirety of the group Groupthink reaching a consensus based only on avoiding con ict among group members 0 Avoiding embarrassment judgement from others upsetting the group balance 0 Put your own opinions by the wayside to keep the peace Possible Reasons Why Social Comparison Theory idea that there is a drive within individuals to look at outside images to evaluate our own ideas and opinions 0 Try to compare ourselves to someone reasonably similar to ourselves 0 We do this out of fear of isolation don t want to feel separated from the group and be cast out shunned Theory of Idiosyncrasy Credit a credit is the positive perceptions of a person earned from others within a group 0 Earn credits by showing confidence and helping to achieve groups goals 0 Also earn credit by conforming to the group s norms showing loyalty 0 Once you earn the initial trust you build up credit and nonconformity later can be more easily tolerated Theories of Mass Communication Week 3 Implications for Mass Communication Social Identification Theory social group is defined as two or more individuals that share a common social identification or perceive themselves as being members of the same social group 0 Does not have to be physical interaction 0 Self evaluation occurs based on what groups one feels like they belong to identify with Describes mass media in uence in the formation of public opinion 0 Mass media gives ideal groups attitudes that push people to think that that is the best way for that group to be and gives implications for how they should identify Media depict groups in con ict over an issue 0 People see certain points of view and either side with one group s ideas or conform their ideas to fit one side s norms 0 Ex gay rights activists PETA Democrats vs Republicans Media depict how groups react to the issue Group opinion norms can become exaggerated by the audience 0 Media tends to interview the most extreme people in these groups Audience might then adopt these views of their reference groups depicted by the media Bandwagon Effects Propaganda device that attempts to shift public opinion Bandwagoning occurs when people join a certain group to avoid being outcast or outside of norms Possible explanations o Pressures to conform to group norms maintain membership 0 anitive dissonance uncomfortable tension that results from having two con icting thoughts at the same time I Ex Group believes A media shows that the group believes B who do you believe 0 Spiral of silence people holding opinions that they believe to be in the minority they tend not to express them I Spiral occurs because one person won t say it because the media won t cover it so others won t speak up then more won t to avoid isolation and on and on Erie County Voting Study 1940 Selected four groups of voters to interview at different times during the election process to see what events in uenced them at these times 0 Interpersonal discussions more frequent and in uential than the mass media Tried to identify those who in uence other s voting decisions Found opinion leaders from every class and occupation Theories of Mass Communication Week 3 0 These people were more exposed to election info from newspapers radio and magazines 0 They then spread their views on this information to others who turned to them for gUida CC FIGURE 69 KATY AND IAZARSFELD39S TWOSTEP FLOW MODEL 0 This became known as twostep ow TwoStep Flow MASS MEDIA 9 OPINION LEADERS 9 FOLLOWERS 39 0 Ex you re going to see a movie based on f a friend s recommendation 9 this friend is the opinion leader 39Op39mm39c de s 1 Indeuols n soch coneea wnh opmucn leaders


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