Week 10 Notes
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Date Created: 12/14/15
Theories of Mass Communication Week 10 AGENDA SETTING The press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about Bernard Cohen 1983 What is an Agenda It is a list of items in the order of their importance Media s agenda covers the issues that they present that they deem the most important 0 Ex the front page news is what newspapers think it most important Max McCombs Chapel Hill Study McCombs and Shaw 1972 Done based on 1960 presidential election Two step research 0 Content analysis identify the media agent 0 Interviewed Chapel Hill residents who were undecided I What did they think the country s biggest issues were I What factors contributed to their decision I Wanted to identify public opinion Correlation between media emphasis and voter perception o ie the same issues the papers talked about matched what people said for the most part 0 Remember this means they are related not that one causes the other Funkhouser 1973 Research based on content analysis of news magazines 0 Specifically TIME Newsweek and US News and World Report Gallup polls asked people what the most important facing America was from a selected list found from the news magazines Strong relationship between public opinion and amount of coverage This created a chicken and the egg effect does media coverage in uence public opinion or vice versa Charlotte Study McCombs and Shaw 1977 Based on 1972 presidential election Similar to Chapel Hill Study 0 Larger sample interviewed 0 People were interviewed multiple times leading up to election Provided evidence that media does have a causal effect on public agenda 0 Because they got new information from the media their opinions re ected the new issues that were presented Theories of Mass Communication Week 10 Iyengar Experiments Exposed participants to 4 days of altered newscasts 0 Experiments can show causation better than surveys Experimental group stories about defense inadequacies were presented first Experimental group stories about pollution were presented first Participants increased their ratings of importance for these issues Two Kinds of Agenda Setting First Level Order 0 Agenda is the issues 0 There will be smaller issues under the larger umbrella 0 Ex foreign policy law and order civil rights fiscal responsibility public welfare Second Level Order 0 Agenda is specific notions about the issues 0 Ex if 1st order is fiscal policy I Income tax reform balancing the budget etc are the second order agendas Agenda Setting Terms Obtrusiveness how much the public experiences the issue directly 0 If it s obtrusive then it is part of their everyday lives I Media agenda doesn t have much of an effect on where this goes in someone s list 0 If it s unobtrusive then it s unfamiliar I Media agenda can change where this goes on someone s list Abstractness degree to which an issue is difficult to conceptualize 0 Many people don t fully understand comprehend an issue 0 Media does set agenda for topics that are easier for audiences to understand Framing how a certain piece of content is packaged so to in uence interpretations 0 Presented in a certain way so that you think about it in a particular way Priming process by which the media attend to some issues but not others 0 Media chooses to be selective and this makes people think that the issues they talk about are the most important 0 Thus they are priming these issues in people s minds Gatekeeping control over selection of content discussed in media 0 Who controls this 9 the gatekeeper 0 Someone else has decided what the public hears about and thus chooses what is primed for the public Theories of Mass Communication Week 10 SPIRAL OF SILENCE Originally created by Dr Elizabeth Noelle Neumann Opinion expressed I t I t n er ersona SU or Political Sc1ence Theory asnfg srg39rzgaby 4 forzeviamopi i ln w1th Mass Media Applications lt Amount of people not openly Mass Media has powerful expressing deviant opinion andor changing from deviant effects on public opinion to dominant opinion 39 AffeCtS how people Elisabeth Noelle Neumann s Spiral ofSilence express their own personal opinions Characteristics of the media 0 Cumulation build up of themes messages over time o Ubiquity widespread presence of the media 0 Consonance unified picture of an event or issue I Media usually talks about same facts audience gets pretty much the same facts no matter where they go Public Opinion 0 How are opinions about controversial issues distributed I What are the minority opinions and where are they 0 Am I part of the majority o Is public opinion changing to agree with me if in the minority Come to either conclusion 0 I feel like I m in the majority o I feel like my public opinion is changing toward my opinion I More likely to voice your opinion 0 Voicing your opinion leads to I Point of View remaining prominent in society I Others with the same opinion will speak up as well I Think group effects topics 0 I feel like I m in the minority o I feel like public opinion is changing away from my own I Likely to remain silent about the issue I Fear isolation and reprimand o This silence leads to I Point of View continues to not get media coverage I Minority becomes thought of as deviant I Others will also remain silent Media s In uence Shape impressions about which opinions are dominant Perpetuate ideas of majority opinion Shape impressions about which opinions are on the rise Theories of Mass Communication Week 10 Shape impressions about which opinions are socially acceptable or able to be spoken about without reprimand Fear of isolation is the motivating force for this silence How Does Public Opinion Ever Change How does the minority opinion ever come into the public eye 0 Vocal minority even though there is the fear of isolation these people typically known as radicals spread their minority view 0 Usually more highly educated or higher in socioeconomic status 0 Likely to speak out regardless of public opinion THIRD PERSON EFFECT W Phillips Davison 1983 studied this Third person effect belief that messages have little effect on you and me but in uences others Perceptual hypothesis belief about messages having effect on others Behavioral hypothesis that people will take action due to the perception of these effects Something must be done to protect these other people being affected by the media Perceptual Hypothesis Think that media has a greater effect on others why 0 Want to maintain a positive self image 0 We do this through comparing ourselves to others who are weaker 0 We underestimate the common sense of other we know our own skills but believe they don t have the same skill level Paternalist attitudes feel the need to protect the vulnerable 0 Want to save them not necessarily physically but cognitively or emotionally Behavioral Hypothesis Action is taken not due to the media message itself 0 We re not going to mobilize a protection effort just from seeing one or a few messages 0 This happens because of the anticipation of other s reactions and the messages effects Usually done through some kind of censorship content is filtered o This occurs to protect the weak people that need to be saved Research Examples Gunter 1995 Pornography study Wu and K00 2001 Pornography study Both studies proved third person effect because people said that they did not believe they were impacted by the porn but others might be Theories of Mass Communication Week 10 Wu and Koo s study led to changes in public policy pornography became censored in Singapore where they did their study McLeod Eveland and Nathanson 1997 studied rap music and violent lyrics 0 Found the same thing people thought that they would not be affected by the music but others would 0 These same people were found to support censorship of the music David and Johnson 1998 study asked college age women about their ideas of ideal body image Social Distance Greater distance from an issue will increase the 3rd person effects Ex college age women felt that they were not directly affected by media about body image 0 Going out the next step in social distance to their friends they did not believe their friends were affected either 0 Going out to the national level they did believe that the women nationwide who they did not know were the most affected Possible that some are misperceiving and underestimating the media s effect on themselves END OF EXAM 2 MATERIAL 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 Behind this theory George Gerbner 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 Average amount of TV per day z 4 hours 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 0 We spend the largest amount of time with TV than any other device though those numbers are changing 0 Pay for services like cable Net ix Hulu Theories of Mass Communication Week 10 TV viewing is nonselective people View by the clock not the programming it is more ritualistic 0 Ex Heavy viewer might be home at 9PM and just watch whatever is on ip through channels 0 Most controversial part of the theory because people today have more options to choose from today 0 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 around us Heavy TV Viewers will believe that the real world mimics the TV world Particularly apparent when audience member slack first hand experience 0 Not a lot of interpersonal experience with people of different backgrounds cultures 0 Ex in small towns rural areas what people know of the city is based on what happens in TV programs 0 A lot of professions are repeated in programs what people believe is what they see these people do to be true Cultivation Theory Methodologies Content Analysis 0 What does the program actually contain 0 Counting certain things within the media 0 Focus on themes that cut across all networks I Ex violence or sexual conduct 0 How TV world differs from real world I More Violence on TV than in real life I Demography what kinds of people make up the population 0 More white young af uent people portrayed 0 Certain jobs more represented than others I Stereotyping 0 Used to make it easier for audiences to identify groups 0 If they have very little personal interaction with these groups then they will apply them in real life Survey 0 Ask audiences about their perceptions of reality 0 Only way to get what people think about society 0 Questions gauge audience members beliefs and opinions 0 Examples I What percentage of Americans work in law enforcement I What percent chance do you have of being involved in some sort of violence over the next week I Can people be trusted Theories of Mass Communication Week 10 0 Different Belief Types I First order belief beliefs concerning facts about the real world there are statistics out there 0 Numbers 0 Ex Americans in law enforcement I Second order belief extrapolation from facts to general expectations people need to interpret 0 Opinions and attitudes 0 Ex can people be trusted In uences on Cultivation Mainstreaming 0 TV viewing may override differences in perspective that stem from other social in uences 0 Social in uences socioeconomic level level of education etc I Ex people of high SES may not believe that crime is a serious issue I But if they are heavy viewers they might believe that it is but just from the programming Resonance 0 Effects of TV viewing will be boosted for certain members of the audience 0 People with a higher vulnerability to programming content ie violence will be more cultivated to believe certain things about the world 0 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 0 Different types of programs have different themes or narrative styles so they will affect audience members in different ways 0 Ex soap operas have a large effect on heavy viewers willingness to trust other people and make them more suspicious 0 Ex night time dramas affect heavy viewers thoughts on political efficacy and they are powerless against the gov t 0 Ex action adventure programs make heavy viewers more likely to think that violence is more prevalent than it really is Effects of Pornography 0 Men high in exposure to pornography have greater sex role stereotyping I Assign traditional gender roles more readily Theories of Mass Communication Week 10 I Also use sexuality stereotyping hypersexualize women and have skewed views of homosexuality 0 Not found in men low in exposure to pornography or in any women