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The Five Main Media Effect Theories. Or: how this stuff winds up making us feel/do things…. Magic Bullet/Hypodermic Needle Theory. 1920’s Most simple model Basis of most effects that followed

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the five main media effect theories

The Five Main Media Effect Theories

Or: how this stuff winds up making us feel/do things…

magic bullet hypodermic needle theory
Magic Bullet/Hypodermic Needle Theory
  • 1920’s
  • Most simple model
  • Basis of most effects that followed
  • Believes that the media is SO powerful and that viewers are SO spongelike that it is able to inject its audience with its messages.
example war of the worlds
Example: War of the Worlds
  • 1938 Broadcast by Orson Welles of H.G. Well’s novel The War of the Worlds
  • Broadcast as part of the Mercury Theater regular radio program
  • Performed as a “mockumentary”
  • Believed by Millions!
were they crazy
Were they crazy?
  • According the The Guardian the New Jersey police HQ was besieged by callers and numbers of people fled their homes in terror.
  • Welles’ program began a minute or two prior to a popular show ended – people flipped to the middle of the show
the two step flow
The Two-Step Flow
  • 1940’s
  • Katz and Lazarsfeld
  • Hypodermic=too strong
  • Media is filtered by “opinion leaders”
    • People are the intervening factors between stimuli and belief/action
  • Source  Message  Media Opinion Leaders  General Public (GP)
  • Source: Burger King
  • Message: Open Late
  • Medium: television commercial
  • Opinion Leader: Diddy
  • General public
limited effects
“Limited” Effects
  • 1940’s to 1960’s
  • Hovland, Lazarsfeld, Cooper and Jahod, and Klapper
  • Aka law of minimal consequences
  • Media has a small effect on population.
the limitations
The Limitations
  • Intervening variables
  • Individual differences
  • Social differences
the hovland army experiment
The Hovland Army Experiment
  • Why We Fight – a film series by Frank Capra
  • Tested how effective propaganda techniques (a form of media influence) were on groups of soldiers.
what hovland noticed
What Hovland noticed
  • Who learned
  • Who changed their minds about the enemy
  • Who was more eager to die (not many)
  • Gap between smarter and less educated
basically media is powerful
Basically, media is powerful…
  • Sometimes forms attitudes
  • Sometimes only reaches a fragment of the audience
  • Sometimes only reinforces what is already there
  • Sometimes provides a model for behavior (not true effect bc no 100% causality)
uses and gratifications
Uses and Gratifications
  • 1970s (the me era)
  • Katz and Blumler
  • Uses play an active role in media (we use media to gratify ourselves)
  • Media Gratification can come from
    • Content
    • Familiarity
    • General exposure
    • Social context
4 basic uses
4 Basic Uses
  • Surveillance: knowledge brings securty (Maslow)
  • Personal Identity: to determine what we are like and what we are not
  • Personal Relationships: we gain belonging.
    • The Watercooler Effect
    • Show/Team Ownership
  • Diversion: escapism
spiral of silence
Spiral of Silence
  • 1980’s
  • Noelle-Neumann
  • People look to mass media to provide the popular opinion
  • People then choose to share opinion or not based on its relationship to the popular opinion
  • Media has more power than individual.
other important theories
Other important theories
  • Cultivation (Gerbner): tv is the thing that speaks the most to most families; therefore, tv creates the common view of the world, the common social roles, and common values
  • Revision (Hirsch): some groups are more effected than others (based on SES)
more important theories
More important theories
  • Media Determinism (McLuhan): “the medium is the message”
  • We believe based on the type of media
    • Newspapers
    • Books
    • Radio
    • Television/Film
    • Internet
and lastly
And Lastly,
  • Synthesis (Katz): the most important things are the
    • Media we select
    • The people we associate with
so basically we are affected by media
So BASICALLY, we are affected by media
  • Somewhat
  • Dependent on our Socio-Economic Status
    • In-groups
    • Education
    • Economics
  • Dependent on our experience