Cultivation Theory - Cultivation Theory Cultivation theory...

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Cultivation Theory     Cultivation theory, developed by George Gerbner in 1977, states television has the power to  influence our reality, and it is "primarily responsible for our perceptions of day-to-day norms  and reality (Infante et al., 1997, p. 383).  Gerbner believed television was a central part of the  American culture, and because of this it has become the main source of information in American  society.  "'The television set has become a key member of the family; the one who tells most of  the stories most of the time,' wrote Gerbner and his associates"  (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, &  Signorielli, 1980, p. 14; Severin & Tankard, 1997, p. 299).  This concern for the prominence of  television in America led to the development and further research of cultivation theory.  Gerbner  tested his research using comparisons of light to heavy television viewers and their perceptions  of reality.   He and his associates found heavy-television viewers are more likely to perceive  the world as it was portrayed on television.   In fact, heavy viewers had a tendency to view the  world as a scarier place (Severin & Tankard, 1997). Hawkins and Pingree expand the study.     Hawkins and Pingree (1980) attempted to expand on  Gerbner's cultivation theory hypothesis by looking at the learning processes involved.  They 
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