Mass-Media Effects (3.6)

Mass-Media Effects (3.6) - Mass-Media Effects Introduction...

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Introduction o Focus on technologically mediated mass communication : One person (or a few) communicating to large numbers of people (e.g., more than a single auditorium) via a technological medium (e.g., writing, printing, radio and television broadcasting Question : How do these communication technologies affect society? Specifically, how do they affect individuals’ psychology and behavior? Area of research is called “Mass-media effects” o One longstanding issue : How powerful are mass-media messages in shaping individuals’ attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors? Mass-media effects research o Phase 1: Power effects (1900s-1930s) Turn of the century Rapid expansion in production/consumption of media Steam-powered printing press; requires literacy 1900-1920: Movies developed; Don’t require literacy In this phase, mass media viewed as extremely powerful in influencing knowledge, beliefs, values Mass-media feared o Fear based on very little research o Fear prompted by advertising (e.g., Shifting consumption values) o Fear prompted by war propagandists (e.g., Supporting war) o Fear prompted by authoritarian regimes (e.g., Hitler/Mussolini) o Fear prompted by dramatic incidents (e.g., Orson Wells WW) o Phase 2: Minimal effects (1940s-1960s) Initial research did NOT support the powerful effects interpretation Media effects appeared much more limited Lazarsfeld’s “People’s Choice” Study (1944) Research context/problem: 1940’s U.S. presidential election. FDR (Democratic) running for 3 rd term vs. Wendell Wilkie (Republican)
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course COMM 101 taught by Professor Lieberman during the Fall '07 term at Rutgers.

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Mass-Media Effects (3.6) - Mass-Media Effects Introduction...

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