COMM 211 - (Conditional Variable Television Exposure(Independent Variable Perception of Unsafe Environment(Dependent Variable Sasha Wang COMM

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(Conditional Variable) Television Exposure Perception of Unsafe Environment (Independent Variable) (Dependent Variable) Sasha Wang COMM 211.008 Hoon Lee Michael Traugott 04/16/08 Third Paper Assignment: A Study Exploring the Cultivation Theory: The Relationship Between Television Exposure and Perception of An Unsafe Neighborhood And How This Relationship is Affected by Exposure to Other Types of Media Introduction
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2 Today’s society has a technologically-dependent way of living. People rely on the media for information about the world around them. One very convenient and commonly used type of media is the television. People use the television to watch programs for the news and entertainment. There have been many previous research studies that have explored the idea that heavy media exposure, regardless of whether the content is meant to be based on fact or fiction, affects people’s perceptions of reality; or more specifically, the more television a person watches, the more likely he is going to believe that it resembles the real world. This idea has become a part of what is known as the Cultivation Theory initiated by Gerbner in the 1970s. In this study, I have decided to explore how television exposure affects people’s perceptions about their neighborhood environments. Many television programs such as news broadcastings and Law & Order often depict unsafe neighborhoods with frequent delinquent activity. They illustrate dangerous circumstances such as theft, murder, illegal drug selling, gang violence, graffiti, prostitution, etc. I believe that the more television people watch, the more they will believe that the neighborhood around them is unsafe. I think that this relationship will be stronger for those who are often exposed to other types of media like the internet or a newspaper. This relationship is reflected in the following conceptual diagram: From this I have developed two hypotheses: Conceptual Hypothesis 1:
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3 The more television a person watches, the more likely he will believe that his neighborhood is unsafe and has risky activity occurring in it. Conceptual Hypothesis 2: People who are often exposed to other types of media are more susceptible to believing that their neighborhood is unsafe after heavy television exposure. There are many research studies that have explored the cultivation theory and perceptions about crime in the real world. Yet, there is very limited literature about specifically the perception of criminal activity in one’s own neighborhood. The survey component of a study done by Donald L. Diefenbach and Mark D. West examine in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media how television exposure influences people’s estimates on violent crime rates in their neighborhood. They defined violent crime as murder, rape, and aggravated assault. The participants, residents of Buncombe County, North Carolina, were asked how many hours of television they watched on a daily basis, how many people they thought were killed that year in
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2011 for the course COMM 211 taught by Professor Traubaut during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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COMM 211 - (Conditional Variable Television Exposure(Independent Variable Perception of Unsafe Environment(Dependent Variable Sasha Wang COMM

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