{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

assignment 1 - The Decatur study the role of Personal...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The Decatur study & the role of Personal Influence: Personal Influence , published by Elihu Katz and Paul Lazarsfeld, detailed the findings of The Decatur Study, a 1955 study in Decatur, Illinois regarding the influence of opinion leaders. The concept of opinion leaders dates back the two-step flow, which was discovered in Lazarsfeld’s study The People’s Choice in 1944. He, Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet determined that there were a number of intervening variables between the media and the masses; namely, exposure to media, characteristics of different media types (ie: print versus radio), the form and content of media products, the attitudes and predispositions of audiences, and interpersonal relations. The two-step flow exists within interpersonal relations and tracks communication from the media to the masses through opinion leaders. Opinion leaders absorb the media and choose which aspects they find valuable and which they don’t appreciate. Communication between opinion leaders and the masses is flexible, personal, and non-manipulative, which is why the masses tend to be more affected by the opinion leaders than the media directly. The Decatur Study aimed to identify these ‘influentials’ or opinion leaders by specific characteristics. Decatur was chosen as the city of study because it was deemed representative of an average US town at the time. Eight hundred women were surveyed about fashion, movies, political opinions, and shopping, as well as asked to describe times they had been influenced. The researchers found that status, lifecycle position, and gregariousness were primary factors in determining whether a woman was an opinion leader or not. The study intended to explore the social environment and the network of interpersonal relationships emerging as a crucial intervening factor that affect media intake. Interpersonal communication was a developing field of examination that observed individuals embedded within larger social institutions and organizations. Resultantly, the media appeared to have a supplementary influence on the masses, with opinion leaders and personal preferences holding more value. (308)
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern