Media Effects Models

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  • Media effects models
    • The Hypodermic Syringe model
      • Passive audiences
      • The media inject texts and ideologies into their audiences.
      • Audiences are seen as unthinking, uncritical receivers of media messages.
      • The media causes immediate changes to behaviour and direct reactions.
      • The model assumes that audiences are homogeneous and all react to media content in the same way.
      • Ignores that people are active thinkers.
      • Overestimates the power of the media in overriding all other forms of socialization.
      • There is little evidence that media content has a direct effect on audiences.
    • Two-step Flow Model
      • Katz and Lazarsfeld (1955)
      • Opinion leaders: respected members of a social group who's opinions are accepted and who lead the discussion within social situations.
      • Opinion leaders select and interpret media texts, applying their own views before passing this information on.
      • Audiences receive meditated messages from opinion leaders that they respect.
      • Media content may be selected and interpreted by many individuals in one social group.
      • Assumes that media audiences are, on average, passive to the messages from opinion leaders.
      • Does not explain why opinion leaders are directly influenced by media messages.
      • The rise of the new media means opinion leaders are less influential.
      • Active audiences.
    • The Cultural Effects model (the drip-drip effect)
      • Although audiences react in different ways to media messages, media gradually influence their views.
      • A subtle brainwashing to accept the dominant ideology and norms. (cultural hegemony)
      • Active audiences
    • Selective Filtering
      • Klapper (1960)
      • Selective exposure
        • People choose what content to consume.
      • Selective perception
        • People will react differently to the same message.
      • Selective retention
        • People will only remember the content that is in line with their views and interests.
      • Active audiences
      • Exaggerate the active role of media audiences and how critical they are.
      • Ignores the influence of long-term socialization.
    • The Uses and Gratification model
      • McQuail, Lull and Blumer
      • Diversion
        • To escape from daily stresses and life.
      • Personal realtionships
        • Something to talk about.
      • Personal identity
        • To explore new/confirm  identities, interests and values
      • Surveillance
        • To access information about things that affect and/or interest the user.
      • Background wallpaper
        • Whilst doing other things.
      • Active audiences
      • This model overestimates the power of audiences to influence the media.
      • Focuses on the use of media by the individual rather than the whole population.
      • Ignores wider social factors influencing media use and the way audiences react.


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