Cultivation Theory

Video Screen Time
How much television do you watch on an average day? How much time daily to you spend on the internet or playing computer games?

On-Screen Time
Television Viewer Profiles

These distinctions can be applied to Internet and computer game users

Cultivation Theory Research
Content analyses of prime time television
    --The “TV world”
    --The Violence Index

National surveys of TV audience
    --Classify as heavy, moderate & light viewers
    --Survey concerning perceptions of real world

Calculate Cultivation Effect (or “Cultivation Differential”)
    --Overall (“across the board”) effects
    --Subgroup breakdowns (Mainstreaming, Resonance) as well.

Cultivation Differential
The difference in the percent of people giving the “television answer” within comparable groups of light and heavy viewers.
Examples: Comparing light and heavy viewers among college students; among teachers; among senior

Cultivation Effects
Why do cultivation effects differ among subgroups? Two explanations:
Mainstreaming: Heavy viewers from different groups develop a similar outlook.
Resonance: TV content “resonates” with real life experiences to amplify the cultivation effect in certain groups.

What About TV Violence?

Social Action Theory Meanings arise in:
1.  The intentions of the producer.
2.  The conventions of the content.
3.  The interpretations of the receiver.

Using Social Action Theory

Media Effects: An Example
Cover Story: By Dan MacMedan for USA TODAY, 26 February 1999
How Bad is Wrestling for your Kids?

TV Wrestling

Modeling Behavior?
A report released this week presents data from a study conducted by Indiana University and Inside Edition.  The research team monitored 50 episodes of “WWF Raw” between Jan.12, 1998 and Feb.1,1999.

A sampling of specific incidences and the number of times the behavior occurred:

Media Effects-Music Video?
Do music videos have messages?
Apply social action theory:
 --intentions of the artist/producer
 --content features
 --viewer/receiver interpretations
Any likely effects?

Agenda-Setting Theory
The Agenda: Not what to think, but what to think  about.
The Theorists: Maxwell McCombs & Donald Shaw

About the theory:

Agenda Setting?

Agenda Setting: Who are the people most affected by the media agenda?

Agenda Setting: Which issues are boosted by media attention?

Agenda Setting: Do priming and framing dictate what people think? Media Dependency Theory The degree of dependence is influenced by:
1.  The number and centrality of information functions.  Media functions include:
        Monitoring government activities
        Social Cohesion
2.  Social stability
When social change and conflict are high; and established institutions, beliefs, and practices are challenged; people make new evaluations and choices.  In such cases of instability, reliance  on media may increase.

Media Dependency Theory: Some Questions