MEDIA EFFECTS THEORIES

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
 citizens.

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:
        Entertainment
        Monitoring government activities
        Education
        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