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Comm 309 Week 1 Notes What is Communication Mass Media and Media Effects History and Overview The exchange of info and messages which have some meaning There is some context in which this takes place dyads groups media There is some medium for this activity the mass media Some basic characteristics o Comm is the exchange of meaningful symbols cannot directly exchange meaning o Use of symbol speech writing print film unique human characteristics Comm is a process its ongoing o Encoding turning meaning into symbols o Decoding turning symbols into meaning o Transmitting sending and receiving messages A simple process model on slides Why Communicate Communication can satisfy human needs Human contact not feeling alone Surveillance watching for things to happen Outright pleasure and escape mass media exposure Four Functions of Communication 1 Information o All comm contains some info 2 Entertainment o Arousing and immediately gratifying o Satisfy needs to escape release and pleasure There needs to be a medium for all this to occur for this class its mass media 3 Instruction 4 Persuasion o Messages that teach skills understanding o Most complex function o Usually involves other functions o Attempt to affect the beliefs and behaviors of others Can do all four functions at the same time Functions are often mixed Comm Can Occur at Various Levels Intrapersonal think and talk to self Interpersonal Small group 25 30 people Organizational more of a rigid structure o Comm episodes can occur at multiple levels One Major Principal We cannot NOT communicate 75 of waking hours are in active comm A lot of this is with some form of media Public Mass Message is formulated by professional and sometimes nonprofessional communicators No communication is communication Popular Media platforms on slides Mass Communication It s a process Message is sent in a rapid and continuous way via the media Message reaches large and diverse audiences mass Audience is influenced in some way there is an effect Mass Comm vs Face to Face Comm Consequences of using a medium o Reduces feedback and incongruence in meaning o Largely one way activity o New technologies change this Society s Influence on the Media Mass media do not exist in a vacuum Cultural and political context shapes its nature and function Mass media systems differ greatly from society to society American Society and Screen Media 1953 I Love Lucy couldn t sleep in same bed couldn t use the word pregnant 1965 I Dream of Jeannie couldn t show belly button 1968 Star Trek have first interracial kiss 1991 Murphy Brown the single mother 1997 Ellen first character to be homosexual 2011 Glee gay teens kissing Do We Believe that Society is Influenced by the Media The answer is yes Parents are concerned 65 Most parents believe there should be regulations The Debate over the Media s Influence The view of three groups 1 Industry they say that there are no antisocial effects 2 Critics they say the effect is direct and powerful o Depend upon and trust media o Content is trivial and meaningless 3 Researchers they say that there are some effects on some people some of the time under some conditions Effects Can Be Conditional Effects Model effects some of the people some of the time under some conditions o individual differences children vs adults those predisposed to violence vs those who are not Cumulative Effects Model not due to a single exposure additive effect for many exposures Caveat One Other Effect think person effect o other more effected than ourselves o we underestimate the effect on ourselves Types of effects we can measure o Behavioral o Attitudinal our feelings and beliefs about something o Cognitive what we think and know about something o Physiological new research on brain activity during media violence exposure Exploring Third Person Differences Dimensions of Media Effects micro and macro level effects on the individual and or society intended or unintended effects commercials vs violence content dependent vs content irrelevant o violence sex o heavy media use distracts from sleep short vs long term effects reinforcement vs change political ads Strength of Effects statistical measure which can be used meta analysis most studies show small to modest effect sizes many factors determine an effect risk factors Major Research Methods survey what do people think o written questionnaires o phone interviews o face to face interviews advantages generalizability use of an appropriate sample random digit dialing Small margin of error or 3 disadvantages need a representative sample cannot talk of causality content analysis o describes in a systematic manner the content of the communication o you have to have representative samples o there is no info about effects correlation study relationship between variable o cannot determine casual connection o correlation does not imply causation why directionality o these studies help us determine the existence of a relationship between variables o this relationship helps us design more precise experimental studies experiment does one cause the other o allows for casual statements o what is the impact of a certain input variable independent on certain outcomes o independent variable researcher manipulates or control o dependent variable value is presumed to depend on the individual variable disadvantages external validity generalization artificial subject population combined results are more compelling than any single methodology a means of systematically integrating the findings from many empirical studies Triangulation three methodologies are used Meta Analysis used to provide a big picture magnitude of effect direction of effect

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UA COMM 309 - Mass Media and Media Effects: History and Overview

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