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Introduction to Mass Communication, 2/e Stanley J.

Baran Theories of Mass Communication


Glossary
agenda setting attitude change theory critical cultural theory cultivation analysis cultural theory dependency theory disinhibitory effects theory that argues that media may not tell us what to think but that media tell us what to think about theory that explains how peoples attitudes are formed, shaped, and changed and how those attitudes influence behavior idea that media operate primarily to justify and support the status quo at the expense of ordinary people idea that television cultivates or constructs a reality of the world that, although possibly inaccurate, becomes the accepted reality simply because we as a culture believe it to be the reality the idea that meaning and therefore effects are negotiated by media and audiences as they interact in the culture idea that medias power is a function of audience members dependency on the media and their content in social learning theory, seeing a model rewarded for prohibited or threatening behavior increases the likelihood that the observer will perform that behavior

dissonance theory argues that people, when confronted by new information, experience a kind of mental discomfort, a dissonance; as a result, they consciously and subconsciously work to limit or reduce that discomfort through the selective processes grand theory a theory designed to describe and explain all aspects of a given phenomenon

hypodermic needle idea that media are a dangerous drug that can directly enter a persons theory system identification in social learning theory, a special form of imitation where observers do not exactly copy what they have seen but make a more generalized but related response in social learning theory, the direct replication of an observed behavior in social learning theory, seeing a model punished for a behavior reduces the likelihood that the observer will perform that behavior

imitation inhibitory effects

limited effects theory magic bullet theory mainstreaming mass communication theories mass society theory middle-range theories modeling neo-Marxist theory

medias' influence is limited by peoples individual differences, social categories, and personal relationships the mass society theory idea that media are a powerful killing force that directly penetrates a persons' system in cultivation analysis, televisions ability to move people toward a common understanding of how things are explanations and predictions of social phenomena relating mass communication to various aspects of our personal and cultural lives or social systems the idea that media are corrupting influences; they undermine the social order, and average people are defenseless against their influence ideas that explain or predict only limited aspects of the mass communication process in social learning theory, learning through imitation and identification the theory that people are oppressed by those who control the culture, the superstructure, as opposed to the base Frankfurt School media theory, centered in neo-Marxism, that valued serious art, viewing its consumption as a means to elevate all people toward a better life; typical media fare was seen as pacifying ordinary people while repressing them the study of how economic and other influences on the way news is produced distort and bias news coverage toward those in power in social learning theory, observers can acquire (learn) new behaviors simply by seeing those behaviors performed people who receive opinion leaders interpretations of media content; from two-step flow theory people who initially consume media content, interpret it in light of their own values and beliefs, and then pass it on to opinion followers; from twostep flow theory a theory that summarizes and is consistent with all known facts fundamental, even radical rethinking of what people believe to be true for a given body of knowledge the practice in advertising of assigning meaning to a product based on who buys the product rather than on the product itself Joseph Klapper's idea that if media have any impact at all it is in the direction of reinforcement

news production research observational learning opinion followers opinion leaders

paradigm paradigm shift product positioning reinforcement theory

selective attention see selective exposure

selective exposure the idea that people expose themselves or attend to those messages that are consistent with their preexisting attitudes and beliefs selective perception idea that people interpret messages in a manner consistent with their preexisting attitudes and beliefs

selective processes people expose themselves to, remember best and longest, and reinterpret messages that are consistent with their preexisting attitudes and beliefs selective retention assumes that people remember best and longest those messages that are consistent with their existing attitudes and beliefs signs social cognitive theory in social construction of reality, things that have subjective meaning in social construction of reality, things that have subjective meaning the idea that people learn by observation

social construction theory for explaining how cultures construct and maintain their realities of reality using signs and symbols; argues that people learn to behave in their social world through interaction with it symbolic interaction symbols two-step flow theory the idea that people give meaning to symbols and then those symbols control peoples' behavior in their presence in social construction of reality, things that have objective meaning the idea that medias influence on peoples behavior is limited by opinion leaders, people who initially consume media content, interpret it in light of their own values and beliefs, and then pass it on to opinion followerswho have less frequent contact with media in social construction of reality, collections of meanings people have assigned to some phenomenon or situation the idea that media don't do things to people; people do things with media

typification schemes uses and gratifications approach

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