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Media Effects and Cultural
Approaches to Research
“What are the media doing to us?”
Early Research
• Propaganda Analysis
Early Research
• Propaganda Analysis
• Public Opinion Research
Public opinion
• Gallup
• Roper
Early Research
• Propaganda Analysis
• Public Opinion Research
• Marketing Research
1. Define the problem. The problem then
becomes the focus of the research.
2. How will you collect the data that you will
analyze to solve your problem? Telephone
survey? Focus group?
3. Select a sampling method. Random
sample, stratified sample, or cluster
4. How will you analyze any data collected?
5. Determine budget and timeframe.
6. Collect the data.
7. Analyze the data.
8.Final report. Contain charts, tables, and
diagrams that will communicate the results
of the research. Watch out for errors in
Early Research
• Propaganda Analysis
• Public Opinion Research
• Marketing Research
• Social Psychology Studies
Social Psychology Studies
• Attempt to measure behavior and
• The Payne Studies examined young
peoples’ (physiological) reactions to
movies. Viewing of sexual and aggressive
• Established the model for studies of TV
viewing in the 60s.
Key Phases in Research
Hypodermic Needle
Direct Effects
Magic Bullet
Led to formulation of the transportation
Transportation Model
Channel or Medium
Feedback loop
Minimal Effects Model
• Selective Exposure
• Selective Retention
• Without filters we would be overwhelmed
by stimuli.
• Sense-Select-Perceive-Remember-LearnKnow.
Uses & Gratifications Model
• For what do you use the media?
• What needs does is gratify?
Approaches to media effects
• Scientific method. Based on Hypotheses,
research and testing, and analyses.
• Experiments. Problems?
• Surveys.
• Validity & reliability.
• Longitudinal study.
• Content Analysis.
Social Learning Theory
• Media portrayals teach us our
• Gender, race, socioeconomic.
Explaining media effects.
Agenda Setting
Cultivation Effect
Status Conferral
Most media research best
explains effects on individuals –
not on community or social life.
Cultural Studies
• Textual: looking at interpretation and
meaning of symbols of culture.
• Audience: how people use cultural
• Political Economy: concern over the
increasing conglomeration of media