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Lecture 4

COMS 240 Lecture 4: Week 4

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Comm. Studies
COMS 240
Peter Van Wyck

Week IV: Media Effects and Mass Communication Wilbur Schramm, “How Communication Works,” in The Process and Effects of Mass Communication. Ed. W. Schramm (Urbana: the University of Illinois Press, 1954), 3-26. Paul F. Lazarsfeld & Robert K. Merton, “Mass Communication, Popular Taste and Organized Social Action,” Mass Communication. Ed, W. Schramm (Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1969), 492-512. A communication Primer (1953) Was the first film produced by the Eames Office (Charles and Ray Eames) to include outside consultants and resources in significant ways The film was based on the communication theory outlined in the 1949 book, The Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude Shannon (See Week III) The terms which are used the most are: “signal,” “noise,” and “communication. Not only do they use these terms to describe, say, a radio broadcast or a message being relayed by Morse code but also the creation of architecture, design and even visual art. The movie includes different concepts such as the concept of codes: what is a code? What the receiver need to know to understand a message? Code is like a key or a framework to understand a message. Wilbur Scharmn Media Effects Direct effects on individuals Medias effects research: “The body of research that investigates how exposure to different forms of media (television, video games, music, etc.) can directly influence the attitudes and behaviors of its audience.” (Joshua and Charlene D. Elliot) Schramn Communication is composed of 3 primary elements: - The source (the encoder) - The message (the signal) - The destination (the decoder) Communication is effective when the Source and the Destination are intern. Messages are signals, signs (it’s not exactly the same as semiotics) The effective transmission of a message is shaped by “mediatory effects” (p. 8) “Exactly what you will encode will depend on your choice of responses available in the situation and connected with the meaning.” The return process is called feedback. Problem and challenge of communication: there are multiple channels open to us at any one time. For Scharmn, there are 3 levels of interactions: 1) The sensory and motor skill level (stimulus for action) 2) The dispositional level (learned integration of attitudes and values that act as intervening variables) 3) The representational level (meaning are assigned and ideas are consigned) “The chief reason we study this process is to learn something about how it achieves effects” (Schramn) Each person is potentially an encoder and a decoder We want to know what a given kind of communication does to people. “Given a certain message content, we should like to predict what effect that content will have on its receivers” (Scharmn) There are 4 conditions for the success of communicatio
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