CMN 3104: Lecture #2 Jan 9th 2014
Theories and Approaches
Communication Theories: An Intro
Theories of the Media:
Direct effect theory/stimulus response theory: assumes that media messages directly impact
behaviour (clinical psychologyPavlov)
Dog experiment salivating for a treat associate the food with the ringing of the bell when the food was
taken away. Was still salivating without the food
Effect on behaviour
Applied to media 1920s: US, fear of authoritarian propaganda why do people follow them?
Reinforced the idea that media messages are so strong which is why people are following these bad
leaders. Media has a direct effect on behaviour▯ individuals= very weak and passive
Shameful origins of mass communication theory Gustav LeBon developed an interest in
the psychology of the crowd.
Why crowds act in a particular way why would crowds follow certain leaders,
Was titled this theory because it was sexist.
Findings: those who follow are usually apart of the crowd.
The crowd was stupid and they all had feminine attributes. This was tied into how gender was perceived.
Social functionalist theories: take into consideration the fact that individual and interpersonal
communication contribute to decision making and interpretation of texts and messages ( Lasswell,
Mathematical Theories: Feedback loop, constant provision of information in order to maintain a particular
system in tact. Consider the media as a part of a system of meta stability and they facilitate the equilibrium
of social organization and control.
Military background came from before computers existed▯ when they wanted to launch a missile from point
A to point B
Critical theories (Gramsci) views the media as tools that circulate the ideologies of the elites in order
to get the consent of public this means that in order to maintain the status quo those in power need to
maintain eh consent of