Film_240_Notes.docx

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Department
Film and Media
Course Code
FILM 240
Professor
Sidney Eve Matrix

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Film 240 Notes Lecture 2 Chapter 15 Media Effects – Evolution of media research over time - What media portrays has a strong influence/powerful effect on individuals and society– suicide (teenagers after metal band suicide song), hijacking pranks/threats (movie), killing spree couple, etc.  cultural debates over the suggestive power of music, visual images and screen violence. Relationship between make-believe stories and real-life imitation has drawn a great deal of tension - Media effects research: attempt to understand explain and predict the effects of mass media on individuals and society. Goal; uncover whether or not there is a connection between aggressive behavior and violence in the media, particularly in children and teens. - Cultural Studies: area of mass media research research approach focuses on how people make meaning, apprehend reality, articulate values, and order experience through their use of cultural symbols. Scholars examine how status quo groups in society, particularly corporate and political elites, use media to circulate their messages and sustain their interests. - Rise of media research: propaganda analysis, public opinion research, social psychology studies, and marketing research. - Propaganda Analysis: was considered a positive force for mobilizing public opinion during the war (ww1), after war researchers labeled it negative, calling it “partisan appeal based on half-truths and devious manipulation of communication channels.” - Public Opinion Research: Opinion polls measure public attitudes. Walter Lipman distrusted public’s ability to function as knowledgeable citizens as well as journalisms ability to help the public separate truth from lies. Today, social scientists conduct “public opinion research or citizen surveys” these have become especially influential during political elections  provide insight into citizen behavior and social differences. A problem is the pervasive use of unreliable Pseudo-polls: typically call-in, online, or person- in-the-street polls that the news media use to address a “question of the day.” - Social Psychology Studies: Measure the behavior and cognition of individuals.  Payne Fund Studies: series of thirteen research projects conducted by social psychologists  response to growing national concern about effects of motion pictures. Researches concluded films could be dangerous for young children and might foster sexual promiscuity among teenagers  establishment of film industry’s production code  tamed movie content 1930-1950. - Marketing Research: Many advertisers and product companies began conducting surveys on consumer buying habits in 1920s. - Hypodermic-Needle Model: Powerful media affecting weak audiences, sometimes also called the magic bullet theory or the direct effects model  media shoot their potent effects directly into unsuspecting victims. - Minimal-Effects Model: or limited model, media alone cannot cause people to change their attitudes and behaviors. Researchers argue, in most cases mass media reinforce existing behaviors and attitudes rather than change them. Based on surveys and experiments: o Selective Exposure: people expose themselves to the media messages that are most familiar to them  o Selective Retention: and they retain the messages that confirm the values and attitudes they already hold. o Research study: the effects of mass communications: found mass media only influenced individuals who did not already hold strong views on an issue and that the media had a greater impact on poor and uneducated audiences  solidifying minimal-effects argument - Uses and Gratification Model: response to minimal-effects theory  proposes to contest the notion of a passive (submissive) media audience  study ways in which people use media to satisfy various emotional or intellectual needs. “why do we use media?”  model addresses functions of the mass media for individuals, but doesn’t address impact of the media on society. - Conduction Media Effects Research: Private or Public Sector o Private research/proprietary research: generally conducted for a business, a corporation, or even a political campaign  applied research, addresses real life problems. o Public Research: takes place in academic and government settings. Involves information that is often more theoretical than applied, tries to clarify, explain, or predict the effects of mass media. - Scientific method: blueprint long used by scientists and scholars to study phenomena in systematic stages. o Relies on objectivity (eliminating bias and judgments on the part of researchers), reliability (getting the same answers or outcomes from a study during repeated testing) and validity (demonstrating that a study actually measures what it claims to measure) o Hypotheses: tentative general statements that predict the influence of an independent variable on a dependent variable. - Experiments: in media research isolate some aspect of content suggest a hypothesis; manipulate variables to discover a particular mediums impact on attitude, emotion or behavior.  Experimental group  ground under study to test if hypothesis is true  subjects from each group through random experiment – simply means that each subject has an equal chance of being placed in either group. Experiments have limitations, e.g. in field experiments researchers have less control than in lab, but problems: when subjects are removed from the environments in which they regularly use the media, they may act different-often with fewer inhibitions than they would in their everyday surroundings. While most experiments are fairly good at predicting short-term media effects under controlled conditions, they do not predict how subjects will behave months or years later in the real world. - Survey Research: collecting and measuring date taken from a group of respondents using random sampling. Benefits; usually generalizable to the larger society and they enable researchers to investigate populations in long- term studies. o Longitudinal studies: large government and academic survey databases are now widely available and contribute to the development of more long range or longitudinal studies, which make it possible for social scientists to compare new studies with those conducted years earlier. o Surveys cannot show cause-effect relationships, but can how ever reveal correlations: or associations between two variables.
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