CCT210H5 Study Guide - Final Guide: Cass Sunstein, Semiotics, Online Dating Service

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Published on 29 Dec 2013
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CCT210 Exam Review
Part I: Short Definitions
Bystander/Aggressor Effect
The bystander and aggressor effects are both social psychological phenomenons. As for the bystander
effect, the greater number of bystanders there is, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. The
bystander effect describes the condition in which a person has become desensitized and less
sympathetic to violence and its victims as a result of extended exposure to violence itself. However,
the aggressor effect, states that a person exposed to a substantial amount of violent video game
entertainment will become more aggressive, more violent, more irritable and meaner. (Ex. Military
Games to desensitize killing)
Syntagmatic/Paradigmatic Axis
Saussure defines syntagmatic as relations that have various ways in which elements within the same
text relate to each other. However, paradigmatic is the relationship between a set of text that form
mutually exclusive choices. Both are presented in an axis, syntagmatic is horizontal and the latter is
vertical. In Bill Nichols article, ‘semiotics of film’, he talks about the axis’ in relation to film. He states
that, in film, the syntagmatic axis consists of the actual arrangement of chosen signs: the hero, gun,
villain and hero’s action. This axis unfolds over time. The paradigmatic axis, however, is the sum of
available choices that exist with exists within a scene in a movie (for example, the weapons to be
shown in a certain context).
Daily Me
The article by Cass Sunstein, Daily me, explores how consumers are able to filter what we view in the
online media. This method allows consumers to personalize their pages in a way that they only see what
is interesting to them. The main questions the author asks is how will this alter how citizens govern
themselves and what the social precautions are. Two main concerns are the fact that people should be
exposed to materials they haven’t sought as many citizens should have a range of common experiences
to help solve social problems. Three main topics are Specialization, Polarization and Social Cascades.
Specialization refers to how people tend to only watch news if it’s solely based/related to them.
Polarization is the fact that if people only view things that interest them, there will be a limited
argument pool. And lastly, these issues can lead to social cascades which is basically narrowing of
information (spread of incorrect information).
Push/Pull Effect
Author Claire Harrison attempts to give readers an example of a semiotic version of the push and pull
effects. In her analysis, Harrison gives an example of these effects based on the advertising of male
grooming products. Harrison states that the push effect is to make men more aware and critical of
their faces/bodies in order to promote sales while respecting the pull effect. They need to be careful so
men don’t feel the pull. Author states that this is occurring due to ‘commodity capitalism’. This
phenomenon seeks to standardize consumption patterns on a global scale, thus enhancing constant
economic growth. In this article, Harrison shows a case study of ‘Stud5ive’s Double Stroke Mascara’. This
mascara is supposed to be looked as making a man look more masculine with defined eyelashes. The
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Document Summary

The bystander and aggressor effects are both social psychological phenomenons. As for the bystander effect, the greater number of bystanders there is, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. The bystander effect describes the condition in which a person has become desensitized and less sympathetic to violence and its victims as a result of extended exposure to violence itself. However, the aggressor effect, states that a person exposed to a substantial amount of violent video game entertainment will become more aggressive, more violent, more irritable and meaner. (ex. Saussure defines syntagmatic as relations that have various ways in which elements within the same text relate to each other. However, paradigmatic is the relationship between a set of text that form mutually exclusive choices. The article by cass sunstein, daily me, explores how consumers are able to filter what we view in the online media.

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