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COM 375 Notes Test 1

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COM 375
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I. The History of Entertainment a. Pay Attention To: i. The “key concepts” ii. Be able to identify and evaluate examples of key concepts iii. Additional examples in the reading b. Concept 1: Evolution i. The thing you use to process media entertainment was not designed for that task c. Concept 2: Difference Between Work and Leisure i. Work is all the behaviors one undertakes to maintain life 1. Eating, drinking, sleeping, shelter, sex ii. Leisure is everything else iii. Work vs. Leisure 1. Hunter/Gatherer a. Sleep: 8 hours b. Hunt/Gather: 16 hours 2. Now a. Sleep: 8 hours b. Eat: 3 hours c. Work: 8 hours d. Leisure: 5 hours iv. Examples: 1. Going to class - Work 2. Working out - Work and Leisure 3. Having coffee w/friends – Leisure 4. Grocery Shopping- Work 5. Shopping at the mall – v. Three Key Concepts: 1. Developments in communication gave rise to more leisure time a. Why and what did people do with their leisure time? 2. Entertainment has always been morally contentious a. What issues and who cared? 3. Today is the most entertainment saturated time in history a. What are those entertainments? d. Entertainment Comes With Leisure i. Early hominids had very little leisure ii. Communication creates efficiencies 1. E.g., agriculture, animal labor 2. Efficiencies led to leisure a. Religion b. Storytelling c. Sports d. Art e. Entertainment, Wealth, and Morality i. Storytelling became mechanism for cultural history and order 1. Scribes, priests, griots, epic poets (Homer) 2. “Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past.” Orwell (and RATM) ii. Entertainment went to those who had leisure (powerful) 1. Art, hedonism, clowns, sex, sports iii. During the Middle Ages, entertainment became a question of Christian morality 1. U.S. founded by people who hated entertainment f. Is Entertainment Still a Moral Question? i. Have you ever heard these are bad for you? 1. Heavy metal 2. Violent video games 3. Pornography 4. Lady Gaga 5. Soap operas 6. Cell phones g. Is Entertainment Still a Question of Wealth? i. Can you afford: 1. Sheryl Crow tickets 2. Lions season tickets 3. Membership in the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club 4. VIP room at Lou & Harry’s h. More Entertainment Than Ever i. The 1 century has more entertainment, more conveniently than any other time in history ii. Entertainment media turns new entertainment media into old entertainment media i. Question examples: i. Which of the following led to increased leisure time for early humans? 1. Better communication ii. Eating dinner with friends is an example of: 1. Work iii. Who was responsible for prohibiting entertainment in Middle Age Europe? 1. Christians II. Drama/Narrative a. Media Information Processing and Drama i. Focus on 1. How your brain processes media entertainment 2. Elements of drama 3. What your brain is doing in order to make sense of drama 4. Both drama media information processing are fundamental to everything we will talk about the remainder of semester ii. Know definitions and identify instances of each component of drama: 1. Drama 2. Conflict 3. Story 4. Plot 5. Characters 6. Thought iii. Drama Definition 1. Media products that dwell on conflict and conflict resolution by depicting events that impact the welfare of persons, animals, and animated things 2. Example: Finding Nemo a. Nemo is the only son of overly protective Marlin b. White at school, Nemo is captured by a scuba diver c. Marlin and new friend Dory go in search of Nemo d. Marlin and Dory have many adventures looking for Nemo e. Meanwhile, Nemo plans his escape with the tank gang f. Nigel shows Marlin where Nemo is. Marlin doesn’t think he can rescue Nemo g. Nemo escapes through the drain, but Marlin has already given up h. Dory finds Nemo and returns him to his father i. Dory is caught in a net, but Nemo saves her j. And they all live happily ever after. 3. Drama components a. Conflict – the central contest in the drama; typically opposition of needs, values, and/or interests b. Story/narrative – a series of events unfolding in chronological order c. Plot – the unfolding of events; how the action of the story is ordered d. Characters – the personality or part that the actor recreates i. Protagonist – the principle character; must be likeable with a fatal flaw, propels the action by seeking a goal ii. Antagonist – characters who stand in the way of the protagonist reaching his/her goal e. Thought – the message of the narrative found in the manner in which the protagonist overcomes the antagonist and/or fatal flaw i. The thought is often not very deep, challenging, or complex iv. Drama is: 1. Conflict driven 2. Expressive of thoughts 3. Reflective of audience interests and concerns 4. Highly conventional a. Television programs, movies, novels, etc. follow accepted formulas or conventions v. QUIZ 1 1. Which of the following is an example of leisure in the life of an average college student? A) Going out for coffee with friends B) Writing a term paper C) Meeting with a study group D) Shopping for food 2. The first people to have leisure time used the time for all of the above, except: A) Religion B) Storytelling C) Story reading D) Sports E) Art 3. The movie Momento runs backwards. Because of this, we would say that Momento has an unusual ______? A) Conflict B) Story C) Plot D) Convention E) Characters 4. If you were to run Momento forward in chronological order, you would be revealing the ________? A) Conflict B) Story C) Plot D) Convention E) Characters 5. The movie Little Caesar is about Rico, a murderous psychopath whose attempts to take over organized crime in Chicago ends when he is gunned down outside a flophouse. In Little Caesar, Rico is the: A) Hero B) Villain C) Protagonist D) Antagonist 6. What is the opposition of needs, values, and/or interests? A) Conflict B) Story C) Plot D) Convention E) Characters 7. Where is the thought/message of the story found? A) The conflict B) In the Cliff Notes C) In the story exposition D) How the protagonist overcomes his fatal flaw and the antagonist 8. Which of the following led to increased leisure time for early humans? A) Domesticating fire B) More efficient hunting C) Better communication D) All of the above 9. Eating dinner with friends is an example of: A) Work B) Sustainability C) Effort D) Leisure 10. Who was responsible for prohibiting entertainment in Middle Age Europe? A) Emperors B) The educated classes C) Christians D) Business owners b. Dramatic Structures i. Genre (type or kind) 1. A category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content a. Action (21) - $80 million (average gross) b. Animated (9) - $150 million c. Comedy (21) - $62 million d. Drama (21) - $52 million e. Family (10) - $50 million f. Horror (13) - $40 million g. Romantic Comedy (11) - $47 million h. Science Fiction (18) - $116 million 2. The Cycle of Genres a. “Slasher” movie i. Originators: Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th ii. Classical: Child’s Play, Candyman, My Bloody Valentine iii. Revisionist: Scream, Final Destination, I Know What You Did Last Summer iv. Parody: Scary Movie, Shriek b. Horror Film Survival Tips i. When it seems that you’ve killed the monster, never check to see if it’s really dead ii. Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke iii. If your children speak to you in Latin or any other language which they do not know, or if they speak using a voice other than their own, shoot them at once. iv. As a general rule, don’t solve puzzles that open portals to hell. v. If you’re running from a monster, expect to trip or fall at least twice. ii. Convention at the level of plot 1. Act 1: Introduces the characters and conflict 2. Plot Point 1: Steers plot into new direction 3. Act 2: Builds the conflict 4. Plot Point 2: Changes conflict, steers plot in toward climax 5. Act 3: Climax, conflict resolved iii. Convention at the shot level 1. Long shots establish relational distance 2. Close shots suggest intimacy 3. Lower angle makes character powerful 4. High angle makes character weak c. Big Ideas i. Drama contains: 1. Conflict, plot, story/narrative, protagonist, antagonist, thought ii. Drama is: 1. Conflict driven, contains thought, is reflective of audience interests and concerns and is highly conventional iii. Conventions of drama include: 1. Genres, 3-act structure, shot level III. Media Information Processing a. What to pay attention to: i. Motivation ii. Perception iii. Attention iv. Memory v. Limited Capacity Model vi. Know the difference between 1. ‘mind’ and ‘brain 2. Controlled and automatic processing b. Media Information Processing – Definition i. The process by which we choose, receive, interpret and make sense of media messages ii. The set of systems built by evolution, for interacting with the world c. Minds vs. Brains i. The brain is a complex set of organs that facilitates and delimits human thought and behavior 1. It is a product of biological evolution ii. The mind is a product of brain processing 1. Perceptions, emotions, thoughts, personality, etc. d. Must Assume an Active Audience i. People are emotionally and intellectually engaged with the media ii. The engagement happens dynamically (over time) iii. People are information processors who are capable of using stimuli to build upon existing knowledge that can alter or produce cognitions and emotions 1. Controlled information processing occurs when people consciously decide to pay attention to a message 2. Automatic information processing is unintentional involuntary effortless, autonomous, and outside awareness e. Motivation i. What is motivation? 1. Motivation is evolution’s way of telling you that you are on the right track a. People who enjoyed behaving in ways that were functional in the evolutionary environment were more likely to survive and have their genes passed forward 2. Enjoyment= neurotransmitter rewards a. Dopamine (heroin/cocaine), serotonin (ecstasy), endorphins (exercise, sex, morphine) 3. Over time, people learn which media under what conditions will bring them neurotransmitter rewards 4. Balanced stimulation as motivation a. Action in your brain can be excitatory (arousal) or inhibitory (relaxation) ii. Rewards 1. Origin of Rewards a. Basic i. Reward systems that you are born with ii. Biological: 1. Thirst, hunger, sleep, fear, reproduction iii. Social: 1. Social affiliation, altruism, reciprocity b. Learned i. Rewards learning through interaction ii. Stimulus-response learning iii. Social learning 2. Valence of Rewards a. Positive Motivation i. Appetitive 1. Rewards given for seeking out certain stimuli ii. Consummatory 1. Rewards given for engaging in certain behaviors iii. Avoidance 1. Rewards the avoidance of certain behaviors by lack of negative stimulation b. Negative Motivation i. Punishment 1. Noxious state; pain ii. Penalty/Loss 1. Removal or absence of positive reward 3. Ergo . . . a. Humans evolved rewards for seeking and consuming certain things b. Some of these rewards are stimulating; others relaxing; others are noxious; all are associated with neurotransmitters c. During our life, we learn which media under what conditions will bring them neurotransmitter rewards they seek 4. Information processing is not a linear system a. Motivation – Viewing - Reward b. Motivation = Reward = Motivation f. Perception i. Must-knows 1. Characteristics of perception 2. How much information does the visual system need for perception a. What are the perceptual cues the visual system uses 3. What does it mean that perception is emergent 4. Idea behind a “grandma neuron” and why it is wrong 5. In what ways can perception be fooled 6. What is “person perception” ii. What is perception? 1. A multi-stage process of bringing stimuli into awareness a. Identifying an apple (stimulus) as an apple (awareness) 2. Occurring outside of consciousness 3. Task focused 4. How you make sense of stimuli 5. Primary entertainment tasks are perception of visual and auditory stimuli iii. The Grandma Neuron 1. Originally, researchers believed that perception worked by matching incoming information to individual neurons or clusters of neurons 2. This must be wrong a. Not enough neurons to handle all images b. What happens if Grandma shaves her head? (i.e. what if a known image changes?) iv. The Apple Neuron 1. Generalizing ability 2. Perception can be influenced by priming (seeing 4 apples before 1 non-apple can make you believe the non-apple is actually an apple if it has similar characteristics) v. Visual Perception 1. Light enters eye through the lens and focuses on the retina 2. Visible Light Spectrum a. The retina has two types of photoreceptor cells: i. Rods 1. Detect Luminance (levels of light) across all wavelengths ii. Cones 1. Require greater light intensity and are wavelength specific a. Red, green, and blue b. Luminance and color represent limited information vi. Emergent Perception 1. Visual detection (what the brain ‘sees’) a. Luminance b. Color 2. From that, the brain infers: a. Shape b. Texture c. Motion d. Disparity 3. Working memory matches detected patterns to frequency information stored in long term memory 4. Perception emerges 5. What does the eye ‘see’? a. Perceptual cues i. Color intensity ii. Lines that suggest occlusion iii. Relative size of shapes assumed to be equal iv. Relative shape of lines assumed to be parallel vii. Emergent Pattern Perception 1. Perceiving based on pattern finding abilities viii. Person Perception 1. We construct emergent perceptions of people, as well as objects 2. Person perception can be influenced by our knowledge, expectancies, goals, motivations, values, and attitudes a. With knowledge of a person or group of people, perception can quickly change g. Attention i. Must-knows 1. What is attention? 2. The three attention systems a. What is each system responsible for? 3. Two primary ways media attention research is done 4. The basic findings on media and attention ii. What is attention? 1. A psychological process by which information is made available for cognitive and emotional analysis 2. Attention refers to the preparedness for and selection of: a. Certain aspects of our physical environment (e.g., people, objects) or b. Some ideas in our mind that are stored in memory 3. A mechanism for providing priority for motor acts, consciousness and certain types of memory a. Enables the mind iii. Three Attention Networks 1. Alerting – the ability to increase and maintain response readiness in preparation for an impending stimulus (aka vigilance) 2. Orienting – the ability to select specific information from among multiple sensory stimuli (external) 3. Executive – the attention of “thought” a. planning, decision making, error detection, conflict, overcoming habitual actions (internal) h. QUIZ 3 1. Every time Bart tries to play Grand Theft Auto, Marge (his mom) switches the television to the Opera Network. As a result, Bart hates opera. What type of motivational system does this illustrate? i. A) Avoidance ii. B) Consummatory iii. C) Appetitive iv. D) Penalty/Loss v. 2. It makes Homer happy to drive to the store to get donuts. Which type of motivation system is being activated? vi. A) Avoidance vii. B) Consummatory viii. C) Appetitive ix. D) Penalty/Loss x. 3. Perception consists of all the following characteristics, except: xi. A) multi-stage process xii. B) occurs outside of consciousness xiii. C) influenced by long term memory xiv. D) task focused xv. E) requires conscious recognition xvi. 4. In class, I gave the example of how identifying a set of four apples led some people to perceive a pear as an apple. This is an example of: xvii. A) influence by priming xviii. B) perceptual automaticity xix. C) alternating attention on perception xx. D) attributional redress
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