Comm 102 Lecture Notes Test One.docx

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Department
Communication Studies
Course
COMM 102
Professor
Scott Campbell
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 2 A Study of Symbolic Activities -we can’t directly share any sensations or experiences with anyone else (we are alone in that sense) -communication 5is a symbolic playing field that allows us to overcome this barrier between self and others -human beings are constantly trying to overcome this obstacle with FB, cell phones, etc. -symbolic language- words do not mean anything on their own, but over time humans have come to terms on what words mean Content -Forms- genres or types of programs/articles -Channels- communication media and technologies -Encoding content- the process of message construction (putting together a powerpoint is putting together and sending us the message) -Decoding content- audience and effects understanding, interpreting, and applying (response to lecture- taking notes, texting, nodding off, etc.) -How you decode can affect how you encode (if everyone is depressed as a response to the message, the person will encode it differently next time) Where are the effects occurring? -Domains- topical areas (political, health, violence, etc.) -Levels- individual, small group, social groups, society -Locating media effects- domains and levels combined Categorizing Media Effects -Cognitive- effects concern “what you think” (knowledge and beliefs) -Affective- effects concern “how you feel” (emotions and moods, positive or negative- ambivalent, attitudes- global affective evaluations) -Behavioral- effects concern “what you do” (concrete responses to messages, observable, anti-social or pro-social) -Content-dependent- specific media content is linked to specific effects (watching violence in mediabecoming aggressive or causeoutcome) -Content-irrelevant- time/activity displacement effects (taking time away from doing something else and watching tv regardless of what it is, or health effects such as sitting too close to the TV will fry your eyes) -Intended- persuasive campaigns -Unintended- negative effects (effects of sex and violence in the media are conventions of TC drama productions and lead to higher ratings and profits) and political cynicism and demobilization are unintended consequences of attack ads in political campaigns) -Change- political and advertising campaigns (conversion and mobilizing the base and encouraging repeat purchases) and inoculation (immunizing against persuasive messages in advance) -Reinforcement- some communication messages aim to prevent change or stabilize what currently exists -Micro- affects the individual -Macro- effects could have societal-level implications and consequences -Short-term- changes that take place right after exposure to a message, typical -Long-term- enduring. Cumulative, delayed effects (sleeper effects) -synthesis- any given media influence can be described as a combination of different dimensions and effects (short-term, behavioral effects or long-term, affective, intended, and reinforcement effects) Why do people study the effects of mass communication? Application to Public Policy -effects research in a particular area tends to be sparked by funding for large scale studies -main players: federal agencies -The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -use of broadcast waves/signals -content diversity/sex and violence in the media -The Federal Trade Commission -advertising -media ownership concentration -The Commission on Civil Rights, House and Senate subcommittees, and special presidential commissions Utility for Practitioners of Mass Communication -can help media practitioners create effective and persuasive messages to achieve goals (political, advertising, PR, or other goals) -can help improve the quality of news-reporting -can help media practitioners increase the likelihood of prosocial media effects Benefits for Media Consumers -can provide parents and educators with important information regarding the processes and media effects -can help consumers understand how to mitigate negative effects -many non-profit media watchdog groups Developing Social Scientific Theories About Communication and Culture -academic approach -attempts to understand why and how media effects occur rather than just asking whether effects can be found -develops hypotheses and tests them using scientific methods Lecture 3 Ways of Knowing Common Sense or Folk Wisdom -something is true because it is “self-evident” or it is widely known -folk wisdom/proverb is loaded with “truth” and considered “accepted knowledge” -however, folk wisdoms are not always valid Senses and Experiences -learning from personal experiences and their own observations (empiricism) -casual and unsystematic -could reach a conclusion that is solidly wrong -it may be valid just for oneself -one’s impression might be just wrong Authority -truth is established through a trusted source such as religious leaders, governmental officials, and experts -authority can clarify controversies -however, blind allegiance to authority could have debilitation results on our search for reliable knowledge -experts may bot always have the “expertise” with which we credit them -the supposed authority figures could have various interests to protect -people often respond to symbols of authority rather than the substance of authority such as knowledge and expertise -it is difficult to see authority, and we only see “symbols” of authority, and these symbols are easy to counterfeit Science—main characteristics of (social) scientific method -logical- development of logical expectations -systematic- planned activities for making observations and examining expectations -empirical- conclusion must correspond to what we observe Goals of Science Explanation (and understanding) why something occurs the way it does -continually scrutinizing previously established explanations -looking for more comprehensive explanations Predictions- foretelling the future Control- greater control over a phenomenon of interest (helps prevention and intervention) Science Helps us avoid errors in human inquiry Inaccurate observation (casual and semiconscious) Scientific inquiry is systematic and deliberate Selective observation- we tend to focus only on certain events that support our thoughts or interest and ignore others Overgeneralization- we take one or a few observations and then say it represents the whole group -scientists use a representative and large number of observations and undertake replications -scientific research is evaluated by anonymous peer reviewers (blind- review) Mystification- belief that certain things are unknowable -scientists believe that there are regular and systematic patterns and that a scientific investigation can reveal those patterns -scientists believe that everything that can be reliably measured is knowable Lecture 4 Doing Scientific Research Theory- systematic explanations and predictions of phenomena -a set of generalizations that explain observable phenomena by pos
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