Media influence is a term used, in psychology, media studies, sociology and communication theory to mean theories concerning the way the media affects the society and the reaction of the targeted audience. Mass media plays a vital role in initiating and reflecting public opinion that connects the rest of the world to individuals and reproducing the societal image. Early 20th century critics argued that media delimit or weaken the capacity of an individual to autonomously act. However the mid 20th century empirical studies suggested moderate media effects.Morden scholarship portray complex relationship between the media industry and the society, with the industry generating information related to influence and a network of connections having personal interpretation as well as evaluation of the given information. Also information can be generated outside media context. The Ultimate result of mass media does not merely relate to the perception of worthy news but to a huge group of cultural implications that operate via the media. (Freedman 20).
Media impacts strongly to cultural and the social aspect of the society. This is perpetuated by their ability to capture a variety of audience with highly influential messages. The term “medium is the message” has been used by Marshall Mc Luhan to explain how message distribution can be important than its contents. Media persuasion e.g. through the radios, televisions and news papers is the way the message can reach the intended or targeted audience. In this case therefore the media is influential since is able to influence the way people live. Broadcasting by the television controls largely the content that is being watch by the society and the specific time to watch. This is a special feature characterizing the traditional media which is being challenged by the new media through alteration of participating habits of the members of the public. A space for more diverse opinions in politics, sociocultural views and improved consumer participation has been created by the internet. Suggestions have been made that allowing consumers produce information through internet will cause information overload.
Primary, secondary and tertiary involvement
Participation by the audience with the media can be categorized into three forms that is the primary involvement whereby audience are just there to consume media text like simply watching a favorite TV program. Secondary involvement is when the concentration by the consumer is split like operating a computer and watching television. Tertiary involvement has no concentration by the consumer attached to it like glancing a newspaper in a crowded train. The theory is somewhat simplistic but provides clear explanation regarding changes in audience reception. (Mc Luhan 130).
Another emerging field of study involves the psychology of media communications. There is a manifestation of media influencing human behavior through communication. Sensory and cognitive psychology combine into the field of psychology with other ologies.Luskin Bernard a pioneer of educational and media psychology continue with his argument that in “e”learning there is more than electronics and embrace enthusiastic, exciting, exceptional, and energetic and variety of more sensory and cognitive implications which are related to behavior. Communications and media psychology continue to grow the learning dimensions both outside and inside the class room.e Learning is expanding through distance learning with communications and media providing strength in the media influence. Advertisements have impacted hugely in the physical state of a person. Being happy for whom you are far off better than striving to be who they cannot be. For instance clothing brands like the Fitch and the Abercrombie Advertise their clothing and products using posters within their catalogs and stores with specific individuals and models saying that if you wear their clothing or use the perfume you will just look like those models. But this is not the case because the targeted individuals feel that something is wrong with them if they use the product and get un desired out comes. This may lead to some of health problems like malnutrition and cause eating disorders. A video entitled killing us softly 3 shows how unrealistic media advertisement can in real sense and how important is to be aware how a company can target and attract some individuals using these techniques. These explain the reason behind how a product is sells. A poster for instance displaying a black and white photo of a naked and wet man with a tie just covering his genitals makes people think that the advert is a certain body wash but in real sense a Calvin Klein advert of blue jeans. The detailed part of the video created a deeper meaning going into race and gender roles displaying power role and what it portrays in the industry of advertisement. (Mc Luhan 185).
An instrument of Social control
Social scientists are trying to integrate mass media studies as instruments of control in study of economic and political in Afro-Asian nations. An emphasis by David Lerner in pattern of increased standards of living, literacy, urbanization and mass media exposure during a transitional era to modern society from the traditional one. According to David Lerner, despite heavy emphasis on mass media expansion in developing societies, central authority penetration to daily conciousness of mass must overcomes profound resistance. (Max 240).
Mass media in a free enterprise society
With a sizable portion in the mass media offering documentaries, commentaries, news including other programmes dealing with highly controversial issues. Mass media mainly carries a huge portion of entertainment function. Controversial issues are avoided by the and reflect values and beliefs sanctified by the media audience. Television networks follow these course whose production and investments are high. This outlook has been particularly highlighted by the work of Jerry Mander.He says that the individuals in a mass society lose souls to phantom delights of films and soap operas. This create irrational individuals of foolish wants as a result of apathetic hypnosis and stupor a situation referred to as narcotizing dysfunction of media exposure by the Lazarsfeld.These are the wants which corporations have thrust on them and continue thrusting upon them through media and the consumption culture it promulgates into the targeted individuals. In regard to these, leisure has been industrialized according to Frankfurt school. Culture production had been dominated by profit intentions and motives as well as being standardized just like other industries (Durkheim 110). Media is constantly used to induce motives and appropriate values in the public. The contemporary media is training young people to consume it.
Mass media mass culture and elite.
The relationship of mass media and the modern famous or popular culture is conceived commonly in perspective of dissemination from the elite to the media. This leads which are long-term and significantly related to continuous concentration of media control and ownership, leading to the mass elite being accused of having a kind of cultural dictatorship hence facilitating the continuation of a debate regarding the influence of “mass media barons” like Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch. (Fiore 47).
Mass media and modern public spheres
Politically, leading in opinion tend to correlate with status in a positive way but this does not happen in consumer behaviour.As for the political behaviour,the concluding generally that media fixes the opinions of individuals is not supported. With an experimental psychology, Hovland discovered significant effects implications of information in long term attitude and behavior, especially in areas with people having little direct experience and high degree of trust in the source like broadcasting. From the time the class became not oftenly much relied indicator of party, the floating voter today is no longer the apathetic one, but probably a more informed mainly through the media.
Freedman rejects the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) idea in U.S.suggesting the link between real life violence and media violence. He indicates lack of states and discussions that FCC fail to address to distinguish people's intuitions, musings and opinions on one hand and hard scientific data on the other hand. He also indicates failure to discuss a very strong argument that media is the root cause of aggression. Freedman argues that the rate of crimes of violent nature in the U.S. sharply increased from 1965-1980 which some people attributed to media influenced. The rate leveled off till 1992 when, television proceeded to air violent programs. It is therefore widely accepted that never has there been any convincing evidence that prove violent crimes to be caused by media violence. (Jenkins 80).
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