Medium impact research

the medium impact research is concerned with effects, which have medium contents on the recipients (both individual persons and groups and societies).

Table of contents

early medium impact research

at the beginning of the medium impact research in the first decades 20. Century proceeded one from very large, mostly negative medium effect. This estimate lay in the large fascination justified, which the new media cinema and radio exercised. The large success of professional advertisement and political propaganda (in the First World War) strengthened the impression still. In order to confirm the thesis of the strong, tendentious negative medium effect, in the United States the Payne find Studies was accomplished, which should prove the negative influence of the cinema particularly on young men. This influence was apparently confirmed: Asked Kinobesucher were on the average more aggressively adjusted. However one had neglected the fact that the medium cinema was used at present the study particularly by members of lower social classes, so that the determined higher aggressiveness rather on the layer affiliation of the asked ones when to the cinema was to due.

1938 provided the radio play the war of the worlds of Orson Welles over an extraterrestial invasion on earth for a further apparent confirmation of the negative medium effects. The legend of the mass panic, which seized allegedly the listeners, holds itself with restrictions until today. An investigation of Cantril occupied already little later that only few listeners had actually believed to do it with a genuine invasion from the universe to have. The reaction the particular hung to a large extent of the respective social hearing situation, which interpretation of the belonged one, the education conditions etc. off knows Cantril here thus factors after, which can affect the medium effect crucially.

early models of the medium impact research

stimulus Response model

thesis of selective allowance

non-uniform model of the medium effect

interpretive model of the medium effect

for Lazarsfeld and minimum the Effects Studies

the sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld investigated in the early 40's 20. Century on behalf the US army the effect of the propaganda film “The Battle OF Britain” on the American soldiers, who should be before-spread thereby on the war. Here it stated that a hierarchy of the Stabilitäten existed: Knowledge and with restrictions also superficial opinions to some extent well by the film, attitudes or motivation was not to be affected against it few to at all. Lazarsfeld concluded from it that it depended particularly on the optimal organization of the messages which can be obtained, as far the medium effect is enough can and whether a Persuasion, thus a conviction, can take place.

Lazarsfelds study “The People's Choice” of 1948, which examined the influence of the mass media on the voting pattern of the Americans, disappointed the researcher, who had proceeded from very large medium effects: It stated that for its terms very small influence of modern means of communication on the Präsidentenwahl existed. This led to the education of a paradigm of the small medium effect, which should determine the medium impact research for many decades. Lazarsfeld supported its realizations by numerous “minimum Effects Studies”, which confirmed again and again the small effect of the mass media.

Instead of a opinion-changing effect of the media Lazarsfeld tightened an amplifier effect: Mass media change existing attitudes not, but strengthen them still. This justifies itself among other things by selective perception.

A new realization of Lazarsfelds studies was that the recipient is definitely active and affects the process of the medium effect - among other things by selectivity. Here finally to the stimulus Response model one contradicts, which from uniform Rezeption and medium effect for all recipients proceeds. The active recipient is an uncontradicted size in the medium impact research.

extent of the medium effect

Lazarsfeld coined/shaped the paradigm of the small medium effect. However there were attempts for the 70's to relate its results because Lazarsfeld had called something medium effect only if a change of the opinion were to due to medialen influence. However also the reinforcement of existing points of view can be rated by the Rezeption of medium contents as medium effect.

modern trend theories of the medium impact research

agenda Setting


being silent spiral


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