Media Effects Theories

The Uses and Gratifications theory focuses on why and how people actively seek out media products. This theory is the antitheses to the Hypodermic Needle Model, which suggests that the consumer directly receives and accepts messages that the media sends out. Censorship in countries such as North Korea is widespread, and often messages are sent out through the government, often by media, to the public, which they accept and do not question, relating to both the Hypodermic Needle Model and Passive Consumption. The Hypodermic Needle Model was often seen in propaganda in WWII, in order to encourage people to sign up to service, and to make a clear division between what countries were “good” and “bad”.

Reception Theory investigates how individuals react to media material, and how it is interpreted by each person, such as books and films. Depending on the content, and the way that is is shown, each person can take the material and interpret in many different ways, because of their upbringing, cultural background or even their education.

Cultivation Theory explores the long-term effects of television and how it may leave the viewer with a distorted view on the world, as they are seeing it through the eyes of television. Often violent films and television shows are brought up with this theory, as it is claimed that these kind of films can manipulate and influence individuals on their actions in everyday life. This is often why people call for censorship, so these kind of cases can be avoided.


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