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- CHAPTER SEVEN Uses and Gratifications Theory
- Communication Theory/Uses and Gratifications
- What Is Uses and Gratifications Theory? Definition and Examples
Billions of people around the world are experiencing new ways of interacting with people using the social networking sites SNS.
Social media is built upon user-generated content and interactivity between users. Understanding the users within social media is therefore imperative to understanding how social media itself functions. This chapter explores the users of social media in more detail and asks the two key questions of who uses social media, and why they do so. When looking towards past research for inspiration as a way to understand user interest towards media, the Uses and Gratifications model stands out as a key approach for exploring media uptake.
CHAPTER SEVEN Uses and Gratifications Theory
Published on Authors of this article:. Background: Exposure to risk behavior on social media is associated with risk behavior tendencies among adolescents, but research on the mechanisms underlying the effects of social media exposure is sparse. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the motivations of social media use and the mediating and moderating mechanisms of their effects on attitude toward electronic cigarette e-cigarette use among adolescents. We examined the roles of motivations in the effect of social media use on risk exposure and risk attitude. Results: Motivations for social media use included agency, self-expression, realism, social learning, social comparison, and filter. These motivations were associated differentially with the frequency of use of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
Uses and gratifications theory asserts that people use media to gratify specific wants and needs. Uses and gratifications was first introduced in the s as scholars began to study why people choose to consume various forms of media. For the next few decades, uses and gratifications research mostly focused on the gratifications media users sought. Then, in the s, researchers turned their attention to the outcomes of media use and the social and psychological needs that media gratified. Uses and gratifications theory relies on two principles about media users. First, it characterizes media users as active in their selection of the media they consume. They are engaged and motivated in their media selections.
Early media studies focused on the use of mass media in propaganda and persuasion. However, journalists and researchers soon looked to behavioral sciences to help figure out the effect of mass media and communications on society. Scholars have developed many different approaches and theories to figure this out. Widespread fear that mass-media messages could outweigh other stabilizing cultural influences, such as family and community, led to what is known as the direct effects model of media studies. This model assumed that audiences passively accepted media messages and would exhibit predictable reactions in response to those messages. For example, following the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds in which was a fictional news report of an alien invasion , some people panicked and believed the story to be true.
Communication Theory/Uses and Gratifications
Over the past few decades, technology has truly revolutionized our lives. Perhaps one of the biggest transformations has occurred within mass communication. Prior to the industrial revolution, society had a virtually nonexistent form of mass media. However, as life began to transform, mass communication began to grow in all aspects. With each decade within the twentieth century, edge-breaking theories were presented in relation to the communication field. Two theories that brought forth a relatively astonishing perspective to this field were the Uses and Gratifications Approach and the Dependency Theory.
The studies related to the Uses and Gratifications (U&G) theory defend that one of the motivations for consuming media is entertainment (Rubin, ; Ruggiero,.
What Is Uses and Gratifications Theory? Definition and Examples
The purpose of this paper was to explore the uses and gratifications sought by the primary target market pre-adolescent and adolescent groups of a new social media site, TikTok. The paper also sought to identify how much of a role the motivations of self-expression, social recognition and fame-seeking important considerations within adolescent psychology development played in the use of this particular social networking sites SNS. Following meticulous sampling procedures, ensuring national representation and stringent ethical practices, self-completion questionnaires were sent to pupils at 60 schools in the five key administrative regions of Denmark. The data was examined using analysis of variation tests, followed by a two-step cluster analysis using the log-likelihood method. Pre-adolescent groups were more active and heavier users of TikTok than were adolescents.
Uses and gratifications approach is an influential tradition in media research. The original conception of the approach was based on the research for explaining the great appeal of certain media contents. The core question of such research is: Why do people use media and what do they use them for?
Uses and gratifications theory UGT is an approach to understanding why and how people actively seek out specific media to satisfy specific needs. UGT is an audience-centered approach to understanding mass communication. This communication theory is positivistic in its approach, based in the socio-psychological communication tradition, and focuses on communication at the mass media scale. It assumes that audience members are not passive consumers of media. Rather, the audience has power over their media consumption and assumes an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives.
These six theories are cultivation, agenda setting, framing, uses and gratifications, social learning, and third person effect. Each of these six theories is examined in detail using fourteen analytical dimensions organized into four categories: how the theory was originally conceptualized, its original components, patterns of empirical testing of its claims, and how the theory has developed over time.
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