Role of Groups in Mass Communication

Groups as Instruments of Change

Do you think a person’s group influence his / her attitudes and behaviours? Discuss the role of groups in mass communication.   Groups as Instruments of Change: Because of the power of social influence, groups can sometimes be used as agents or instru­ments of change. Group structure and group dynamics are very much a part of the process at work in organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, and some groups that help people to stop smoking. Thr principles of group norms and group pres­sure can often be seen at work in these kinds of efforts. Alcoholics Anonymous, for in­stance, has a group norm that permits and encourages people to talk about their problems with alcohol. This is a reversal of the norm in the culture at large, which discourages talk­ing about an individual’s alcohol problem and almost makes such discussion a taboo. AA members also share other norms, such […]

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Various Techniques of Persuasion

What are the various techniques of persuasion? Explain with   your own examples. Techniques of Persuasion We now turn to three important techniques commonly used in persuasion: appeals to humor, appeals to sex, and extensive repetition of an advertising message. Audiences and communicators need to understand their applications—and their potential misuse. Appeals to Humor: The use of humor is a popular technique in communication. Many public speakers ob­viously believe in the importance of beginning their talks with a humorous story. Studies have suggested that 15 to 20 percent of television commercials contain some element of humor (Kelly & Solomon, 1975; Duncan & Nelson, 1985). In the typical study of the effects of humor on attitude change or other variables in the hierarchy of effects, different groups are exposed to different versions of the same mes­sage—one with humor and one without. For instance, Brooker (1981) examined the effects of humor in two […]

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Heider’s Balance, Newcomb’s Symmetry, Osgood’s Congruity & Cognitive Dissonance Theories

Discuss the following theories:         Heider’s Balance Theory          Newcomb’s Symmetry Theory        Osgood’s Congruity Theory    Festinger’s Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.   Heider’s Balance Theory: Most writers usually credit Fritz Heider (1946) with the earliest articulation of a consis­tency theory, although the informal concept can be traced back to earlier work (see Kiesler et al., 1969, p. 157). As a psychologist, Heider was concerned with the way an individual organizes attitudes toward people and objects in relation to one another within that individual’s own cognitive structure. Heider postulated that unbalanced states produce tension and generate forces to restore balance. He says that “the concept of a balanced state designates a situation in which the perceived units and the experienced sentiments co-exist without stress” (1958, p. 176). Heider’s paradigm focused on two individuals, a person (P), the object of the analysis, some […]

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Readability and Measurement it in mass communication

What does readability mean? How to measure it in mass communication?   INTRODUCTION In 1998, traffic accidents caused 46 percent of all accidental deaths of infants and children aged 1 to 14 (National Center for Health Statistics, 2000). One study (Johnston et al. 1994) showed that the single strongest risk factor for injury in a traffic accident is the improper use of child-safety seats. Another study (Kahane 1986) showed that, when correctly used, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent and hospitalization by 67 percent. To be effective, however, the seats must be installed correctly. Other studies, showed that 79 to 94 percent of car seats are used improperly (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 1996, Decina and Knoebel 1997, Lane et al. 2000). Public-health specialists Dr. Mark Wegner and Deborah Girasek (2003) suspected that poor comprehension of the installation instructions might contribute to this problem. […]

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Various Propaganda Techniques

Discuss the various techniques of propaganda with your own examples. Propaganda is a set of the messages intended to influence the opinions of the masses, not giving the opponents any opportunity to rebut the idea. Instead of telling people the truth, propaganda often aims at manipulation of ideas to influence the behavior of a large number of people. So, it presents ideas selectively. Propaganda is related to advertising, where it is about promoting a product. It is also used to influence religious beliefs of society. During the 20th century, the term propaganda acquired a negative meaning in the western countries. It meant, a deliberate dissemination of frequently false, but ‘obligating’ justifications of certain political ideologies. The propagandist seeks to alter the way people understand an issue in favor of the interest group. The five types of propaganda techniques used in advertising are Bandwagon, Testimonial, Transfer, Repetition and Emotional words. Bandwagon: […]

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Characteristics of Language

 What are those characteristics of language that cause problems in encoding and make communication difficult?   Characteristics of Language The general semanticists were first led by Alfred Korzybski, a Polish count who emigrated to the United States. His seminal work, Science and Sanity, was popularized by Wendell Johnson. These scholars have been concerned with language and how it relates to our suc­cess in everyday living and our mental health. They argue that we run into many of our problems because we misuse language. They say we would misuse language less if we used it more the way scientists use it—so that it constantly refers to the realities it represents. The general semanticists point out several characteristics of language that make it diffi­cult to use it carefully. These characteristics cause difficulty in encoding and make commu­nication difficult. • Language Is Static; Reality Is Dynamic: Words themselves do not change over a […]

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