Cultivation Theory Television Has Become a Necessity Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Cultivation Theory

Television has become a necessity in today's world. From news to entertainment, from gossips to drama, from cooking to adventure, everything is showcased on it and this grab the attention of everyone despite of the race, gender, age, ethnicity or nationality they belong to. Almost all the people consider TV as their friend and an essential part of their lives and scientists, theorists and researchers have proved that what is shown on TV changes the viewer's perceptions and attitudes over the period of time. As rightly pointed out by Hammermeister, Winterstein, and Page (2005) in their research, "aside from occupational duties and sleep, the American nation spends more time watching television than at any other activity." (p.253) They also highlighted the fact that a normal American spends around 3-4 hours daily on watching TV which makes it 7-10 years of watching TV by the time he turns 70. Spending so much time watching television obviously has an impact on a person's life and personality which is proved by many researches and theories.

Cultivation theory, developed by Professor George Gerbner, (the Dean of Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania) after a series of research projects conducted by him on the cultural indicators during the mid -- 1960s, is one theory that identifies the impact of television messages on viewers attitudes. The theory identifies and explains that television programs have long-term effects on the viewers' minds.(University of Twente, 2013) The theory states that 'the more a person is exposed to a message provided by the media, the more likely that person is to believe the message is real'. This theory is applied to the individuals' ideas and perceptions about reality and how these are affected by ideas presented or showcased on television. (Fisherhouse.com, 2013)

The basic idea presented by the cultivation theory is that television shape or cultivate the 'viewers perception of social reality' and this is done over a period of time. (Aber.ac.uk, 2013)The theorists also argue that television affects the attitudes of the viewers rather than their behavior. The theory also identifies or classifies the effects as first order effects and second order effects. First order effects are considered to be the general effects and attitude which form the general mindset about the world (for example the view that the world is getting violent day by day) and second order effects are those that form specific attitudes (for example a specific perception regarding any law or regulation).(fisherhouse.com, 2013)

The theory also presents the assumption that there are two types of television viewers, the heavy viewers and the light viewers. As per the cultivation theory heavy viewers (who frequently watch television) are influenced most by the television programs than the light viewers (individuals who watch less TV).(Aber.ac.uk, 2013)Another assumption used in the theory is 'resonance' as per the theory is the term used to explain the high impact of subjects or ideas seen on TV that are also experienced in real life. Thus the individuals are extremely affected by the ideas showcased on television which they have also experienced in real life. As per the theory the real life experience coupled with the TV program is termed…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Aber.ac.uk (2013). Cultivation Theory. Retrieved from: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/short/cultiv.html [Accessed: 17 Nov 2013].

Fisherhouse.com (2013). Cultivation Theory. Retrieved from: http://www.fisherhouse.com/courses/cultivation_theory.pdf [Accessed: 17 Nov 2013].

Gulisano, L. (2013). Cultivation Theory. Retrieved from: http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Papers/App_Papers/Gulisano.htm [Accessed: 17 Nov 2013].

Hammermeister, J., Brock, B., Winterstein, D., Page, R. And Y (2005). Life without TV? Cultivation theory and psychosocial health characteristics of television-free individuals and their television-viewing counterparts. Health communication, 17 (3), pp. 253-264.

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