Communication Theories – Research Paper Example

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They were also influenced by the contrasting and contradicting studies conducted by various researchers in other parts of world, controlling numerous variables, such as Doob and McDonald’s study of cultivation effects among various demographics in Toronto, Canada (1979), and Wober’s research in Great Britain (1978). These studies showed that the effect of television on viewer’s perception is certain, however, what is still unknown is the exact ‘size and importance of that effect’ (Pingree and Hawkins, 1980). Generally, it was observed that, when controlling a third variable, there was no strong relation between watching violent programming and fearing that viewer himself would get involved in a similar scenario.

One of the reasons could be that people in other parts of the worlds were unconsciously aware that their society was different than that of America, and therefore, were not impacted that much by American programming. Furthermore, not much research had been done involving controls that would illuminate the exact process of cultivation in the children. There had been studies involving age as a variable, and discovering that children in the learning stages are usually more susceptible to the television messaging systems, as compared to very young and an older audience (Drabman et al, 1976).

Another research done by Hawkins considered the preconceived perception of television’s actuality as one of the variables (1977), and discovered that the belief in ‘Magic Window Reality’ (considering television as the real life unfolding), decreased uniformly with age. However, belief in ‘Social Expectations Reality’ (believing television does not depict real life), increased till sixth grade, and then stayed constant. Hawkins and Pingree’s primary purpose was to introduce various variables to alter the social and psychological conditions of their sample children and ultimately tie the cultivation process of the subjects to the nature of the content viewed on television.

Their subjects were around 1280 school children of grades 2, 5, 8, and 11, living in the city of Perth, Australia. They studied effects of modifying various variables, such as age, socioeconomic groups, content of the television program, and viewing pattern, on the cultivation hypothesis, the findings of which are discussed in the next section. Research Methodology and the Interpretation of Results The choice of Perth, Australia as the subject city was because of rampant broadcasting of American programming on the local stations.


Doob, A. N., & Macdonald, G.E. (1979). Television viewing and fear of victimization: Is the

relationship causal? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 170-179.

Drabman, R,. D. Hammer, & G. Jarvie. (1976). Children’s perceptions of media portrayed sex

roles across ages. Jackson: Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Gerbner, G., & Gross, L. (1976). Living with television: the violence profile. Journal of

Communications, 26, 182-190.

Hawkins, R.P. (1977). The dimensional structure of children’s perceptions of television reality.

Communications Research, 4, 299-320

Hawkins, R.P., & Pingree, S. (1980). Some processes in the cultivation effect. Communication

Research, 7, 193-226.

Potter, W.J. (1986). Perceived reality and the cultivation hypothesis. Journal of Broadcasting &

Electronic Media, 20, 2, 159-174.

Potter, W.J. (1993). Cultivation theory and research: a conceptual critique. Human

Communications Research, 19, 4, 564-601.

Wober, J.M. (1978). Televised violence and paranoid perception: The view from great Britain.

Public Opinion Quarterly, 42, 315-321.

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