chapter  9
10 Pages

Evolving Cognitive Models in Mass Communication Reception Processes

For many years, mass communication scholars viewed the mass communication consumption process in a somewhat linear and unidimensional manner-mediated stimuli were viewed, heard, or read; then, after being subjected to unknown processes within the consumer, they were perceived as causing some observable behavior. Instead of trying to determine why people selected certain media mes­ sages over others or what processes allowed for individual variations in responses among different audience members consuming the same messages, these early researchers were more interested in the behavioral norm of media effects, or the averaging of all observable response categories. In doing so, they sought to de­ termine the most frequently observed response to a given media message, tem­ porarily ignoring any mental processing that led to this behavior.