Mass Communication is field through which people express their believes, attitudes, opinions, emotions, ideas, values and different sorts of behaviour. Different effects and psychological scenarios of media is what it has been aimed while the research. Another such highlighter of this research is that it gives a brief definition on deep impact of media on society. Can Mass Communication impact human behaviour in positive, negative or neutral manner? Or what methods of psychological effects could be consumed in process of Mass Communication etc. many more such aims to be a review of the main findings of this topic.
Keywords: mass communication, communication theories, psychological effects, social impacts etc.
When it comes to organisation society is the biggest organisation created and recreated by time by the individuals on basis of guidelines to maintain certain behaviours in different ways as it is one of the necessary conditions when it come to fulfilment of life. That is why it is necessary for every individual and known as society. Behaviours are effected in many ways from different mediums and media is one of them. Mass media includes radio, cinema, magazines, television, newspaper etc and is one of the biggest medium of influencers like for example, children watching television, spending a large amount of time same as when attending school or meeting family or friends. people never look at other socialising factors whether they have positive or negative effects but when it comes to mass media they always raise a question about its positive and negative attributes, they always pay more heed to social influencing sources of mass communication and media rather than personal and private and other social influencing factors surrounding them. Likewise for example when it come to television it is in top discussion that television has taken as a sole cause of social behavioural changes, whether you take it a stereotype view or not it is responsible for making viewers choices more rational as in what to see and what not.
Mass Communication is a gigantic procedure of forming a wide channel of trade through thoughts, ideas, views, information between mediums. Mass Media is a huge path of various mediums for interaction of large segments of society. It is a whole new arena of modern sources of mechanism when it comes to communication. Communication can happen in different ways depending on the situation the respective mediums have formed, it could be more than oral or written. Therefore it involves a large gathering or mass audiences as when we talk about the psychological factors involved in mass communication, it affects different age groups of audience in different ways as they could be both negative or positive.
Psychological factors are those which happens to be more logical as it involves thinking skills of a person . They are very important when Psychological effect are concerned, in any field to have an understanding, as in which direction is specific field holds a position is our society. Hence, communication is itself a tool of psychology.
Mass media and communication provide a wide range of perspective and thinking skills, different eye views different idea in different sense.
Occurrence of changes in society
Since changes are divided into three sections positive, negative as mass media is exposed to psychological effects. There are many studies which can reflect or could be considered when it come psychological behavioural changes for their elaboration in this specific field but here the main focus of attention come on how those behavioural changes are considered psychological effects in a proper interactive session of thoughts.
a.) Positive factors
Mass communication channels are used for creating awareness amongst people for social, cultural, economical, political and health issues such campaigns are sponsored by many NGO’s, organisations etc. They mostly use some ideal face or personality to make people recognise the influence by idealising themselves with that respective personality in a particular field. On the other it influences lifestyle, career and behaviour. Success for such campaigns do lack. Mostly social issues are covered during campaigns.
Many mass media programmes create a huge influence including informative, motivated and inspirational provided content produced to create awareness and knowledge and different positive attitude among public .
Effects occur differently on different age groups. There are three kinds of age groups, children, adult and old age. When we talk about children they are most likely to get influenced, as their knowledge span increases, they are exposed to world on social platform, experience the competition around them, learn from the campaigns about the bad habits ( drinking, abusing, smoking etc.), provided with entertainment, gets more exposure to the social life, gets to idealise with different personalities etc. On the other hand, when we talk about adults, they are certainly aware of the outcome as what change is good and bad for them. Therefore Mass media has made it possible to make their life at a ease pace. The last age group we talk about is old age in this age group they have nothing logical to learn or lose, all they need is means to pass their time, for example, television.
It provides people to enhance their self esteem and helps them channelize their emotions. Earlier it was a bit hard for news channels to reach the masses because of lack of sources but now everything is at the click of a button.
b.) Negative factors
- Mass media provokes serious emotional problems.
- Can be a reason of social failure while adapting
- Convey two sided information about the reality
- Provide erroneous images
- Makes people receive stereotype and failures of models of conduct
- Sometimes makes too much socialisation a necessary agent of exploitation
- Sometimes promote dominant ideology
- Reflects violent behaviour and content under some culture
c.) Impacts of television
Useful and progressive product of technology
Effects both cognitive and social behaviour especially under some culture, for example, western culture of mixed impact
Children are more vulnerable to the culture than adults
It provides huge amount of information in an attractive form and in visual mode as this makes it a powerful instruction medium
Habits like reading and writing, games, activities whether indoor or outdoor for children started declining due to the attractive television programme
When we talk about psychological factor under it, the ability to concentrate on a target, creativity to understand and social interactions etc. all together are effected by watching television
While on the other hand it provides useful factual information and some exceptional programmes interpreted
Forty years ago television was a heed of debates in USA and Canada as in displaying aggressiveness amongst the viewers including children
Few researches provided the outcome of such shows, indeed reflected a huge change of aggressive behaviour in viewers as children tended to imitate what they saw
A consequence of such behaviour was lack of maturity
III. Communication theories
Communication is a process of verbal, non verbal, technological, non technological, meditated, non meditated, participatory, non participatory, etc methods of interaction. Communication can be of two type intrapersonal and interpersonal.
Intrapersonal communication is also said as transpersonal communication .
Interpersonal communication is also known as face-to-face communication. This is divided into three stages
- a. phatic stage- When people communicate using just Hi, Hello, etc.
- b. Personal stage- When people communicate with use of personal elements in communication by exposing their feelings and themselves.
- c. The intimate stage- Includes friends and relatives as it is reserved for closeness.
Interpersonal communication includes interactions which could be of two types 1. Focused interaction and 2. Unfocused interaction. Focused interaction encounter conversation between two individuals and also those conversation that are conveyed through body language. Unfocused interaction include observing and listening to an individual while not conversing, also includes eye contacts.
There are three main communication theories that are as follows:
a. The Lasswell model of communication process
It is a process through which an individual ( person who provides a content ) sends a message through a medium ( for example, telephone, letter etc. ) to a receiver ( person who receives a message ), in the last with what effect ( impact ).
b. The shannol and weaver model
In this model there are five ways to pursue it 1. information source – from where the information is producing, 2. a transmitter – a source of transferring the information, 3. a channel, 4. includes the receiver, 5. destination. In this whole process one more essential component is the part of this communication process that is known as noise. Noise is unwanted element of disturbance occurred during a communication process.
c. The Osgood and Schramm circular model
In this process encoder and decoder plays an important role as encoder is the source or the person considered to release the information while on the other hand decoder is the destination, the other person receiving on the other end. This whole process depends on the circulation of the message and it is a never ending process. Both encoder and decoder plays equal roles in exchanging information as there is no end in the cycle of communication and it keeps going on from one partnership of exchange of ideas to another.
1. Barriers of commuting
Mental conditions are way more important when process of communication is needed to be conducted, as in what kind of mental balance or state both sender and receiver or the communicators are specifically in. Sometimes different states or the communicators do create an obstacle in producing effective communication. On the other hand they are required to have emotional balance too. Every mind works differently likewise, for example, in a workplace, a new employ would receive selective information only while on the hand, an old employ would be more trust worthy when it comes to sharing of information, this is known as ineffective communication.
2. Causes of barriers
Feedback plays a very important role when it come to seeking of information or message and paying attention to lack of attention is what we are talking about. If a min d is preoccupied, distracted, dealing or thinking about some other issue during commuting will face problems giving feedback and would be referred as ineffective. These preoccupied thoughts makes a person’s life more tragic by making them disinterested and puzzling them up with their personal and professional life dealings which could affect both equally.
Weak recollection, while gathering of information our brain is able to process only a limited amount in memory as it does not store all of it but only that which is useful for future. This is a known process for loss of sometimes more than half of information. The old information is what the brain misplays when new information is gathered while keeping in mind its requirement. On the hand, sometimes the lost information is what the brain tries to recalculate depending on the situation the information can be used or not.
Distrust and defensiveness
- a. Forcible message on a receiver can not make the receiver listen or understand the views, opinion, ideas of the sender properly.
- b. Negative personality reflects lack of trust of receiver and could be the result for ignorance of message.
- c. Agreement of understanding is must between the sender and receiver for conduct of a message as it could also lead to failure of transmitting.
View Point; It is a thinking process of having a idea of the message if the sender is not able to reciprocate it in a proper manner then the chances are that the receiver may not understand the purpose of message.
Attitude; Attitude is an organisation of feelings, ideas and emotions according to a situation in dealing with it. It could be anything harmful or beneficial.
Perception; It is a mindset and judgement through different experience shaped in different sense of each person.
Abuse of a person is set by themselves by making sense to the communication they would be indulged in by listening, observing and learning. For example, gender discrimination is what we have been seeing for ages but now the society is not all about male chauvinism. Since the people are having variation in their mindset, thinking, opinion and perspective by changing them and looking at the women in a more stronger sense. Although there are many who still thinks female is a weak gender. Misunderstanding can also play a very important role in the process of communication as in the way of their communicating ideas would haven’t been clear enough to reciprocate the sender’s idea to receive it.
3. Effects of media
Sexual and violence, now days television is the candidate to express such emotions through different shows, movies, news to the viewers. It creates a huge influence on the viewers following are some studies which could through light on these issues.
- a. Catharsis Theory – as mass media includes radio, television, newspaper and cyber internet etc, they somewhere or the other reflect some sort of visual appealing that could be harmful for creating disrupting mindset whether adult or minor. By watching such visuals people may create certain emotion like frustration, aggression, depression, anxiety and argumentative behaviour. This theory reflects such emotions as positive effects on society, for example, when it comes aggression people do use it as releasing tension.
- b. Aggressive Cues Theory – in this theory all the attention is on aggression as it plays the opposite role over here. In this case the aggression provokes more violent behaviour in physiological and emotional senses.
- c. Observational Learning Theory – in this observational learning theory it clearly specifies that aggression takes one step ahead in this procedure when compared with aggressive cues theory likewise, for example, while watching an aggressive show you can see how the participants act but instead of reacting to them or being try to mimic them, human behaviour act in a way that they would store that information in memory. This is how the behavioural changes occur more in cognitive sense.
- d. Reinforcement Theory – Under this theory factors act in a way to shape a proper human behaviour with the help of reward and punishment . For example; a child is punished when she/he happens to do something wrong like getting bad result and get a scolding from their respective guardians this could make child follow two ways whether get motivated to improve for better or get offended by the punishment . Just like this when a child gets a reward she /he would get motivated and inspired to do better and get more rewards.
- e. Cultivation Theory – It tells us about long- term effects of media. The main advice of this theory is that it suggests that the more time people spend living in the media world, they more likely to believe that whatever is shown on television or any other form of media is true.
V. Social and cultural approach
1. Sociological Theories of Communication
- a. Uses and Gratification Theory – It makes us understand how people use different modes of media to satisfy different needs. It was introduced by Bulmer and Katz.
- b. Agenda Setting Theory – Media houses work in a certain way by keeping their audience’s perspective and feedbacks and ideas in mind by combining them all together and work according to the need of their audience. It was introduced in 1972 by Dr. Maxwell Mccombs and Dr. Donald Shaw.
- c. Play Theory – It was introduced by scientist William Stephenson. In this mass communication this theory is the first step towards providing entertainment through media.
- d. Social Learning Theory – It is a process through symbolising and idealising someone else’s personality through observation and imitation. Hence acquiring their skills.
2. Forms and impacts of Media Acquired by Youth
The impacts of media gives exposure to difference between reel and real, introduces fear and phobias, skill and talent, lifestyle, attitude, opinion, acquires a huge amount of time usage, facility and privileges of modern technologies, provide a broader perspective, means of entertainment (television, video games), exposure to socialising, educates people, provide with news, insure effective democracy, give pathways to social change, provide advertisement ( trade and industry ), effects the political scenario of the country, sometimes major health problems, etc.
Different forms of media used are YouTube, Facebook, computers, movies, emails, texting, video games, television, radio, etc.
3. Forms of Bullying Introduced by Media
- a. Cyber Bullying – aggression build up on social networking sites for an issue, shown electronically only.
- b. Direct Bullying –
- i. vocal threats, bodily or physical harm
- c. Indirect Bullying – socially being backward and peer influence and rejection.
While writing this research paper I have come to this conclusion that mass media communication do effect our society in both positive and negative manner, while on the other hand all the effects or impacts are well justified by theories whether they psychological or sociological. Therefore communication theories also helps us to understand the impact on different masses. I also found that the age group most likely to get influenced are youth or children. Mass communication and media is one the stepping stones for development of our country but it do consist of its merits and demerits, advantages and disadvantages. Media plays a very constructive role in our social but at the same time destructive too. At the end its your opinion that matters.