alexa A Dependency Model of Mass-Media Effects
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): SJ BallRokeach, ML DeFleur

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It is suggested that one of the reasons that there is such a lack of clarity as to whether the media have effects is that researchers have proceeded from the wrong theoretical conceptualizations to study the wrong questions. The dependency model of media effects is presented as a theoretical alternative in which the nature of the tripartite audience-media-society relationship is assumed to most directly determine many of the effects that the media have on people and society. The present paper focuses upon audience dependency on media information resources as a key interactive condition for alteration of audience beliefs, behavior, or feelings as a result of mass communicated in formation. Audience dependency is said to be high in societies in which the media serve many central information functions and in periods of rapid social change or pervasive social conflict. The dependency model is further elaborated and illustrated by examination of several cognitive, affective, and behavioral effects which may be readily analyzed and researched from this theoretical framework.

This article was published in Communication Research and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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