Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reclaiming the Idea of Media Effects

 Television is by far the most frequent of leisure activities.(173) how the media reflects audience? Kubey and Csikszentmilhalyi, "A Way to Think about Information Reception" and "A Brief Review of Major Findings" introduces what causes TV large number of TV viewers. Television viewing is a passive report feeling more passive and less challenged and alert, while simultaneously concentrating less and using fewer skills, than in almost any other daily activity except resting and "doing nothing."(171) Audiences literally do nothing but watching TV while watching TV.  We can consider it as one kind of "hobby", but only for who TV viewers in controlled time. 

Heavier use of television viewing is related to slightly more positive experiences with family members.(172) It would be totally different between watching TV when family is gathered and not. There cannot be any conversation when TV is on because it would be so distracted and noisy. 

Viewing is often driven by the wish to escape or avoid negative affective states.(172) Heavy viewers also reported feeling significantly more negative affect during the week than did light viewers. It was concluded that television is often used as a substitute for social interaction and to ward off feelings of loneliness.(172) TV viewers feel empty, loneliness, and useless after watching TV because TV have aliveness and laughter of people on TV.  Heavier viewing appears to perpetuate itself by causing psychological dependence in those who grow accustomed to having their experience so effortlessly structured. (173) TV watchers also feel exhausted after watching TV even though they did not do the physical activities.
 Most everyone will report that at least occasionally they view more television than they had originally intended.(175) Also In writing about theatrical plays and films, for instance, Munsterberg like the uses and gratifications theorists- observed that the audience’s background and previous experience were crucially involved in the press of reception.(178)

It was very interesting to me that there is contrast between movie, TV and when we read.  The active audience approach also generally neglects to recognize that relative to print, certain cognitive and affective responses to television and film are much more likely to be uniform as a result of the pictorial nature of these media. (176) TV lacks peoples’ creative power and originality.  I have been having this thought since I was young; watching TV makes people less creative. Remember when Harry Porter by J.K.Rowling was first published.  Everybody in the world was crazy about it and I was one of them.  I imagined and pictured every single line and detail of the scenes, and I dreamed, lived with it.  When the first Harry Porter movie came out and watched it, I thought it was pretty good even though it was not even similar to what I was imagining in my head.  I think I have shut my imagination down and started to accept a new concept, the real visual of Harry porter right after I watched that first movie.  I don't even remember how it looked like when I visualized in my head before the movie showed up.

Back in my childhood, I could not imagine life without TV because I thought TV was one of the easiest way to entertain without any effort.  But now I know TV isn't good when it is out of control.  If I have my own kid in the future, I will let my kid reads book and play outside instead of watching TV and kill their creativity.


  1. Soo, thanks for directing us toward the second K&C reading (I realized too late that we only discussed Ch. 1 in section). Some of their findings about television viewing really are quite damning, but I don't think total abstinence is necessarily the solution. You emphasize the idea that visual images seem to dictate more uniformity in response than print descriptions, with the excellent example of the Harry Potter franchise, though I wonder if the screen could be said to enable certain forms of creativity that the written word could not?

  2. Drawing from Alenda and Soo's posts, I also remember when I was obsessed with Harry Potter. While I generally agree that heavy TV viewing can be harmful for individuals and visual stimuli such as films limit peoples' imagination and creativity, I also take the opposite view that they can "fill in" some of the empty spots in which the mind did not think of. Alenda triggered this thought and memory in me when she posted, "...though I wonder if the screen could be said to enable certain forms of creativity that the written word could not?" because while some of my imaginations about Harry Potter was absolutely grand, some descriptions from the book were vague, confusing, and has different meanings when the books are translated into Korean (I had to ream them in Korean!). When the first Harry Potter movie came out, many of the graphics, settings, and characters were impressive compared to my imagination because I was a girl who grew up in a city of square, gray buildings and neon signs; I have not really seen a castle of that magnitude ever existing except in Disney Land. The scenery of the Forbidden forest, vast land and lake surrounding the castle, and British neighborhoods were all really new and grand to me, because I did not really imagine things in a big scale at such a little age. I also knew that the author is British, and when she described the characters, I did not think that they are international students. Even with names like Cho Chang, I still thought they were European white characters, because I could not imagine Asians being witches or wizards; in my imagination, this was a little bizarre and weird since I only grew up with Asian folk tales. Asian women in folk tales are ghosts or nine-tails who are white foxes that prey upon men's livers. It also shocking when I found out Parvati and Lavender are Indians, because, again, witches and wizards were such European tales. So, when the first Harry Potter film came out, I was pretty impressed because the visuals "filled in" a lot of imagination which I was culturally missing and were confused about. After the first film, my imagination of the next Harry Potter books mixed both of my own creativity and what I absorbed from the movies. It became sort of a "building" experience with Harry Potter, and when Pottermore came out I freaked out and joined the site (I am a hardcore Slytherin!). The Pottermore website has more visuals and background stories that were not told in books or in movies. Mediums of books, website, and movies all sort of gave me pieces of visual experience, imaginary experience of my own, and investigative experience as well. It is like transmedia storytelling, and over the years I collected and put into pieces many stories, visuals, and hidden information to create sort of a personal history of the work I put into gathering them. I think TV gives us this experience as well, in that we learn to gather things about culture, uniformity, norms...etc, and although influence of violence on people's perception is sort of frightening, there can be helpful things as well as not so helpful things. When I first moved to California, I learned English and humor through shows such as Spongebob, Jimmy Neutron, Hey Arnold, Invader Zim, and Fairly Odd Parents. I learned how American kids experienced school, having a crush, working at a fast food restaurant, and what it is like to live in a suburban neighborhood. I still watch shows like Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, because it reminds me of my past and how TV taught me to speak English, and because Lady Unicorn speaks Korean during the show!

    1. Yelynn, thanks for the example of how screen imagery can actually work to expand our imaginative horizons... what you say could probably apply to most films in the science fiction and fantasy categories.