Course: Theories of  Mass Communication- I  (5635)

Photos of AIOU | SJSU & Allama Iqbal Open University

  Mass Communication Semester-III Important Questions with Answers prepared by Faiza Gul, FR ilmi Team (Errors and omissions acceptable) Disclaimer: All Questions and Answers are Based on self assessment and It is only Guess material. To join whatsapp group contact at 03068314733.

Question.1  Define encoding. What are those in-built characteristics of languages which make encoding difficult in communications?

Encoding is the process of converting information or data into a specific format that is suitable for transmission, storage, or processing. It involves transforming the content or meaning of a message into a symbolic representation that can be understood by both the sender and the receiver.

In the context of communication, encoding refers to the conversion of thoughts, ideas, or intentions into a structured form that can be transmitted to another person or entity. This transformation allows the information to be effectively communicated and understood by the intended recipient.

For example, let’s consider a simple scenario of encoding in verbal communication:

Suppose you want to inform a friend that you will be attending a party tonight at 8 p.m. To encode this message, you may choose to use spoken language as the medium and encode the information in a structured format, such as forming a sentence like, “I will be attending the party tonight at 8 p.m.” In this case, you are converting your intention and the details of the event into words, which can be easily understood by your friend.

In this example, the encoding process involves translating your thoughts and plans into a linguistic form, organizing the message using grammar and syntax, and using appropriate vocabulary to convey the desired meaning. The encoding also takes into account the shared knowledge and cultural context between you and your friend, ensuring that the message is framed appropriately for effective communication.

It’s important to note that encoding can take various forms depending on the communication medium used. It can involve different modalities such as verbal, written, visual, or even nonverbal cues, and the specific encoding methods may vary accordingly.

Encoding refers to the process of converting information into a format suitable for transmission or storage. It involves transforming data or messages into a standardized representation that can be easily understood by both the sender and the receiver.

There are several inherent characteristics of languages that can make encoding difficult in communications. Some of these challenges include:

  1. Ambiguity: Languages often contain words, phrases, or symbols that can have multiple meanings. This ambiguity can lead to confusion or misunderstandings during the encoding process. Different interpretations or contexts can affect how a message is understood by the receiver.
  2. Cultural Differences: Languages are closely tied to cultural contexts. Certain expressions, idioms, or gestures may have specific meanings within a particular culture or community. When communicating across different cultures, these nuances can be easily misunderstood or lost in translation.
  3. Lack of Shared Knowledge: Effective encoding requires the sender to assume a certain level of shared knowledge with the receiver. However, individuals may have different backgrounds, experiences, or levels of expertise, leading to differences in understanding and interpretation. It can be challenging to strike the right balance between providing enough context and avoiding unnecessary information.
  4. Emotional and Nonverbal Elements: Language encompasses more than just words. It includes nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language, which can convey additional meaning. Encoding solely through written or spoken words may not fully capture these emotional or nonverbal aspects, potentially leading to misinterpretation or loss of intended meaning.
  5. Technical Constraints: Communication channels and mediums may impose limitations on encoding. For example, written communication lacks the immediacy and richness of face-to-face interactions, making it harder to convey certain nuances. Additionally, technological factors like transmission errors, signal interference, or bandwidth limitations can introduce further complications in accurately encoding and transmitting information.

It’s important to be aware of these challenges and adapt communication strategies accordingly to ensure effective encoding and minimize misunderstandings.

Question.2  What is a model? What are the functions of a model? What are criteria for evaluation of a model? / Evaluate Lasswell’s model and Shramm model by using the criteria of evaluation of a model / elements of model in which represent  the process of mass communication.

In communication, a model refers to a simplified representation or framework that helps explain and understand the process of communication. It provides a theoretical structure that identifies key elements and their relationships, enabling us to analyze and interpret how communication occurs.

Models of communication serve several functions, including:

  1. Describing the Communication Process: Models help describe the various components and stages involved in the communication process, allowing us to visualize how messages are created, transmitted, and received. They provide a roadmap for understanding the sequence of events and interactions in communication.
  2. Analyzing Communication Dynamics: Models offer a framework for analyzing the dynamics of communication, including the roles and interactions of participants, the flow of information, and the factors that influence understanding and interpretation. They allow us to examine the complexities and variables involved in effective communication.
  3. Identifying Communication Elements: Models help identify the essential elements of communication, such as the sender, receiver, message, medium, feedback, and noise. By delineating these elements, models highlight their roles and relationships, aiding in the examination of how they contribute to successful communication.
  4. Predicting Communication Outcomes: Models can provide insights into the potential outcomes or effects of communication. They help us understand how different factors, such as the choice of words, nonverbal cues, or communication channels, may influence the reception and interpretation of messages. By considering these factors, models allow us to make predictions about the impact of communication on individuals or groups.
  5. Guiding Communication Practice: Models serve as practical guides for improving communication skills. They offer principles and guidelines for effective encoding and decoding of messages, facilitating clearer expression and understanding. By understanding the functions and components of models, individuals can apply them to enhance their communication competence.

An example of a communication model is the Shannon-Weaver model, also known as the linear model of communication. It illustrates communication as a linear process consisting of a sender who encodes a message, which is transmitted through a channel to a receiver who decodes the message. The model includes the concepts of noise (interference) and feedback to account for potential disruptions and the receiver’s response.

By using this model, one can analyze how factors like encoding, decoding, noise, and feedback influence the successful transmission and interpretation of messages. It helps identify potential barriers and aids in improving the clarity and effectiveness of communication interactions.

Lasswell’s and Schramm’s Model:

  1. Accuracy: In this model emphasizes the reciprocal nature of communication, considering both the sender and receiver as active participants. It recognizes the exchange of messages and feedback, providing a more accurate representation of communication dynamics.
  2. Simplicity: In this model is relatively simple, depicting communication as a circular process of encoding, decoding, and feedback. It is accessible and can be easily understood by individuals with various levels of communication knowledge.
  3. Predictive Power: In this model offers a better predictive power compared to Lasswell’s model. By highlighting the importance of feedback, it acknowledges that communication is an ongoing and interactive process, allowing for more accurate predictions regarding message interpretation and effectiveness.
  4. Generalizability: In this model is generalizable and applicable to various communication contexts. It recognizes the importance of context, culture, and individual differences, allowing for a broader understanding of communication dynamics.
  5. Parsimony: In this model adheres to the principle of parsimony by focusing on the key components of communication: encoding, decoding, and feedback. It avoids unnecessary complexity while providing a comprehensive framework.
  6. Coherence: In this model demonstrates coherence by illustrating the continuous and iterative nature of communication. It recognizes the interdependence and influence between the sender and receiver, enhancing the coherence of the model.
  7. Practicality: In this model is practical in its emphasis on the reciprocal nature of communication. It provides insights into the importance of feedback and the role of interpretation in effective communication. This practicality allows individuals to enhance their communication skills and adapt their messages based on feedback received.

Overall, while Lasswell’s model offers simplicity and a basic understanding of communication elements, it falls short in accuracy and predictive power. On the other hand, Schramm’s model provides a more accurate and practical representation of communication by considering the reciprocal nature and emphasizing feedback. It demonstrates better general. It’s important to note that the specific criteria for evaluating a model can vary depending on the context, purpose, and scope of the model. The criteria above provide a general framework for assessing models, but additional factors may be considered based on the specific requirements of the evaluation.

Question.3  What does readability research deal with? What is the importance of readability research? Discuss the history of reliability measurement.                                                                                                

Readability research primarily deals with the study of how easily written text can be understood and comprehended by readers. It focuses on analyzing various factors that influence the readability of written material, such as vocabulary, sentence structure, complexity, and organization. The goal of readability research is to develop methods, guidelines, and tools to assess and improve the readability of written texts, ensuring they are accessible and understandable to the intended audience.

The importance of readability research lies in its ability to enhance communication effectiveness. Clear and readable content enables readers to process information more easily, leading to improved comprehension, retention, and engagement. Readability research is particularly valuable in educational settings, where it helps design instructional materials and textbooks that align with students’ reading abilities and promote effective learning.

Moreover, readability research is relevant in various professional fields, such as journalism, technical writing, legal documents, healthcare communication, and online content creation. By applying readability principles, writers and communicators can make their content more accessible to diverse audiences, including those with lower literacy levels, second language learners, or individuals with cognitive impairments.

History of readability measurement:

The history of readability measurement dates back to the early 20th century when researchers and educators began recognizing the need for assessing and improving the readability of educational materials. Notable milestones in the history of readability measurement include:

  1. Rudolf Flesch (1948): Flesch developed the Flesch Reading Ease formula and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level formula. These formulas provided quantitative measures of readability based on the average number of syllables and words per sentence.
  2. Dale-Chall Readability Formula (1949): Edgar Dale and Jeanne Chall developed a formula that considered both word difficulty and sentence length to determine the readability of texts. This formula introduced a list of familiar words to gauge text comprehension.
  3. Gunning Fog Index (1952): Robert Gunning introduced the Gunning Fog Index, which measured readability based on sentence length and the percentage of complex words in a text.
  4. SMOG Formula (1969): McLaughlin introduced the Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) formula, which assessed readability based on the number of polysyllabic words in a sample passage.
  5. The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Tests (1975): This test extended Flesch’s original formulas to include grade level scores, making them widely used in educational contexts.

Since then, readability measurement has evolved with advancements in linguistic analysis, corpus linguistics, and computational methods. Today, readability formulas and algorithms often incorporate a combination of syntactic, semantic, and statistical features to provide more accurate assessments of text complexity and readability levels. Additionally, readability tools and software have been developed to automate the measurement process, making it more accessible and efficient for writers, educators, and content creators.

An example of readability research in the context of media is a study that aims to assess the readability of news articles published by different media outlets. This type of research seeks to understand the readability levels of news content and how it may impact audience comprehension and engagement.

To conduct this study, researchers would collect a sample of news articles from various media sources, representing a range of genres (e.g., politics, science, entertainment). The articles could be obtained from online news websites, newspapers, or other media platforms.

Using readability formulas or tools, such as the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level formula or the Gunning Fog Index, the researchers would analyze the text complexity and readability of the news articles. These formulas typically consider factors such as sentence length, word difficulty, and grammatical complexity to provide a readability score or grade level estimation.

By evaluating the readability of the news articles, researchers can assess whether the content is accessible and understandable for the general audience. The findings can reveal if the articles are written at a level that aligns with the average reading abilities of the target readership. The researchers can identify whether the articles contain complex language or jargon that may hinder comprehension or engagement.

Based on the results, recommendations can be made to improve the readability of news articles. This might involve simplifying sentence structures, avoiding technical jargon, or providing additional explanations for complex concepts. The aim would be to ensure that news articles are readable and engaging for a wide range of readers, including those with varying levels of literacy or background knowledge.

The significance of this readability research in media is to promote effective communication and enhance audience understanding of news content. Readable news articles can facilitate comprehension, increase reader engagement, and contribute to a well-informed society. Moreover, this research can guide media organizations in producing content that is accessible to diverse audiences and fosters wider public participation in the democratic process.

Overall, readability research and measurement have played a crucial role in promoting clear and effective communication, enabling the development of readable materials that cater to diverse readerships and improve overall comprehension.

Question.4  Discuss dissonance theory in the context of information seeking and avoidance both in interpersonal communication and mass communication.

Dissonance theory, also known as cognitive dissonance theory, explains the psychological discomfort individuals experience when they hold conflicting beliefs, attitudes, or engage in behavior that contradicts their values or self-perception. In the context of information seeking and avoidance, dissonance theory helps us understand how individuals navigate the desire for information and the avoidance of information that may challenge their existing beliefs or attitudes. This theory applies to both interpersonal communication and mass communication scenarios.

In Interpersonal Communication:

  1. Information Seeking: When individuals encounter cognitive dissonance, they may be motivated to seek information that aligns with their existing beliefs or attitudes. This can lead to selective exposure, where individuals actively seek out information that confirms their preconceived notions and avoid information that challenges their beliefs. For example, someone with strong political convictions may selectively seek out news sources or engage in conversations that support their existing political ideology.
  2. Information Avoidance: Conversely, individuals may engage in information avoidance to reduce dissonance. They may actively avoid or ignore information that contradicts their beliefs or challenges their self-perception. This can manifest in behaviors such as avoiding discussions with individuals who hold opposing views or deliberately steering clear of news articles or sources that present alternative perspectives.

In Mass Communication:

  1. Information Seeking: In the context of mass communication, individuals may actively seek out media content that reinforces their existing beliefs or attitudes. They may choose to consume news outlets or media sources that align with their worldview, leading to echo chambers or filter bubbles. This selective exposure to information helps reduce cognitive dissonance by reinforcing preexisting beliefs and minimizing exposure to dissenting viewpoints.
  2. Information Avoidance: Individuals may also engage in information avoidance in mass communication settings. They may employ strategies such as selective exposure, where they avoid news stories or media content that challenges their beliefs or causes cognitive dissonance. This can lead to a limited exposure to diverse perspectives and a reinforcement of existing beliefs, ultimately reducing dissonance.

It’s important to note that dissonance theory also acknowledges that individuals may actively seek out information that challenges their beliefs or attitudes in certain situations. This is known as the dissonance arousal hypothesis, where individuals may deliberately expose themselves to conflicting information to reduce cognitive dissonance and achieve a more balanced perspective.

Overall, dissonance theory provides insights into how individuals navigate information seeking and avoidance in both interpersonal and mass communication. It helps explain the motivations behind selective exposure and information avoidance, shedding light on how individuals manage conflicting information to maintain cognitive consistency and reduce discomfort.

Question.5  What is persuasion? How attitude can be changed?/ discuss the role of one sided and two sided messages inpersuasion.

Persuasion refers to the process of influencing or changing someone’s attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors through communication and appeals. It involves presenting arguments, evidence, or appeals in a persuasive manner to motivate individuals to adopt a particular viewpoint, attitude, or take specific actions.

Attitudes can be changed through various persuasive techniques and strategies. Here are some common approaches:

  1. Central Route: This approach involves presenting logical arguments, evidence, and facts to appeal to an individual’s rational thinking and decision-making. It focuses on providing strong, credible information that directly addresses the relevant issues. Changing attitudes through the central route requires a careful presentation of facts, expertise, and clear reasoning.

Example in a Media Context: A news article presents a comprehensive analysis of scientific studies, expert opinions, and statistical data to convince readers about the urgency and severity of climate change. By providing evidence-based arguments, the article aims to change readers’ attitudes and motivate them to take environmental actions.

  • Peripheral Route: This approach relies on peripheral cues, such as emotional appeals, aesthetics, social influences, or credibility of the source, rather than focusing on the substantive content. It seeks to evoke emotional responses, create positive associations, or leverage social norms to influence attitudes.

Example in a Media Context: An advertisement for a luxury car showcases images of a glamorous lifestyle, associating the car with success, prestige, and social status. The advertisement appeals to individuals’ desire for status and admiration, aiming to change their attitudes towards the brand and motivate them to purchase the car.

  • Social Proof: This technique relies on the principle of social influence, suggesting that individuals are more likely to adopt attitudes or behaviors if they perceive others around them engaging in the same behavior or holding the same attitude. It utilizes testimonials, endorsements, or references to influential individuals or groups to influence attitudes.

Example in a Media Context: A social media influencer posts a review or endorsement of a particular skincare product, highlighting its effectiveness and benefits. By leveraging the influencer’s credibility and popularity, the endorsement aims to change followers’ attitudes and persuade them to try the product.

  • Fear Appeals: This technique involves evoking fear or anxiety in individuals by highlighting potential negative consequences or risks associated with maintaining their current attitudes or behaviors. It aims to motivate attitude change by emphasizing the need for preventive actions or adopting alternative attitudes.

Example in a Media Context: A public service announcement about the dangers of texting while driving features realistic and graphic depictions of car accidents caused by distracted driving. The goal is to evoke fear and highlight the potential consequences, persuading viewers to change their attitudes and behaviors related to distracted driving.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of persuasion techniques can vary depending on individual differences, context, and the credibility of the source. Additionally, ethical considerations should be taken into account when using persuasive techniques, ensuring transparency, accuracy, and respect for the audience’s autonomy.

The role of one sided and two sided messages in persuasion.

One-sided and two-sided messages are persuasive communication strategies that differ in their approach to presenting information or arguments. Each type has its own advantages and is effective in specific situations.

  1. One-Sided Messages: A one-sided message presents only the speaker’s or sender’s perspective, focusing solely on supporting arguments or positive attributes of a product, idea, or position. It does not acknowledge or address opposing viewpoints or counterarguments. One-sided messages are generally effective when the audience is already supportive or receptive to the message, or when there is little or no opposition.

Benefits of One-Sided Messages:

  • Reinforcement: One-sided messages are useful for reinforcing existing attitudes, beliefs, or opinions. They provide affirmation and support for individuals who are already aligned with the speaker’s position.
  • Simplicity: One-sided messages tend to be straightforward and easier to process, as they present a single perspective without introducing conflicting information.
  • Time and Resource Efficiency: When there is limited time or resources available, delivering a one-sided message can be more efficient, as it requires less effort to prepare and present information.

Example: An advertisement promoting a brand of organic food focuses on the health benefits, sustainable production methods, and high-quality ingredients of their products. The advertisement appeals to consumers who are already interested in organic and healthy food options, reinforcing their positive attitudes towards the brand.

  • Two-Sided Messages: In contrast, a two-sided message acknowledges and addresses opposing viewpoints or counterarguments. It presents both the pros and cons of a product, idea, or position, providing a balanced perspective. Two-sided messages are effective when the audience is aware of or likely to encounter opposing arguments, has a higher level of education or involvement in the topic, or when there is a need to address potential objections.

Benefits of Two-Sided Messages:

  • Credibility: By acknowledging opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, two-sided messages can enhance the speaker’s or sender’s credibility. It demonstrates fairness, transparency, and a willingness to engage with different perspectives.
  • Counter-arguing: Two-sided messages allow the speaker or sender to anticipate and address potential objections or criticisms, increasing the persuasiveness of the overall message.
  • Persuasive Effectiveness: Research suggests that two-sided messages can be more persuasive than one-sided messages in certain contexts, especially when the audience is initially opposed to the message. It creates a sense of openness and consideration of alternative viewpoints, increasing the likelihood of attitude change.

Example: A public service announcement about the dangers of smoking cigarettes presents both the immediate gratification and long-term health risks associated with smoking. By acknowledging the short-term pleasure but emphasizing the significant health consequences, the message aims to persuade smokers to consider quitting.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of one-sided or two-sided messages depends on various factors, including audience characteristics, prior knowledge, motivation, and the specific context of the persuasive communication. Both strategies have their merits and can be utilized strategically based on the specific goals and audience dynamics in a given persuasive situation.

Question. 6 What are those in-built characteristics of language which make encoding difficult in communication?

There are several inherent characteristics of language that can make encoding (the process of converting thoughts or messages into language) difficult in communication. These characteristics include:

  1. Ambiguity: Language is inherently ambiguous, meaning that words and phrases can have multiple meanings or interpretations. This ambiguity can lead to misunderstandings or confusion during the encoding process. For example, the word “bank” can refer to a financial institution or the side of a river, and without additional context, it may be challenging to determine the intended meaning.
  2. Symbolic Nature: Language relies on symbolic representation, where words and symbols represent ideas, objects, or concepts. However, the symbolic nature of language can lead to misinterpretations or discrepancies between the intended meaning of the sender and the understanding of the receiver. Different individuals may attach different meanings or associations to the same symbols or words.
  3. Cultural and Contextual Influences: Language is shaped by cultural and contextual factors, including social norms, values, and historical contexts. These influences can impact the encoding process as individuals may unintentionally use language that is specific to their cultural or contextual background, leading to miscommunication or misinterpretation by those from different backgrounds.
  4. Subjectivity: Language is subjective and influenced by individual perspectives, beliefs, and experiences. The same message can be interpreted differently based on the receiver’s personal biases or prior knowledge. The subjective nature of language can make encoding challenging as the sender needs to consider how their words may be understood by others with different perspectives.
  5. Expressive Limitations: Language has limitations in expressing complex or abstract ideas or emotions accurately. Certain concepts or experiences may be difficult to put into words, leading to challenges in encoding thoughts or messages fully. The sender may struggle to find the precise words to convey their intended meaning, resulting in potential gaps in understanding.
  6. Inefficiency: Language can be an imperfect medium for encoding due to its inherent inefficiency. The complexity of human thoughts and experiences often surpasses the limitations of language, requiring the sender to simplify or reduce the richness of their message during encoding. This compression of information can result in a loss of nuance or details, potentially leading to misunderstandings.

While these characteristics of language can make encoding challenging, effective communication involves being aware of these limitations and employing strategies such as providing additional context, clarifying ambiguous terms, considering the receiver’s perspective, and actively seeking feedback to enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of encoding.

Question.7 What is propaganda? Discuss propaganda devices/techniques with your own examples from Pakistani mass media, especially television advertisements./ Do you think propaganda devices are effective? Your answer needs to be supported by some empirical evidence./ What are the various techniques (devices) or propaganda which are being used in mass communication?

Propaganda refers to the deliberate and systematic dissemination of information, ideas, or narratives, often with a biased or misleading nature, to influence public opinion, shape attitudes, and manipulate beliefs. It is typically used as a tool by individuals, groups, or governments to promote a particular agenda, ideology, or political interest.

Propaganda Devices are the techniques employed in propaganda campaigns to sway and manipulate the target audience. These devices play on emotions, biases, and cognitive processes to effectively influence perception and decision-making. Here are some propaganda devices commonly used:

  1. Emotional Appeal: Propaganda often uses emotional appeals to evoke strong feelings or sentiments in the target audience. These appeals can include fear, anger, pride, or sympathy. Emotional appeals aim to create an emotional connection with the audience and override critical thinking.

Example: In Pakistan, a government advertisement showcases the dire consequences of not paying taxes, depicting images of poverty-stricken families and crumbling infrastructure. By evoking fear and guilt, the advertisement aims to emotionally compel citizens to fulfill their tax obligations.

  • Bandwagon Effect: This device seeks to convince individuals to adopt a particular belief or behavior by emphasizing the popularity or trendiness of that belief or behavior. It creates a sense of social pressure to conform and implies that everyone is doing it.

Example: A political campaign uses slogans and visuals that highlight massive crowds attending the rallies of a particular political party. The campaign aims to create a bandwagon effect, suggesting that the party has widespread support and encouraging undecided voters to join the perceived majority.

  • Stereotyping: Propaganda often relies on stereotyping to simplify complex issues or target specific groups. Stereotypes present an oversimplified and often negative portrayal of a certain category of people, appealing to existing biases and prejudices.

Example: In a political campaign, opponents of a certain ethnic or religious minority group use derogatory language and negative stereotypes to marginalize and discredit them. By reinforcing existing biases, the propaganda seeks to create divisions and sway public opinion against the targeted group.

  • Glittering Generalities: This device uses vague, positive, and emotionally appealing language to associate particular ideas or individuals with admirable qualities or values. It employs broad and lofty terms without providing concrete evidence or specific details.

Example: A political party’s campaign slogan emphasizes slogans like “Progress,” “Prosperity,” and “Change.” The propaganda relies on these glittering generalities to create a positive image without providing specific policies or plans, appealing to the desire for improvement without the need for substantial evidence.

  • Testimonials: Propaganda utilizes testimonials, endorsements, or personal narratives from influential individuals or relatable figures to gain credibility and sway public opinion. Testimonials aim to appeal to the authority or relatability of the individuals involved.

Example An advertisement for a beauty product features a popular celebrity claiming that the product has transformed their appearance. By using a well-known figure, the propaganda seeks to influence consumers’ attitudes and convince them that the product is effective and trustworthy.

It is important to critically analyze and evaluate propaganda devices to guard against manipulation and make informed judgments. Recognizing these devices helps individuals become more media literate and develop a better understanding of the tactics used to shape public opinion.

Question. 8 Discuss the theories of consistency in light of mass communication uses by the audience.

The theories of consistency in the context of mass communication focus on how individuals strive for consistency in their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. These theories explain how people seek to align their thoughts and actions with their existing attitudes and values. Two prominent theories related to consistency are Cognitive Dissonance Theory and Balance Theory.

  1. Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Cognitive Dissonance Theory, proposed by Leon Festinger, suggests that individuals experience psychological discomfort or dissonance when they hold inconsistent or conflicting beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors. This discomfort motivates them to reduce the dissonance and restore consistency.

In the context of mass communication, cognitive dissonance theory can be applied to understand how individuals respond to messages that challenge their existing beliefs or attitudes. When exposed to information that conflicts with their preexisting views, individuals may experience cognitive dissonance. They may attempt to reduce this discomfort by either changing their attitudes to align with the new information or by seeking out further information that supports their existing beliefs.

For example, if an individual strongly believes in the importance of environmental conservation but learns that their favorite fashion brand engages in environmentally harmful practices, they may experience cognitive dissonance. To resolve this discomfort, they might choose to change their attitude towards the brand, stop supporting it, or seek information that rationalizes their continued support.

  • Balance Theory: Balance Theory, developed by Fritz Heider, focuses on the importance of maintaining consistency in interpersonal relationships. It proposes that individuals strive for a state of balance or harmony among their attitudes and relationships.

In the context of mass communication, balance theory suggests that individuals seek to maintain a balanced perspective regarding the information they receive. If they encounter messages or information that conflict with their existing attitudes or relationships, they may experience a state of imbalance or cognitive dissonance. To restore balance, individuals may engage in selective exposure, seeking out information that aligns with their existing attitudes and avoiding information that challenges them.

For instance, if an individual strongly identifies with a particular political ideology and encounters news articles or social media posts that challenge their beliefs, they may be motivated to selectively expose themselves to sources that confirm their existing views. This selective exposure helps maintain consistency and reduces the discomfort associated with conflicting information.

In summary, both cognitive dissonance theory and balance theory provide insights into how individuals strive for consistency in their attitudes and beliefs, and how they respond to information that challenges their existing views. These theories help explain the psychological processes underlying audience responses to mass communication messages and their motivations to reduce cognitive dissonance and maintain balance in their belief systems.

Question. 9    Do you think the new communication technology has also affected communication. / Do you think the recent changes in media require more relevant theories for explanation the media landscape?

Yes, new communication technologies have significantly affected communication in various ways. These technologies have revolutionized the speed, reach, and modes of communication, enabling new forms of interaction and transforming how people connect and exchange information. Here are some examples of how new communication technology has impacted communication:

  1. Instantaneous Communication: The advent of technologies like smartphones, messaging apps, and social media platforms has made communication almost instantaneous. People can send text messages, voice messages, or make video calls in real-time, regardless of their geographical locations. This has facilitated quick and efficient communication, allowing individuals to connect and exchange information with unprecedented speed.

Example: With the popularity of messaging apps like WhatsApp or social media platforms like Twitter, individuals can instantly share news, updates, and personal messages with their friends, family, or followers.

  • Global Reach: New communication technologies have made it possible to communicate with individuals across the globe. Through the internet and various online platforms, people can connect with others from different countries and cultures. This global reach has expanded opportunities for cross-cultural communication, collaboration, and the exchange of diverse perspectives and ideas.

Example: Video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype enable individuals or businesses to have face-to-face conversations and meetings with colleagues, clients, or partners in different parts of the world, eliminating the need for extensive travel.

  • Enhanced Connectivity: Communication technologies have increased connectivity, allowing people to stay connected and informed constantly. With the proliferation of mobile devices and wireless internet access, individuals can access communication tools and platforms at any time and from anywhere, promoting continuous connectivity.

Example: Through smartphones and mobile internet, people can access social media platforms, news websites, or email accounts on the go, ensuring they are always connected and updated.

  • Diverse Communication Channels: New communication technologies have expanded the range of communication channels available. Alongside traditional methods like phone calls or face-to-face interactions, individuals now have options like email, instant messaging, video calls, social media, blogs, and more. These diverse channels provide flexibility in choosing the most suitable medium for different communication needs.

Example: A business can use email for formal correspondence, a messaging app for quick internal team communication, and social media platforms for public announcements or customer engagement.

  • User-Generated Content: Communication technologies have empowered individuals to generate and share their own content, blurring the lines between producers and consumers of information. People can create and disseminate their ideas, opinions, and creative works through blogs, vlogs, podcasts, or social media platforms, democratizing the communication landscape.

Example: Platforms like YouTube or Instagram allow individuals to create and share videos or photos, enabling them to express themselves, build audiences, and engage with others.

Overall, new communication technologies have revolutionized communication by making it faster, more accessible, and more interconnected. They have opened up new possibilities for global communication, enhanced connectivity, and provided individuals with diverse channels to express themselves and connect with others.

Question.10 Explains how scientific method of knowing is different from Other ways of knowing?

The scientific method of knowing is a systematic approach to acquiring knowledge and understanding the world around us through observation, experimentation, and logical reasoning. It is distinct from other ways of knowing, such as intuition, personal experience, or reliance on authority, in several key aspects:

  1. Empirical Evidence: The scientific method emphasizes the importance of empirical evidence obtained through observation and experimentation. It relies on objective data that can be measured, observed, and verified by multiple observers, ensuring a more objective and reliable understanding of phenomena. Other ways of knowing may rely more on subjective experiences or personal anecdotes, which can be influenced by biases and individual perspectives.
  2. Testability and Falsifiability: The scientific method requires hypotheses and theories to be testable and potentially falsifiable. This means that scientific claims should be open to being proven wrong or disproven through empirical evidence. The emphasis on testability ensures that scientific knowledge is subject to critical evaluation and revision based on new evidence. In contrast, other ways of knowing may rely on beliefs or claims that are not easily testable or falsifiable, making them less open to scrutiny and revision.
  3. Replicability and Peer Review: Scientific knowledge is strengthened through replication and peer review. Experiments and studies are designed to be replicable, allowing other researchers to repeat the procedures and validate or challenge the findings. Peer review involves subjecting scientific work to critical evaluation by experts in the field before it is published. This rigorous process helps ensure that scientific knowledge is robust, reliable, and free from bias. Other ways of knowing may not have similar mechanisms for independent verification and critical evaluation.
  4. Objectivity and Impartiality: The scientific method strives for objectivity and impartiality by minimizing biases and personal beliefs that could influence the interpretation of data. Researchers aim to be objective observers and to conduct experiments and analyses without preconceived notions or expectations. Other ways of knowing, such as intuition or personal experience, can be influenced by subjective biases and individual perspectives, which may lead to less objective interpretations of reality.
  5. Cumulative Progress: The scientific method promotes cumulative progress in knowledge. New discoveries and findings build upon existing knowledge, leading to the refinement and expansion of scientific theories and understanding. This iterative process of hypothesis testing, experimentation, and theory development allows for the advancement of knowledge over time. Other ways of knowing may not have the same systematic approach to building upon previous knowledge and may be more susceptible to stagnation or circular reasoning.

It’s important to note that while the scientific method provides a reliable framework for understanding the natural world, it may not be applicable to all areas of knowledge or aspects of human experience. Other ways of knowing, such as personal and subjective experiences, emotions, intuition, and ethics, play crucial roles in areas such as art, morality, and personal relationships. Different ways of knowing can complement each other and contribute to a more holistic understanding of the world.

Question. 11 What do you know about schema theory and subliminal perception?

Schema Theory: Schema theory is a psychological framework that explains how individuals organize and interpret information in their minds. It proposes that people possess cognitive frameworks called schemas, which are mental structures that represent knowledge about objects, events, or situations. Schemas are formed through experiences and serve as templates for processing and interpreting new information. They influence how individuals perceive, categorize, and remember information by providing a framework for understanding and organizing the world.

Schemas help individuals make sense of complex information by filling in gaps, making assumptions, and guiding attention. They also influence memory by affecting what information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. Schemas can be activated by relevant cues, and their activation can lead to the formation of expectations and biases in perception and interpretation.

Subliminal Perception: Subliminal perception refers to the processing of stimuli that are presented below the threshold of conscious awareness. It involves the perception of information without individuals being consciously aware of it. The stimuli are typically presented very briefly or in a manner that makes them difficult to detect consciously.

The concept of subliminal perception has been a subject of interest and controversy in psychology. Some early studies suggested that subliminal stimuli could influence attitudes, emotions, and behaviors without individuals being aware of the stimuli. However, more recent research has questioned the extent of its effects and the replicability of the findings.

While some studies have reported subtle effects of subliminal stimuli on perceptions or behaviors, the overall consensus in the scientific community is that the influence of subliminal perception is limited. Subliminal messages are unlikely to have a powerful or long-lasting impact on individuals’ thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. Moreover, ethical considerations must be taken into account regarding the use of subliminal techniques in various contexts, such as advertising or persuasion.

It’s worth noting that the effects of subliminal perception are still a topic of ongoing research and debate within psychology, and the conclusions drawn from studies may vary. Nonetheless, the current scientific consensus suggests that the influence of subliminal perception on conscious thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors is limited compared to other more explicit forms of communication and information processing.

Question.12 Define perception. What are those factors that influence perception?

Perception refers to the process by which individuals interpret and make sense of sensory information from the environment. It involves the selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory inputs to create a meaningful understanding of the world around us.

Several factors influence perception, including:

  1. Sensory Factors: Sensory factors such as sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch play a crucial role in perception. Each sensory modality provides unique information that contributes to our perception of the environment. The quality, intensity, and duration of sensory stimuli can influence how we perceive and interpret them.
  2. Attention: Attention is the process of selectively focusing on certain aspects of sensory information while ignoring others. Our attention can be influenced by various factors, including the salience of stimuli, personal relevance, and cognitive processes. What we pay attention to can shape our perception and determine what information we process and remember.
  3. Previous Experience and Knowledge: Our past experiences and existing knowledge contribute to our perception of the world. Our previous encounters with similar stimuli or situations create mental frameworks called schemas, which influence how we interpret new information. Our knowledge and expectations can lead to perceptual biases or influence the significance we assign to certain stimuli.
  4. Context and Environment: The context and environment in which stimuli are presented can affect perception. The presence of surrounding stimuli, the physical environment, social cues, and cultural norms can all influence how we perceive and interpret sensory information. For example, an object’s perceived size may be influenced by the size of nearby objects or the cultural context in which it is observed.
  5. Emotional and Cognitive Factors: Emotions, moods, and cognitive processes can also shape perception. Our emotional state can influence our attention, interpretation, and memory of sensory information. Cognitive factors such as expectations, beliefs, and individual differences in cognitive processing can also impact how we perceive and interpret stimuli.
  6. Perceptual Constancies: Perceptual constancies refer to the ability to perceive objects as stable and unchanging despite variations in sensory input. For example, size constancy allows us to perceive an object as the same size, regardless of its distance from us. Perceptual constancies help us maintain a consistent perception of the world and compensate for changes in sensory information.

It’s important to note that perception is a complex and subjective process influenced by a combination of these factors. Different individuals may perceive the same stimuli differently based on their unique sensory experiences, cognitive processes, and personal factors.

Question. 13 What is theory? Discuss the role and importance of scientific theory in the field of mass communication. Also explain how scientific theory is different from common sense.

A theory is a well-substantiated explanation or framework that encompasses a set of concepts, principles, or laws used to explain or predict a particular phenomenon. It is a systematic and coherent explanation that helps us understand and make sense of complex phenomena in a specific field.

In the field of mass communication, scientific theories play a crucial role in advancing knowledge and understanding the processes, effects, and dynamics of mass communication. Here are some key roles and importance of scientific theories in the field of mass communication:

  1. Explanation and Understanding: Scientific theories provide explanations for how and why mass communication processes occur. They help us understand the underlying mechanisms, relationships, and factors that influence communication in mass media contexts. Theories offer a framework to make sense of complex phenomena, such as media effects, audience behavior, message processing, or media production.
  2. Predictive Power: Scientific theories enable researchers to make predictions about communication phenomena based on established principles and empirical evidence. Theories provide a foundation for generating hypotheses and conducting empirical studies to test and validate predictions. By understanding the relationships and patterns identified in theories, researchers can anticipate how certain variables or conditions may influence mass communication outcomes.
  3. Organizing Knowledge: Theories organize and structure knowledge in the field of mass communication. They provide a framework for categorizing and integrating findings from various research studies, creating a coherent body of knowledge. Theories help researchers and practitioners navigate the vast amount of information by identifying key concepts, relationships, and gaps in understanding.
  4. Guiding Research: Scientific theories guide research in mass communication by identifying research questions, variables, and methodologies that are relevant to understanding specific phenomena. Theories help researchers design studies, develop hypotheses, and select appropriate research methods to investigate communication processes and effects. They provide a roadmap for conducting rigorous and systematic research.
  5. Practical Applications: Theories in mass communication have practical implications and applications. They help inform media professionals, policymakers, and practitioners about effective communication strategies, media effects, audience engagement, or message design. Theories provide insights into how to optimize communication practices, develop media interventions, or navigate media landscapes to achieve desired outcomes.
  6. Theory Development and Evolution: Scientific theories in mass communication are not static; they evolve and develop over time. As new evidence emerges and research advances, theories are refined, expanded, or even replaced with more accurate or comprehensive explanations. Theories act as building blocks for further research, fostering a cumulative growth of knowledge in the field.

Overall, scientific theories in mass communication serve as foundational tools for understanding, explaining, and predicting the processes, effects, and dynamics of mass communication. They provide a systematic framework that guides research, organizes knowledge, and informs practical applications in the field. By advancing our understanding of mass communication phenomena, theories contribute to the development and improvement of media practices, policies, and strategies.

How scientific theory is different from common sense:

Scientific theory and common sense are two distinct ways of understanding and explaining the world, and they differ in several key aspects:

  1. Systematic Approach: Scientific theories are developed through a systematic and rigorous process that involves empirical observation, data collection, hypothesis testing, and peer review. The scientific method ensures that theories are based on evidence and subject to critical evaluation. In contrast, common sense is based on everyday experiences, personal observations, and intuition, without the same level of systematic investigation or validation.
  2. Evidence-Based: Scientific theories rely on empirical evidence obtained through systematic research. They are grounded in observations, experiments, and data analysis, allowing for objective evaluation and replication. Common sense, on the other hand, is often based on personal beliefs, anecdotal evidence, or cultural norms, which may not always be accurate or supported by rigorous evidence.
  3. Generalizability: Scientific theories aim to explain phenomena in a general and abstract manner. They seek to identify underlying principles, patterns, and relationships that can be applied to various contexts and situations. Common sense, on the other hand, is often context-specific and based on individual experiences or cultural beliefs. It may not have the same level of generalizability or applicability to diverse situations.
  4. Predictive Power: Scientific theories have predictive power. They allow researchers to make predictions about future events or outcomes based on established principles and empirical evidence. Theories provide a framework for generating hypotheses and testing them through controlled experiments or observational studies. Common sense, while often drawing from personal experiences, may not have the same predictive power or ability to make accurate predictions about future events.
  5. Revision and Evolution: Scientific theories are subject to revision and refinement based on new evidence and discoveries. They are dynamic and evolve as new information becomes available. The scientific community actively engages in ongoing research and debate to challenge and refine existing theories. In contrast, common sense tends to be more resistant to change and may rely on established beliefs or traditional knowledge.
  6. Expertise and Specialization: Scientific theories are typically developed and advanced by experts in specific fields who have specialized knowledge and training. They follow established methodologies and adhere to rigorous standards of evidence. Common sense, on the other hand, is accessible to everyone, regardless of expertise or specialized knowledge. It is often based on intuitive reasoning and everyday observations.

While common sense may provide quick and practical solutions to everyday problems, scientific theories offer a more robust and systematic approach to understanding the world. They rely on empirical evidence, incorporate rigorous methodologies, and are subject to peer review. Scientific theories strive for objectivity, generalizability, and the advancement of knowledge through cumulative research.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top