A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication

By Richard Jackson Harris | Go to book overview

Preface

A popular movie a few years ago, The Truman Show, featured Jim Carrey as a man whose entire life had been a television show, filmed constantly under a huge bubble that was his whole world. His gradual discovery of this situation is personally devastating, and Truman knows he can never be the same again. In a sense he is an exaggerated but apt metaphor for this entire book. Our lives, and all that we know, are far more heavily influenced by the media than most of us realize, even if our whole lives are not completely reducible to a TV show. Although you will not, like Truman, find out through reading this book that you have no identity except as an entertainment figure, you may discover that an amazing amount of what you know and how you behave is a direct product of your interaction with television, radio, print, and computer-mediated communications. In any event, you will probably never look at media the same way again! At least that is my hope.

Some real people are as much media creations as Carrey's Truman. Mourners around the world cried over the death of Britain's young Princess Diana in the late summer of 1997 and over NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt's fiery crash death in 2001. These were not fake tears; the loss was real. These deaths were a true personal loss for millions of people who had never met Diana or Dale but knew them only as friends through the media. A few years earlier, people had been stunned at the arrest and trial of football great and actor O. J. Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife. Many people truly felt shock and disbelief—how could he have done what he was charged with doing? Simpson's lawyers argued that the saturation tabloid-like coverage of his trial had painted a false media picture of him that had no relation to reality. Even though Simpson was acquitted, many refused to accept that he had NOT committed the crime. The irony, however, was that the picture created by the prosecution was no less a media creation than the original, positive image of the football hero (also entirely a media image). Where was the real O. J. Simpson? Was there even a real O. J. Simpson? Does anybody know? The media picture became the reality.

Sometimes the media and reality become intertwined in odd ways. The Westport Dry Cleaners in Manhattan, Kansas was suddenly inundated

-xvii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 464

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.