Selective Exposure to Communication

By Dolf Henry Zillmann; Jennings P. Bryant | Go to book overview

guidance motives are generally moderate in importance, ranking below enjoyment-oriented reasons. Among the utilities studied, message selection in order to learn subject matter for interpersonal communication is most central.

Individuals also choose entertainment content as a means of reinforcing or defending predispositions. Correlational data indicate that aggressive persons seek out violent television programming and that sociopolitical attitudes shape preferences for radio music and televised sports; moral-religious values are related to exposure patterns to content such as sexual depictions. The degree of association is moderately strong in most cases. To a limited extent, racial and occupational attitudes appear to influence choices of television programs portraying those social roles. Self-report data show that television viewers exhibit a moderate tendency to select depictions of social roles and behaviors for purposes of supporting predispositions, but selective avoidance of discrepant content is less widespread.

Although the evidence currently available is far from definitive and the degree of importance of utilitarian determinants is far from powerful, it can be tentatively concluded that guidance- and reinforcement-oriented selective exposure to entertainment media occurs to a modest extent. Future research is needed to assess the strength of various types of instrumental motivations and to specify the conditions under which anticipated utilities influence message choices in the entertainment domain.


REFERENCES

Atkin, C. ( 1973). "Instrumental utilities and information seeking". In P. Clarke (Ed.), New models for mass communication research (pp. 205-242). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Atkin, C., Greenberg, B., Korzenny, F., & McDermott, S. ( 1979). "Selective exposure to televised violence". Journal of Broadcasting, 23, 5-14.

Ball-Rokeach, S., Grube, J., & Rokeach, M. ( 1981). "Roots: The Next Generation -- Who watched with what effect?" Public Opinion Quarterly, 45, 58-68.

Balon, R. ( 1978), "TV viewing preferences as correlates of adult dysfunctional behavior". Journalism Quarterly, 55, 288-294.

Bernstein, J. ( 1975). "Conversations in public places". Journal of Communication, 25, 85-95.

Bower, R. ( 1973). Television and the public. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Brigham, J., & Giesbrecht, L. ( 1976). "All in the Family: Racial attitudes". Journal of Communication, 26, 69-74.

Buddenbaum, J. ( 1981). "Characteristics and media-related needs of the audience for religious TV". Journalism Quarterly, 58, 266-272.

Chaffee, S. ( 1972). "Television and adolescent aggressiveness". In G. Comstock & E. Rubinstein (Eds.), Television and social behavior: Television and adolescent aggressiveness (pp. 1-34). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Compesi, R. ( 1980). "Gratifications of daytime TV serial viewers". Journalism Quarterly, 57, 155- 158.

Comstock, G. ( 1982). "Violence in television content: An overview". In D. Pearl, L. Bouthilet, & J. Lazar (Eds.), Television and behavior: Ten years of scientific progress and implications for the eighties (pp. 108-125). Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services.

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Selective Exposure to Communication
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Contributors ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Selective-Exposure Phenomena 1
  • 2 - Cognitive Dissonance in Selective Exposure 11
  • References 31
  • 3 - Measuring Exposure to Television 35
  • References 58
  • 4 - Informational Utility and Selective Exposure to Entertainment Media 63
  • References 88
  • 5 - Determinants of Television Viewing Preferences 93
  • References 110
  • 6 - Thought and Action as Determinants of Media Exposure 113
  • References 136
  • 7 - Fear of Victimization and the Appeal of Crime Drama 141
  • References 154
  • 8 - Affect, Mood, and Emotion as Determinants of Selective Exposure 157
  • References 187
  • 9 - Selective Exposure to Educational Television 191
  • References 200
  • 10 - Cable and Program Choice 203
  • References 223
  • 11 - "Play It Again, Sam": Repeated Exposure to Television Programs 225
  • Acknowledgment 241
  • Author Index 243
  • Subject Index 249
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