Television and Political Advertising: Psychological Processes - Vol. 1

By Frank Biocca | Go to book overview

6 The Impact of Presentation Techniques: Theoretical Aspects and Empirical Findings

Hans Mathias Kepplinger

Television is both a visual and person-oriented medium, and these characteristics are prerequisites for most of its reporting. For example, themes that can be pictured are given preference in reporting. As a rule this happens by depicting people who are either participating in the reported event or doing the reporting. The pictorial reporting of the press also consists, to a large degree, of photographs of people. It therefore appears compelling to regard the presentation of persons as a cause, and the way they are perceived by viewers as an effect of television reporting and print media's pictorial reporting.

Throughout this chapter I call this effect presentation impact. It addresses all effects--viewer's perceptions of TV, advertising, radio and press content--caused by the nonverbal and paraverbal behavior of persons. It also addresses the effects of their depiction by photographers, camera operators, lighting technicians, sound technicians, film editors, and journalists. In the main, these are the impressions viewers and listeners gain of the characteristics of the depicted person, and the conclusions they draw from them.

Presentation impacts are the result of a process with a number of phases. At its outset there is the authentic behavior, a person's way of speaking and his or her body language that can be influenced by the recording situation. Then follows the presented behavior, which occurs almost simultaneously but must be differentiated from the authentic behavior. The third phase is the perceived behavior, which must be distinguished from the authentic and presented behaviors because it can

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