Mass Communication: Principles and Practices

By Mary B. Cassata; Molefi K. Asante | Go to book overview

Appendix B Glossary of Mass Communication Concepts
Agenda Setting refers to the ability of the media to channel or focus attention on one issue over another. The amount of attention the media give to a topic determines its importance in the minds of the public.
Aggressive Cues Theory assumes that exposure to aggressive stimuli on television will increase a person's level of physiological and emotional arousal, which in turn will increase the probability of his or her aggressive behavior.
Authoritarian is a philosophy based on the idea that control should be in the hands of the wise; hence the authority of the state over the individual. The government assumes caretaking powers, whereas the rights of the individual become restricted for the greater good of the state. Thus the government may exercise open or more subtle control of its media.
Canalization refers to the ability of the mass media to influence public attitudes and behavior. The mass media can be effective in maintaining, creating, or changing particular values, attitudes, and behaviors through confirming something we already believe, clarifying something we already know, or extending our knowledge of what we have already accepted. An example would be a toothpaste commercial that reinforces the idea that brushing our teeth is good for us and that trying the new brand of toothpaste may prove to be a pleasant and rewarding experience.
Catharsis is the relief of normal frustrations acquired in daily life, which eventually might lead individuals to engage in aggression, through vicarious participation in others' aggressions as depicted, for example, on television.
Channel is the medium through which messages are transmitted from source to receiver.
Channel Noise refers to any distraction or disturbance in the reception of a mass-communicated message caused by such factors as radio static, fuzziness on a TV screen, torn pages in a book, or blurred newsprint.
Communication Satellite is a relay station in space that can be used to provide either intranational or international communications.
Communications Revolution refers to the period beginning with the advent of printing and extending to contemporary communication technology--a

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