CHAPTER 9
The Future of Television

In Zaire, each television day begins with President Mobutu descending from the clouds

--The New York Times (12/28/86)

Imagery is the common language of the global village

--Unknown

Television is a device used for the purpose of communication. But how is it used? In this book, we have studied the way television is used in the United States. Here, as we saw in the first chapter, television has been used primarily as a marketing device, as a means of gathering an audience for sale to an advertiser. This use, in turn, determines the content, both the programs designed to attract and hold large audiences, and the advertisements. The content has "direct effects" on those exposed to it. We have seen what some of these effects are, described in terms of the way they arouse psychological mechanisms. The application of these basic psychological mechanisms should be universal, even though the content of television is different throughout the world. The direct effects themselves will be different depending on the information, but the way these effects work will be much the same.

People all over the world will imitate and be disinhibited by what they see on television, they will be aroused and desensitized by it. They

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