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It is suggested that one of the reasons that there is such a lack of clarity as to whether the media have effects is that researchers have proceeded from the wrong theoretical conceptualizations to study the wrong questions. The dependency model of media effects is presented as a theoretical alternative in which the nature of the tripartite audience-media-society relationship is assumed to most directly determine many of the effects that the media have on people and society. The present paper focuses upon audience dependency on media information resources as a key interactive condition for alteration of audience beliefs, behavior, or feelings as a result of mass communicated in formation. Audience dependency is said to be high in societies in which the media serve many central information functions and in periods of rapid social change or pervasive social conflict. The dependency model is further elaborated and illustrated by examination of several cognitive, affective, and behavioral effects which may be readily analyzed and researched from this theoretical framework.

  • Nick Yee, The Demographics, Motivations, and Derived Experiences of Users of Massively Multi-User Online Graphical Environments, MIT Press Jpurnals, June 2006, Vol. 15, No. 3, Pages 309-329, Posted Online June 9, 2006. (doi:10.1162/pres.15.3.309), http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/pres.15.3.309

Online survey data were collected from 30,000 users of Massively Multi-User Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) over a three year period to explore users’ demographics, motivations, and derived experiences. Not only do MMORPGs appeal to a broad age range (Mage = 26.57, range = 11–68), but the appeal is strong (on average 22 hours of usage per week) across users of all ages (r = −.04). An exploratory factor analysis revealed a five factor model of user motivations—Achievement, Relationship, Immersion, Escapism, and Manipulation—illustrating the multifaceted appeal of these online environments. Male players were significantly more likely to be driven by the Achievement and Manipulation factors, while female players were significantly more likely to be driven by the Relationship factor. Also, the data indicated that users derived meaningful relationships and salient emotional experiences, as well as real-life leadership skills from these virtual environments. MMORPGs are not simply a pastime for teenagers, but a valuable research venue and platform where millions of users interact and collaborate using real-time 3D avatars on a daily basis.

End-user searching of National Library of Medicine (NLM) online databases during eleven years has been investigated through transaction logs, questionnaires, and follow-up interviews. From 1976 through 1984, pathologists and pharmacists performed 8,313 searches. Highlights of our studies are compared with a review of other end-user research. Volume of searching is directly related to the convenient placement of the terminal in the work place. Slightly fewer than half of all potential searchers actually search for themselves. Practices of pharmacists and pathologists do not differ in important ways. Nonmediated searchers feel they need answers more promptly than do those who obtain mediated searches. End-users perform very simple searches, mostly using only the AND operator. Problems with techniques are fewer and more easily solved than those with the vocabulary and content of the system. The major problems, with the most powerful capabilities of MEDLINE—subheadings and explosions—sometimes cause substantial loss of references, but in relatively few searches. One-on-one teaching is most popular, with trial-and-error the most frequent procedure used in actual learning. © 1986 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  • Randy Baden, Persona: an online social network with user-defined privacy, Proceeding SIGCOMM ’09 Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2009 conference on Data communication, ACM New York, NY, USA ©2009, ISBN: 978-1-60558-594-9 doi>10.1145/1592568.1592585, http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1592585

With the continuing diffusion of the Internet, with the changing media-consumption patterns and with the impact of the Web 2.0 phenomenon, there seems to be widespread optimism regarding democratic participation and active citizenship through online media. Authors such as Bowman and Willis (2003) and Dan Gillmor (2004) describe how, on the Internet, the people themselves have become the media. In contrast to traditional media, blogs and other community-driven media are characterised by a fundamental convergence of the roles of content producers and consumers because every user has the opportunity to both consume and create content. Axel Bruns (2005) has coined the term ‘produsage’ to refer to this blurring line, while Gillmor (2004: 136) and Rosen (2006) speak of the “former audience” to stress that the public should no longer be regarded as a passive group of receivers. Some authors regard this as being part of a larger societal development toward a participatory culture, something that Hartley also has called a “redactional society” (Hartley, 2000). There are some doubts about the foundations of such a development though. Some authors question the idea of a “hyperactive audience” (Schönbach, 1997; see also Hanitzsch, 2006). They claim that only institutionalized forms of journalism guarantee quality through organizational structures and professional work routines and that they offer society a shared meaning in the form of content that reaches mass audiences.

  • Nahon, Karine; Hemsley, Jeff; Walker, Shawn; and Hussain, Muzammil (2011) “Fifteen Minutes of Fame: The Power of Blogs in the Lifecycle of Viral Political Information,” Policy & Internet: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 2. DOI: 10.2202/1944-2866.1108, Available at: http://www.psocommons.org/policyandinternet/vol3/iss1/art2

This empirical study addresses dynamics of viral information in the blogosphere, presenting a new methodology which enables the capture of dynamism and the time-factor of information diffusion in networks. Data was gathered on nearly 10,000 blogs and 13,000 blog posts, linking to 65 of the top U.S. presidential election videos that became viral on the Internet between March 2007 and June 2009. The article argues that the blogosphere is not monolithic and illuminates the role of four important blog types: elite, top-political, top-general and tail blogs. It creates a map of the ‘life cycle’ of blogs posting links to viral information. It shows that elite and top-general blogs ignite the virality process, which means that they get the chance to frame messages and influence agenda setting while top-political and tail blogs act as followers in the process.

Communication through computer networks, electronic salons, and virtual communities has its price. Often relatively anonymous and socially detached, electronic communication allows people to write things online that they would seldom consider saying face-to-face, sometimes generating flames. In a study of the motives to flame based upon Uses and Gratifications Theory (UGT), 160 subjects generated comments anonymously in parallel with a group support system (GSS) idea generation program. Results showed that high levels of assertiveness and sensation seeking predicted flaming, and males tended to participate more in the activity than did females.

Keywords: Flaming; Electronic meetings; Group support systems; Disinhibition; Uses and Gratifications Theory

Anecdotal reports indicated that some on-line users were becoming addicted to the Internet in much the same way that others became addicted to drugs or alcohol, which resulted in academic, social, and occupational impairment. However, research among sociologists, psychologists, or psychiatrists has not formally identified addictive use of the Internet as a problematic behavior. This study investigated the existence of Internet addiction and the extent of problems caused by such potential misuse. Of all the diagnoses referenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1995), Pathological Gambling was viewed as most akin to the pathological nature of Internet use. By using Pathological Gambling as a model, addictive Internet use can be defined as an impulse-control disorder that does not involve an intoxicant. Therefore, this study developed a brief eight-item questionnaire referred to as a Diagnostic Questionnaire (DQ), which modified criteria for pathological gambling to provide a screening instrument for classification of participants. On the basis of this criteria, case studies of 396 dependent Internet users (Dependents) and 100 nondependent Internet users (Nondependents) were classified. Qualitative analyses suggest significant behavioral and functional usage differences between the two groups such as the types of applications utilized, the degree of difficulty controlling weekly usage, and the severity of problems noted. Clinical and social implications of pathological Internet use and future directions for research are discussed.

Prior research has utilized the Zung Depression Inventory (ZDI) and found that moderate to severe rates of depression coexist with pathological Internet use.1 Although the ZDI was utilized for its expediency with on-line administration, its limitations include poor normative data and less frequent clinical use. Therefore, this study utilized the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), which has more accurate norms and frequent usage among dual diagnostic patient populations. An on-line survey administered on a World Wide Web site utilized the BDI as part of a larger study. A total of 312 surveys was collected with 259 valid profiles from addicted users, which again supported significant levels of depression to be associated with pathological Internet use. This article discusses how a treatment protocol should emphasis the primary psychiatric condition if related to a subsequent impulse control problem such as pathological Internet use. Effective management of psychiatric symptoms may indirectly correct pathological Internet use.

Previous studies have presented conflicting claims regarding reasons that people become addicted to the Internet. In this study, we attempted to identify predictors of Internet addiction based on Sullivan’s interpersonal theory and Internet addiction literature. In our research model, it is hypothesized that good parent–child relationship positively correlates with good interpersonal relationships, which in turn are hypothesized to correlate with undesirable social anxiety. In addition, both parent–child and interpersonal relationships are hypothesized to negatively correlate with Internet addiction, whereas the level of social anxiety is hypothesized to positively correlate with Internet addiction. The results of this study confirm the research model hypotheses, indicating that the quality of parent–child relationship is indeed positively correlated to the quality of our participants’ interpersonal relationships and that frustrating interpersonal relationships may raise the level of social anxiety. In addition, interpersonal relationships, the parent–child relationship, and social anxiety all influence Internet addiction, as predicted by the model. Finally, the more social anxiety and discontent with their peer interactions the participants experienced, the more addicted they were to the Internet.

What kinds of psychological features do people have when they are overly involved in usage of the internet? Internet users in Korea were investigated in terms of internet over-use and related psychological profiles by the level of internet use. We used a modified Young’s Internet Addiction Scale, and 13,588 users (7,878 males, 5,710 females), out of 20 million from a major portal site in Korea, participated in this study. Among the sample, 3.5% had been diagnosed as internet addicts (IA), while 18.4% of them were classified as possible internet addicts (PA). The Internet Addiction Scale showed a strong relationship with dysfunctional social behaviors. More IA tried to escape from reality than PA and Non-addicts (NA). When they got stressed out by work or were just depressed, IA showed a high tendency to access the internet. The IA group also reported the highest degree of loneliness, depressed mood, and compulsivity compared to the other groups. The IA group seemed to be more vulnerable to interpersonal dangers than others, showing an unusually close feeling for strangers. Further study is needed to investigate the direct relationship between psychological well-being and internet dependency.

Use of the Internet on college campuses has increased dramatically in recent years, leading to pathological use, or Internet addiction, for some students. Internet addiction is defined as a psychological dependence on the Internet and is characterized by (a) an increasing investment of resources on Internet-related activities, (b) unpleasant feelings (e.g., anxiety, depression, emptiness) when offline, (c) an increasing tolerance to the effects of being online, and (d) denial of the problematic behaviors. Individuals exhibiting such symptoms often are dealing with underlying psychological issues. College students are particularly vulnerable to pathological Internet use due to several factors. These factors include (a) the psychological and developmental characteristics of late adolescence/young adulthood, (b) ready access to the Internet, and (c) an expectation of computer/Internet use. The nature of the computer medium and the sense of control experienced when engaged in computer activities can also contribute to the potential for problematic computer/Internet use. Research on Internet addiction is in its infancy. The need for greater understanding of Internet addiction and its treatment is noted.

  • Indeok Song, Robert Larose, Matthew S. Eastin and Carolyn A. Lin. Internet Gratifications and Internet Addiction: On the Uses and Abuses of New Media, CyberPsychology & Behavior. August 2004, 7(4): 384-394. doi:10.1089/cpb.2004.7.384. http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cpb.2004.7.384

Internet addiction has been identified as a pathological behavior, but its symptoms may be found in normal populations, placing it within the scope of conventional theories of media attendance. The present study drew upon fresh conceptualizations of gratifications specific to the Internet to uncover seven gratification factors: Virtual Community, Information Seeking, Aesthetic Experience, Monetary Compensation, Diversion, Personal Status, and Relationship Maintenance. With no parallel in prior research, Virtual Community might be termed a “new” gratification. Virtual Community, Monetary Compensation, Diversion, and Personal Status gratifications accounted for 28% of the variance in Internet Addiction Tendency. The relationship between Internet addiction and gratifications was discussed in terms of the formation of media habits and the distinction between content and process gratifications.

  • Doris Graber, Mediated Politics and Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century, Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 55: 545-571 (Volume publication date February 2004), DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141550

Since the birth of the nation, concepts about the political duties of citizens have changed drastically to keep pace with growth and development. The information needs have changed as well, as have the institutions that supply this information. In this essay I analyze the interrelation between citizenship in the twenty-first century and the information supply that nourishes it. I focus on studies that explore how political news is shaped to attract public attention and how citizens select it and make sense of it. Evidence from content analyses, focus group data, and intensive interviews supports the conclusion that the news supply is adequate for citizens’ civic needs and that they use it judiciously. To accept that conclusion requires abandoning outdated paradigms of citizenship that ignore information-processing capabilities of human beings, the basic motivations that drive the search for political information, and the impact of the ever-increasing complexity of politics.

This paper explores the cultivation effect of a newspaper on its readers’ reality estimates and attitudes. Additionally, the study tries to advance cultivation research by examining implicit attitudes (i.e., automatic affective reactions toward an object). A content analysis of four months of news coverage in one particular newspaper showed that foreigners were overrepresented as offenders and that the newspaper had a negative view of the EU. According to cultivation theory, it is assumed that the more people read a newspaper, the more their reality estimates and attitudes correspond to the most recurrent, stable, and overarching patterns of the newspaper’s content. To test this hypothesis, a total of 453 students participated in a study that used a cross-lagged panel design with two waves and a time-lag of two months. Consistent with the cultivation hypothesis, those who spent more time reading the newspaper were more likely to overestimate the frequency of foreigners as offenders (i.e., first-order cultivation) and had more negative self-reported attitudes toward the EU (i.e., second-order cultivation). Additionally, those who read more of the newspaper showed more negative implicit attitudes toward the EU (i.e., implicit cultivation). The data show evidence of a significant causal influence of newspaper exposure on implicit attitudes, and a marginally significant causal effect on the overestimation of foreigners as offenders and on explicit attitudes toward the EU. The consideration of implicit attitudes as an additional dependent variable could advance cultivation theory and research.

Ref: https://univis.univie.ac.at/ws_publikation/kat/pubdisplay.htm;jsessionid=0B45F5C05D6B862AF300186754FF9DB3?id=1206950147528&, and http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2010-26441-002

  • Lisa B. Holderman, Media‐constructed anti‐intellectualism: The portrayal of experts in popular US television talk shows, New Jersey Journal of Communication, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2003, pages 45-62, DOI:10.1080/15456870309367437

While intelligence is generally regarded as valuable, some important contexts portray intelligence in a negative light. This study examines the popular portrayal of intellectual expertise through a content analysis of 200 of the 10 top‐rated popular US television talk shows. Results showed that experts in this sample were typically brought on late in the program, allotted little speaking time, placed among non‐experts, frequently interrupted, and sometimes disagreed with or challenged. In addition, “intellectual experts” were treated more negatively than “non‐intellectual” experts. These and similar data suggest a “leveling” of experts on television talk shows in that they seem to be treated no differently than non‐expert guests. Grounded in the theory of Cultivation, these findings indicate that television talk shows contribute to social‐order maintenance by weakening the status of intelligence through their treatment of experts.

Ref: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15456870309367437

  • ELIHU KATZ, JAY G. BLUMLER, and MICHAEL GUREVITCH, USES AND GRATIFICATIONS RESEARCH, Public Opin Q (1973) 37(4): 509-523 doi:10.1086/268109

Downloaded … http://poq.oxfordjournals.org/content/37/4/509.extract

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