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Applying the scientific methodsLandmark of empirical communication study I Lazarsfeld and Katz: The peoples Choice (1948)1. Question Propaganda 2. Method: Big sample, representative Interview - re-interview - any changes? Control groups - avoid contamination by interviews 3. Findings: a. b. c. Activate 14%, convert 8% selective attention - high socio-economic status, the already decided source of influence - face-to-face-ties Propaganda - minimal effect voting decision?
Magic bullet theory
Two step flow theory
Landmark of empirical communication study II Lazarsfeld and Katz Personal Influence (1955)1. Question: media and personal decision - 4 areas fashion, buying, movie choice, public affairs Media powerful? Single source of influence? 2. Method: Smaller sample. Personal interview Findings: two step flow model of influence local level Opinion leaders influence choice non-overlapping opinion leaders 4. Political evaluation: Main source of influence not from central power - media or government Instead from local sources of diffuse influence NO concentration of power - plural centres of influence -
Pluralism alive and well in America
Two Step Flow Model Paul Lazarsfeld & Elihu Katz Mass media information is channeled to the "masses" through opinion leadership. The people with most access to media, and having a more literate understanding of media content, explain and diffuse the content to others. They pass on their opinions and interpretations.
TWO-STEP-FLOW -Lazarsfeld1 Step Media Pay attention to Consumptio n Voting 2 Step Seek out Opinion Leaders Acting Buyin g
The two step flow theory The two step flow theory was first introduced by Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet in the Peoples Choice, a 1948 study focused on the process of decisionmaking during Presidential election campaign
The two step flow theory This theory argued that Ideas often flow from the mass media to the opinion leaders and from them to the less active sections of the population
From the Two-Step Flow Model to Limited Effects Theory
Paul Lazarsfeld and the Two-Step Flow Model of Communication
The Two-Step Flow of CommunicationLecture Outline background; Erie County voting study; the two-step flow model; the decision-making process; key factors; limited effects model; contingency theory.
The Two-Step Flow Model
Decision-Making Process Exists on a continuum; depends on two factors: personal psyche or disposition; the information itself.
Key Factors in Decision-Making Process socio-economic status (class); religion; gender; intra-familial status.
Limited Effects Model Limited set of assumptions; interested in specific processes; needs to be integrated into larger theoretical framework; is sufficiently empirical to allow for testing.
social contacts The one who regularly interacts with many people will have more opportunities to serve as an opinion leader. Index of gregariousness