What's on, Who's Watching, and What it Means

1st Edition - March 15, 1999

Write a review

  • Authors: George Comstock, Erica Scharrer
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080542317

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (PDF)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


Television: What's On, Who's Watching, and What It Means presents a comprehensive examination of the role of television in one's life. The emphasis is on data collected over the past two decades pointing to an increasing and in some instances a surprising influence of the medium. Television is not only watched but its messages are attended to and well understood. There is no shame in spending hours in front of the set, in fact, people over-estimate the time they spend viewing. Television advertising no longer persuades--it sells by creating a burst of emotional liking for the commercial. The emphases of television news determine not only what voters think about but also the presidential candidate they expect to support on election day. Children and teenagers who watch a great deal of television perform poorly on standardized achievement tests, and among the reasons are the usurpation of time spent learning to read and the discouragement of book reading. Television violence frightens some children and excites others, but its foremost effect is to increase aggressive behavior that sometimes spills over into seriously harmful antisocial behavior.

Key Features

  • Incorporates social psychology, political science, sociology, child development, and the growing field of communications
  • Presents tables and graphs clarifying theories and linking sets of data
  • Paints concise portraits of the role of television in entertainment, politics, and child-rearing
  • Contains background for dozens of lectures and articles
  • Contains a comprehensive bibliography of more than 1000 citations, many recent


University researchers and scholars in social psychology, communication, child development, sociology, advertising, marketing, and political science; graduate and senior undergraduate courses in mass media and communications

Table of Contents

  • The Industry and the Audience
    Three Eras. The Main Means. Assembled to Monitor

    Manufacturing the World
    Decisions, Stories, and Viewers
    The Political Medium
    Public Thought and Action

    Of Time and Content
    Scholastic Performance
    Antisocial Behavior

Product details

  • No. of pages: 388
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1999
  • Published: March 15, 1999
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080542317

About the Authors

George Comstock

George Comstock earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He currently is the S.I. Newhouse Professor at the School of Public Communication, Syracuse University in the Television-Radio-Film Department. He is the author of Television and the American Child and was the senior author of the original Television and Human Behavior.Professor Comstock is a social psychologist and expert on the social effects of mass media. He is former science advisor and senior research coordinator of U.S. Surgeon General's Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior. Professor Comstock teaches classes insocial effects of television and communication research methods.

Affiliations and Expertise

Syracuse University, New York, U.S.A.

Erica Scharrer

Erica Scharrer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Massachusetts and studies media content, opinions about media, and media influence.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, U.S.A.

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "Television"