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