Description

Research indicates that people discount their own opinions and experiences in favor of those of "experts" as espoused in the media. The framing of news coverage thus has a profound impact on public opinion, and political decision making as a response to public outcry. However, the choice of how to frame the news is typically made to solicit viewership and high ratings rather than to convey accurate and meaningful information. This book discusses why people discount their own opinions, how the media shapes the news, when this drives political decision making, and what the effect is on the future of society. Issues addressed include: * How powerful are the media in shaping political beliefs/judgment? * How has this power changed in recent years? * How does media influence voting behavior? * To what extent do media opinions affect political decision making?

Key Features

* Demonstrates the ways in which the media both constrain and facilitate democratic participation * Provides insight into why individuals have varying levels of attention to and interest in politics * Discusses such issues as political advertising, polls, debates, and journalists' pursuit of scandal * Describes why only some Americans turn out to vote in prominent elections. * Offers a model of personal- versus social-level influences that extends beyond politics into other important topic areas * Brings together research and theories from the fields of Communication, Psychology, and Political Science * Reviews hundreds of key sources, both historical and contemporary

Readership

Advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members studying media and politics; students and researchers in political communication, political science, and political psychology fields; students and researchers in communication and psychology.

Table of Contents

The Psychology of Media and Politics George Comstock and Erica Scharrer Preface Acknowledgements Part I Early Knowledge Chapter I – Conventional Wisdom Chapter II – Necessary Corrections Part II Press and Public Chapter III – The New Media Chapter IV – The Goods Chapter V – Heterogeneous Faces Part III The Collective Self Chapter VI – Using the Media Chapter VII – Beyond Politics References Epilogue Author Index Subject Index

Details

No. of pages:
328
Language:
English
Copyright:
© 2005
Published:
Imprint:
Academic Press
Electronic ISBN:
9780080454252
Print ISBN:
9780121835521
Print ISBN:
9780123992062

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.

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.

Reviews

"...a compendium of often interesting theories, studies, and typologies." --Stuart Fischoff for PsycCRITIQUES - Volume 51, Issue 46