Showing posts from June 17, 2007

Ten Things Wrong With the ‘Effects Model’

It has become something of a cliché to observe that despite many decades of research and hundreds of studies, the connections between people's consumption of the mass media and their subsequent behaviour have remained persistently elusive. Indeed, researchers have enjoyed an unusual degree of patience from both their scholarly and more public audiences. But the time comes when we must take a step back from this murky lack of consensus and ask - why? Why are there no clear answers on media effects? There is, as I see it, a choice of two conclusions which can be drawn from any detailed analysis of the research. The first is that if, after over sixty years of a considerable amount of research effort, direct effects of media upon behaviour have not been clearly identified, then we should conclude that they are simply not there to be found. Since I have argued this case, broadly speaking, elsewhere (Gauntlett, 1995a), I will here explore the second possibility: that the media effects r…