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Media and Persuasion - Essay Example

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Media and Persuasion

In addition to that, the paper seeks to find out which models are most genuine when it comes to explaining the influence of media on society (Wimmer, 2010). Lastly, the paper will apply one of the theories to a current example in the media with a purpose of critiquing the model. The theories Various theories have been put forward to actually explain how media influences people and the power it has to do so. These are: Cognitive dissonance theory, Communication accommodation theory, Spiral silence theory, Uses and Gratification theory and Symbolic interaction theory. Cognitive dissonance theory Proponents of this theory argue that an experience of dissonance is always aversive and people always tend to ensure that they avoid it completely (Niklas, 2000). Dissonance in this case means incompatible believes and actions. In so doing, the theory puts it that people tend to seek and find out something that does not contradict their opinion or belief. They also seek to hear something that is in line with their thinking and therefore make decisions that do not bring about feelings of dissonance. In explaining the influence that the media has on the society, the theory argues that information delivered to the people through the mass media is made to be in line with what those in societies expect. The end process of all this is where the mass media is able to change the beliefs, attitude, and actions of people thereby influencing them. Communication accommodation theory The theory originated from the speech accommodation theory in communication skills. The main interest of this theoretical perspective is to explain what happens whenever two people are communicating and they shift their communication style. The theory argues that whenever people are communicating to others, they will always ensure that they shift their communication style to fit that of others (Stay, 2006). To ensure that this is achieved people always tend to either use convergence or a divergent approach to communicate to the mass. The media therefore ensures that there is a lot of convergence so as to win the approval of even those who are powerless in the society. The end result of this is the fact that information communicated by the media therefore gives it power to persuade and therefore influence the target groups. The main purpose of all speeches made in a social situation is to win the approval of all those who the speech is directed towards. The media therefore applies the various stylistic devices that are meant to close the social gap between it and those it seeks to get a social approval from (Mortensens, 2006). The main thinking behind all these is that linguistic devices that are used by an individual play a key role in determining the kind of impression formed by receivers of the information. The media is therefore organized in a manner that it tends to adapt to the situation that is there and the subject matter that is in the public domain. The high persuasive power is however achieved by the fact that the media tends to remain within ethics that govern good conduct and maintains neutrality in most cases. Spiral silence theory The theory argues that as a result of enormous power that is possessed by the media, it leaves a great impact on people therefore making it easy for them to persuade them. In terms of ...Show more

Summary

Media and Persuasion Hakanen (2006) argues that the past 50 years have seen an exponential growth in technology, which has greatly influenced acquisition and dissemination of information. Since the use of a telegram and subsequent technological advances that led to the creation of internet, various changes have taken place in the way the media influences people…
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Media and Persuasion Essay essay example
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