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A Multidimensional Approach to the Study of Media Effects
Unformatted Document Text:  9 fall into the one cell representing individual-level content-specific attitudinal effects.” Chaffee then went on to propose studies in the emptier cells. Building on Chaffee’s work, McLeod and Reeves (1980) proposed an even more elaborate matrix. In addition to scope, content, and response dimensions, they added two more: change and conditions. They kept the response dimension as a trichotomy and they treated each of the other four dimensions in their simplest possible form, as a dichotomy. The result was a matrix of 48 possible types of media effects that might look like this: When they reviewed the body of mass communication research in terms of their five-dimensional matrix, they found, as Chaffee earlier had, that most cells were “virtually ignored.” They observed that the vast majority of studies dealt with direct, micro-level, content-specific, attitudinal effects. They concluded that “adequate answers to media effects questions require more systematic attempts to investigate effects combinations other than those that have dominated attention up to this time.”

Authors: Lasorsa, Dominic.
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9
fall into the one cell representing individual-level content-specific attitudinal effects.”
Chaffee then went on to propose studies in the emptier cells.
Building on Chaffee’s work, McLeod and Reeves (1980) proposed an even more
elaborate matrix. In addition to scope, content, and response dimensions, they added two
more: change and conditions. They kept the response dimension as a trichotomy and they
treated each of the other four dimensions in their simplest possible form, as a dichotomy.
The result was a matrix of 48 possible types of media effects that might look like this:
When they reviewed the body of mass communication research in terms of their
five-dimensional matrix, they found, as Chaffee earlier had, that most cells were
“virtually ignored.” They observed that the vast majority of studies dealt with direct,
micro-level, content-specific, attitudinal effects. They concluded that “adequate answers
to media effects questions require more systematic attempts to investigate effects
combinations other than those that have dominated attention up to this time.”


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