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A Multidimensional Approach to the Study of Media Effects
Unformatted Document Text:  19 really more interested ultimately in how people behave? So, I would suggest that, again, for the sake of simplicity, we return to the days of yore and dichotomize the response domain. However, rather than dichotomize it by attitudes versus everything else, I propose hat we dichotomize it by behaviors versus everything else. If we make these two modifications, we can simplify the matrix to its simplest possible form: eight dichotomized dimensions. At first blush, it may appear that two such relatively minor changes would not have much of an overall effect--but they do. Instead of a 576-cell matrix we now have one that is only 256 cells. While still large, the matrix has been cut down by more than half its original size. Bringing the eight dimensions of mass media effects to their simplest terms gives us a good place to start an analysis of media effects. Once we have a handle on the basic model, we can expand it to include the more qualitative differences within each dimension that have been traditionally maintained (i.e., return to the 576-cell matrix), or we can add original demarcations of our own that we think have some theoretical value. There is nothing to preclude us from adding such refinements to the matrix, as long as we recognize that any addition either to the number of dimensions or to the divisions within a dimension will significantly increase the size of the matrix. The dichotomized matrix represents a comprehensive yet parsimonious eight- dimensional model of media effects, consisting of the following dimensions and divisions: The response dimension (behavioral effect versus non-behavioral effect). The condition dimension (direct effect versus conditional effect). The intention dimension (planned effect versus unplanned effect).

Authors: Lasorsa, Dominic.
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19
really more interested ultimately in how people behave? So, I would suggest that, again,
for the sake of simplicity, we return to the days of yore and dichotomize the response
domain. However, rather than dichotomize it by attitudes versus everything else, I
propose hat we dichotomize it by behaviors versus everything else.
If we make these two modifications, we can simplify the matrix to its simplest
possible form: eight dichotomized dimensions. At first blush, it may appear that two such
relatively minor changes would not have much of an overall effect--but they do. Instead
of a 576-cell matrix we now have one that is only 256 cells. While still large, the matrix
has been cut down by more than half its original size.
Bringing the eight dimensions of mass media effects to their simplest terms gives
us a good place to start an analysis of media effects. Once we have a handle on the basic
model, we can expand it to include the more qualitative differences within each
dimension that have been traditionally maintained (i.e., return to the 576-cell matrix), or
we can add original demarcations of our own that we think have some theoretical value.
There is nothing to preclude us from adding such refinements to the matrix, as long as we
recognize that any addition either to the number of dimensions or to the divisions within a
dimension will significantly increase the size of the matrix.
The dichotomized matrix represents a comprehensive yet parsimonious eight-
dimensional model of media effects, consisting of the following dimensions and
divisions:
The response dimension (behavioral effect versus non-behavioral effect).
The condition dimension (direct effect versus conditional effect).
The intention dimension (planned effect versus unplanned effect).


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