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A Multidimensional Approach to the Study of Media Effects
Unformatted Document Text:  7 nearly or entirely empty. Here is what the matrix that Lazarsfeld envisioned might look like: Perhaps because he was engaged in so many other important projects, Lazarsfeld’s pioneering paper did not receive much attention. In the same year, Lazarsfeld published a major book, Radio Listening in America, and one of his most influential papers, “Mass Communication, Popular Taste and Organized Social Action,” co-authored with Robert Merton, and he also was centrally engaged in his programmatic election campaign studies. For whatever reason, the paper was all but forgotten until recently. In his review of mass media effects, Chaffee (1977) also took a broad view and he, too, advanced a multidimensional perspective. Chaffee focused on three dimensions: response domain, content specificity, and level of analysis. On the response dimension, he located three divisions: (1) reception of information (cognitive effects), (2) changes in feelings, opinions and intentions to act (attitudinal effects), and (3) modification of behavior (behavioral effects). On the content dimension, he located two divisions: (1)

Authors: Lasorsa, Dominic.
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nearly or entirely empty. Here is what the matrix that Lazarsfeld envisioned might look
like:
Perhaps because he was engaged in so many other important projects, Lazarsfeld’s
pioneering paper did not receive much attention. In the same year, Lazarsfeld published a
major book, Radio Listening in America, and one of his most influential papers, “Mass
Communication, Popular Taste and Organized Social Action,” co-authored with Robert
Merton, and he also was centrally engaged in his programmatic election campaign
studies. For whatever reason, the paper was all but forgotten until recently.
In his review of mass media effects, Chaffee (1977) also took a broad view and
he, too, advanced a multidimensional perspective. Chaffee focused on three dimensions:
response domain, content specificity, and level of analysis. On the response dimension,
he located three divisions: (1) reception of information (cognitive effects), (2) changes in
feelings, opinions and intentions to act (attitudinal effects), and (3) modification of
behavior (behavioral effects). On the content dimension, he located two divisions: (1)


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