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An ecological psychology approach to the study of audiences

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Abstract:

At disciplinary level, the study of mass media and their influence on audiences has largely been the preserve of communication science and cultural studies. Although there are signs of convergence between these two fields, this paper argues that there is a growing need to address questions of media influence from a contemporary social psychological perspective as well. I start by outlining a model of audience psychology that draws on theories from ecological psychology. By focusing on encounters between individuals and their environment, and the interaction frames that provide the rules for those encounters, I argue that ecological psychology provides a useful framework for understanding the audience-media relationship. Then I discuss the contribution that narrative psychology might make to this framework. Finally I apply this model to a number of topics in mass communication which have proved difficult for traditional theories of the audience to account for.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

media (70), psycholog (65), ecolog (47), theori (45), narrat (35), interact (34), audienc (33), televis (32), encount (29), children (28), social (26), relationship (24), cultur (24), parasoci (21), afford (20), figur (20), understand (19), activ (18), studi (14), environ (13), exampl (13),

Author's Keywords:

mass communication, psychology, audiences, parasocial interaction
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Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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URL: http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112304_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Giles, David. "An ecological psychology approach to the study of audiences" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112304_index.html>

APA Citation:

Giles, D. C. , 2003-05-27 "An ecological psychology approach to the study of audiences" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112304_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: At disciplinary level, the study of mass media and their influence on audiences has largely been the preserve of communication science and cultural studies. Although there are signs of convergence between these two fields, this paper argues that there is a growing need to address questions of media influence from a contemporary social psychological perspective as well. I start by outlining a model of audience psychology that draws on theories from ecological psychology. By focusing on encounters between individuals and their environment, and the interaction frames that provide the rules for those encounters, I argue that ecological psychology provides a useful framework for understanding the audience-media relationship. Then I discuss the contribution that narrative psychology might make to this framework. Finally I apply this model to a number of topics in mass communication which have proved difficult for traditional theories of the audience to account for.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 21
Word count: 4830
Text sample:
ecological theory...1 An ecological psychology approach to the study of audiences While psychologists have been quick to study various aspects of the Internet (e.g. Gackenbach 1998; Wallace 1999) the psychological influences of television and other traditional media are still largely obscure. This may be attributed to a long- standing division between the communication science research tradition developed in North America during the second half of the 20th century and the cultural studies tradition established during the 1970s in Europe.
(1977). Scripts plans goals and understanding. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Wallace P. (1999). The psychology of the internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wolf M.A. (1987). How children negotiate television. In T.Lindlof (Ed.) Natural audiences: Qualitative research of media uses and effects. Norwood NJ: Ablex. Woolley J.D. (1997). Thinking about fantasy: Are children fundamentally different thinkers and believers from adults? Child Development 68 991-1011. ecological theory...21 Wright J.C. Huston A.C. Reitz A.L. & Piemyat S. (1994). Young children’s perceptions


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