The Rise of Mass Communication Theory

By : Prima Mustika


Theory of Crowds


Gustave Le Bon observed that the individual behavior would be demoted to the level of the most noisiest or sadistic person in the crowd. This mass behavior is uncontrollable by an individual. (The Crowd, 30)



Network Radio had begun (20th century Media Effects Research, 186)

Propaganda & Media Influence


Sigmund Freud argued that Propaganda was more than merely using media to lie to people in order to gain temporary control over them. Sigmund Freud’s crowd behavior theory primarily consists of the idea that becoming a member of a crowd serves to unlock the unconscious mind. Propaganda theorist used Freudians notion to develop very pessimistic interpretations of media influence. (Baran, 47)

The Payne Fund Studies


The motion Picture Research Council set out to determine what effect motion pictures had on children. The research was funded by the Payne Fund. (20th century Media Effects Research, 186)

Hypodermic Needle


The “hypodermic needle theory” implied mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences. (Katz & Lazarsfeld, Personal Influence)

The Psychology of Radio


Hadley Cantril & Gordon Allport published the psychology of Radio. This pioneering behavioral study provided the basis for much of later radio research. It dealt first with the "mental setting", or the structure of the radio industry. (20th century Media Effects Research, 187)

Radio Research Project


The Radio Research Project was a social research project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to look into the effects of mass media on society. The Princeton Radio Project had a profound influence upon the development of a modern “democratic propaganda” in the United States and elsewhere in the industrialised world. (Pooley)

Mass Deception


Adorno concludes "Culture Industry Reconsidered" with the assertion that the "happiness" produced for the masses by the culture industry is imaginary, it induced people to pursue unachievable dreams and represses all those that can oppose it (what Adorno calls "mass deception"). (Adorno, Horkheimer, 106)

Two Step Flow Theory


The two-step flow of communication hypothesis was first introduced by Paul Lazarsfeld,Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet in The People's Choice. Through the study they're discovered, however, that informal, personal contacts were mentioned far more frequently than exposure to radio or newspaper as sources of influence on voting behaviour. (The People's Choice, 1944)

Communication Model


it describes an act of communication by defining who said it, what was said, in what channel it was said, to whom it was said, and with what effect it was said. (Lasswell, 117)



Ted Newcomb developed theories of how communication works. Through the idea of co-orientation which focused on one person's orientation toward another person and how communication serves to increase the accuracy of our perception. (20th century media effect research, 189)

Weak Effect


Lazarsfeld disproved the hypodermic needle theory and claimed that the public can select which messages affect and don’t affect them. (Katz & Lazarsfeld, Personal Influence)

Uses and Grats Theory


Blumler and Katz’s uses and gratification theory suggests that media users play an active role in choosing and using the media. (Shyam, 505)

Media Ecology


in media ecology, a medium is a technology within which human culture grows, giving form to its politics, ideologies, and social organisation -Neil Postman. (Man Kong, 2006)

The Spiral of Silence


The term is originally proposed by German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. According to The Spiral of Silence theory, the mass media have to be seen as creating public opinion, they provide the environmental pressure to which people respond with silence. (Neumann, 51)

Theory of Cultivation


Gerbner and Gross assumed that mass media had strong, long-term effects on audiences, based on ubiquitous and consonant stream of messages they presented to audiences. (Scheufele & Tewksbury, 10)

Media Content


Researchers discussed that 3 negation models like framing, agenda setting, and priming in the mass media, influenced the audiences, how they processed messages in mass media also had strong attitudinal effect. (Scheufele & Tewksbury, 11)

Third Person Effect


The Third Person Effect predicts that people tend to perceive that mass communicated media messages have a greater effect on others than on themselves (Davidson, 3)

Cultural Hagemony


the media are seen as the place of competition between competing social forces rather than simply as a channel for the dominant ideology (Jackson)

Communication As Culture


Carey highlights the space bias of modern civilization and details the social, political, and economic changes wrought by communication technologies, illustrated by his famous case study of the telegraph. (Carey, 2008)