I vaguely feel like I’ve been here before; struggling to interpret academic language that may or may not relate to something that might be my cousins’ roommates’ idea of what the question maybe is. And indeed I have!
About 18 months ago I completed a major work for my HSC that investigated the ‘psychological effects’ of conflict on adolescent males, with an entire chapter devoted the effects of violent media. Looking back over it now I can see how I fell into the trap of inconsistencies in the Effects Model, and how I rather unwittingly included aspects of later, more valid, adaptions of the model.
Firstly, lets highlight the misguided research of 17 (and a half) year old Olivia
a) I attempted to assess the medias effects before investigating the issues supposedly being caused by interaction with violent media. I also observed and questioned groups and individuals that really hadn’t displayed violent outbursts, and therefore worked on a lot of vague assumptions, and really had no way of telling if the subjects responses were truthful.
b) I didn’t properly assess the media content and how the contextual meaning and varied interpretations of a message could alter how the audience responds to it. Classic Effects Model fail.
c) Like many researchers in this area, I failed to fully identify and investigate what I was considering as ‘violent’ or ‘anti-social’ media or behaviour. I also didn’t analyse the area that the ‘responses’ fit into. The recent DSMM research (2013) effectively distinguishes these as cognitive, emotional and excitative (I didn’t think it was a real word either!), which helps to discern why the audience is responding in a particular manner, not just that they kind of…are responding.
d) Many studies into media effects are based on outdated or misapplied methodologies. My work embodies this notion. Gullibility; it’s a curse.
So, I made some completely unoriginal mistakes.
HOWEVER, I didn’t get it all wrong
Unlike the original effects model, I adequately explored how reactions to media are highly variable due to disposition, developmental level, and socialisation.
I also included news media into my assessment, and actually referred to how this, and other media forms, can benefit the audience in developing informed ideas about injustice, tragedy and sympathy.
Now, I think at this point everyone is ready to condemn the Media Effects Model to the flames. I say nay! Everyone just take a deep breath and think; research all has to start somewhere. It’s actually very difficult to distinguish what’s right until you know what’s wrong.
Past Liv could’ve used this advice.