It was me, I done did it.

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!

It turns out that I AM one of those flawed Media Effects Model researchers!
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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d) Many studies into media effects are based on outdated or misapplied methodologies.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.
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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.

Media Effects Models: Elaborated Models

The Differential Susceptibility to Media Effects Model (DSMM)

Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model’



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