This edition: Media Impact
The relationship between media consumption and audience behavior has long been a source of controversy in both academic circles and public discourse. Heated debates on rap lyrics and televised violence often polarize society into two camps: those who think of the media as a direct cause of antisocial behavior, and those who think the media simply reflect existing audience tastes and attitudes. This lesson gives you an understanding of variables that make up the vast gray area between the camps. It looks at the relationships between media consumption and political perspectives; violent behavior; sexual conduct; socialization; and the development of cognitive skills, attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs. These relationships are examined in light of past and current research, as well as public concerns that pressure legislators and media industries.