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Packed with current examples and the latest research available, MEDIA EFFECTS RESEARCH: A BASIC OVERVIEW, 5e, provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the study of mass media's effects on society. Through an engaging personal narrative style, the author presents media theories in the context of fascinating research findings. Students gain a clear understanding of how the effects of mass media are measured and what the latest research has concluded about media's influence on our lives. Completely up to date, the Fifth Edition offers new coverage of electronic media's effects on sleep displacement, TV viewing and obesity research, media violence, emotions in cooperative video game play, first- vs. second-order cultivation, agenda-setting theory research, new media's effects on imitative suicides, Internet use statistics, screen time and face-to-face interaction, multitasking, and much more. It also features a new 2-color interior, 90 new research citations, and 36 new Questions to Focus Your Attention. In addition, 19 all-new Study Boxes give students an in-depth look at media effects information in real-world practice.

Glenn G. Sparks, Purdue University

Glenn Sparks is a professor and noted researcher of Mass Communication in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University where he served for twelve years as the associate head. He previously taught in the Department of Communication at Cleveland State University. His area of expertise is the cognitive and emotional effects of the media. Over the last thirty years, Dr. Sparks has published research on a number of different media effects, including the effects of frightening media, fear of criminal victimization, media violence, paranormal depictions and the CSI effect. His future research will most likely involve new technology and interpersonal relationships-a topic he considers immensely important. He collaborated with Dr. Will Miller on this theme in their book REFRIGERATOR RIGHTS: OUR CRUCIAL NEED FOR CLOSE CONNECTION, which was nominated as a finalist for a 2003 “Books for a Better Life” Award given by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In addition, he is a coauthor with Em Griffin and Andrew Ledbetter on the popular A FIRST LOOK AT COMMUNICATION THEORY. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • More engaging and student-friendly than ever, MEDIA EFFECTS RESEARCH: A BASIC OVERVIEW, 5e features a new 2-color interior.
  • Chapter 6 “Sexual Content in the Media” offers new research on the effects of rape pornography as well as a new discussion of the Annenberg Sex and Media Study. In addition, an updated Study Box discusses the effects of MTV's “16 and Pregnant” program.
  • Chapter 7 “Media that Stir Emotions” presents a new discussion of research on emotions in cooperative video game play along with a new Study Box on the symptoms of lingering fright reactions to media.
  • Featuring new material on first- vs. second-order cultivation, Chapter 8 “Persuasive Effects of the Media” discusses research conducted on an anti-smoking campaign as well as includes two new Study Boxes covering advertising and the removal of cigarette ads from radio and TV.
  • In addition to updated introductory material that includes a discussion of the media coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, Chapter 9 “The Effects of News and Political Content” offers new research on agenda-setting theory as well as new media's effects on imitative suicides. A new section explores whether attractive news anchors increase viewer memory of news, while another new section examines the emotional impact of news on Twitter. Chapter 9 also presents new Study Boxes on the measurement of “Need for Cognition” and the move to online news consumption.
  • Chapter 10 “The Effects of Media Stereotypes” includes new discussions on George Gerbner's comments on sex stereotypes and the research conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center on racial stereotypes in advertising. A new Study Box spotlights women and careers in computer science.
  • Offering the most current coverage available, Chapter 11 “The Impact of New Media Technologies” includes updated statistics on Internet use; a new section on screen time and face-to-face interaction; a new section on technology, cognitive and physical health; and a new discussion of multitasking. It also provides two new Study Boxes on the role of eye contact in virtual interactions and the use of Facebook to connect with old friends.
  • Chapter 12 “Meet Marshall Mcluhan: A Less Scientific Approach to Media Impact” offers a new Study Box about the provocative ideas in the philosopher's thinking.
  • Completely up to date, the Fifth Edition reflects the latest developments, trends, and research findings from the field and includes 90 new research citations.
  • Exploring media effects information in depth, 19 all-new Study Boxes offer students an up-close view of current research, methods, theory, and effects data.
  • Inspiring lively discussion and debate, 36 all-new Questions to Focus Your Attention help students zero in on the most important concepts.
  • Integrating new examples, Chapter 1 “A Scientific Approach to the Study of Media Effects” offers a more nuanced discussion of the goals of science. A new Study Box evaluates the claims of a brain-training product.
  • Chapter 2 “Scientific Methods in Media Effects Research” presents a new study of popular content in young adult novels to illustrate content analysis, while a new study on video games illustrates the experimental method. A new Study Box demonstrates how to evaluate the validity of an experiment.
  • Chapter 3 “A Brief History of Media Effects Research” features new Study Boxes on the relationship between media use and sleep patterns as well as the colorful personalities involved in the Decatur Study.
  • Chapter 4 “Time Spent With Mass Media: Reasons and Consequences” presents a new discussion of uses and gratifications and new media along with a new section on electronic media's effects on sleep displacement. It also contains updated research on TV viewing and obesity and new Study Boxes on binge viewing and the nature of the parasocial relationship.
  • Presenting a deeper discussion of media violence, Chapter 5 “Effects of Media Violence” delves into such subjects as media cultivation theory, violence in YouTube videos, the “law of emotional desensitization”, the effects of violent video games, and why people doubt the influence of media violence on aggression. It also contains three new Study Boxes on the subjects of prolonged exposure to media violence, the decrease in violent crime, and the skepticism surrounding the effects of media violence on aggression.
  • The author's engaging first-person narrative writing style makes it easy for students to understand chapter concepts and connect them to their own lives.
  • Chapters integrate contemporary examples and the latest innovative research on issues affecting society today, including violence, sexual content, racial and gender stereotypes, the rise of social media, and much more.
  • Study Boxes in every chapter highlight a key research finding or expand on other relevant information about methods, theory, or effects data, giving students an in-depth look at real-world media effects information.
  • A Chapter Summary recaps each chapter's main ideas so students can easily review key concepts.
  • Sparking lively classroom discussions while sharpening students' critical thinking skills, Questions to Focus Your Thinking encourage deeper discussion of the topics presented in each chapter.
  • End-of-chapter features such as Key Terms and Concepts and Notes provide reference and review materials that support concepts presented in the chapter-helping students maximize their study time.
Ways of Knowing. Goals of Science. How are the Goals of Science Achieved? Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
Analyzing Media Content. The Sample Survey. The Search for Causal Relationships.
The Experimental Method. Controversy about Research Methods. Other Methodological Approaches. Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
Setting the Stage. 1929–1932-The Payne Fund Studies. The Invasion from Mars. Early Theory of Media Effects: The Magic Bullet Model. The People''s Choice Study: A New View of Media Effects. The Decatur Study: The Two-Step Flow of Communication. The Evils of Comic Books. The Dawn of Television. Many Types of Media Effects. Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
The Uses and Gratifications Perspective. The Problem with Self-Reports. The Raw Numbers: Media Minutes Add Up. Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
The Presence of Violent Content. The Causal Link Between Viewing Violence and Behaving Aggressively. Desensitization to Violence. What about Video Games? Are They Training Kids to Kill? How Do Violent Video Games Cause Aggression? Why Do People Like Media Violence? Where Does Research on Media Violence Go Now? Why Do So Many People Doubt the Effects of Media Violence? Concluding Comments. Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
Human Sexuality Brings Out Passionate Opinion. Sorting Out Definitions and Terms. The Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Research Following the Commission Report. The Meese Commission Report on Pornography. Sex on Prime-Time TV. Sex and the Internet. Control Over Media Content. Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
Fright Reactions to Media are Prevalent. Developmental Theory: What Scares One Child May Not Scare Another. Experimenting with the Incredible Hulk. Why is the Paranormal So Scary? Why Do Some Media Fears Linger for So Long? A Theory of Differential Brain Processing. Theory about Emotional Coping: What''s a Parent to Do? Is It Fun to Be Scared? Beyond Fear: Other Emotional Reactions to Media. Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
What Is Persuasion? How Media Messages Persuade Without Even Trying. Intentional Persuasion in the Media. Key Principles of Media Persuasion. Subliminal Persuasion: The Magic Key? Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
Thinking about the News. The Role of Emotion. Another View of News: Do Certain News Reports Cause More People to Die? Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
Stereotypical Representations in the Media. Racial Stereotypes. The Imbalance in Media Research on Stereotypes. An Intriguing and Under-Studied Media Depiction: Faces. Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
The Revolution in New Media Technology. Computers and the Internet: Connection or Alienation? Summary. Questions to Focus Your Attention. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes.
Is There any Value to Considering Marshall McLuhan? Meet Marshall McLuhan. The Eras of Communication History. The Medium is the Message. The Effects of Electronic Media on Human Beings. Why Does McLuhan''s “Theory” Fail as a Scientific Approach? McLuhan''s Influence. Final Reflections. Summary. Key Terms and Concepts. Notes. Important Sources on Marshall McLuhan.
Glossary: Theories and Theoretical Concepts Discussed in the Text (By Chapter).
Name Index.
Subject Index.

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  • ISBN-10: 1305689607
  • ISBN-13: 9781305689602
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  • ISBN-10: 1305077474
  • ISBN-13: 9781305077478
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“I would describe this text to a colleague as a very practical book for a research methods course in mass communication-one that grounds students in research basics but also opens their eyes to exciting contemporary examples of media effects research.”

"MEDIA EFFECTS RESEARCH is an insightful, comprehensive and well-written book which is a good fit for anyone teaching a media effects course for undergraduates. The examples in the book are recent and described in a way that the undergraduate students can well relate to the content discussed in the book."