Cultivation Theory Research Paper

Cultivation theory (also: cultivation analysis or rarely cultivation hypothesis) goes back to the wedding communication specialist George Gerbner. In the 70’s Gerbner examined the role of television in the mediation of the world view of the recipient. His thesis is about people who watch television several hours a day, and thus are cultivated by television and see the world as it is conveyed on television. He sees the television as a type socialization, which creates the distorted perceptions of reality in the consumers.

Use free sample research papers on the topic to get the idea that Cultivation theory posits that in different observers the perception of the actual reality is different, because the more recipient is exposed to the TV world the more internalize it would be. The television is in fact distorts reality. It shows more violence, especially more homicides.

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On television, violence is usually made ​​by men and is presented as a means of conflict resolution. These findings are transferable to the perceived reality image: the reality is perceived as much more violent than it actually is. In addition, the recipients seem to be frightened by that violence.

This fear may cause violent behavior in the recipients as they believe that they have to be violent in the violent world to defend themselves.

The research on the cultivation hypothesis already started in 1967 after the public’s concern had arisen about possible negative effects of the obviously increased violence in television programs. The National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence and Surgeon General’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior, belonging to the U.S. American health authority, carried out a number of social science research on violence in the media, in the course of which Gerbner and his research team at the Annenberg School of Communication in Pennsylvania were financed.

The group developed the so-called Violence Index. It allegedly allowed quantitatively measuring the ‘violence content’ of television programs and thus comparing them in their temporal development as well as in contrast to other TV programs. From 1976, the analytical studies were methodologically supplemented by surveys and the intention to make statements about the effect of television on the attitudes of the recipients. 1980 saw the ‘Violence Profile’ for the last time. In the following years the approach to the so-called ‘mainstreaming concept’ has been modified and further developed, in which the cultivation effects were, for example, extended beyond the area of ​​violence to gender and age roles.

For his research on the cultivation hypothesis, Gerbner chose the two-stage method of the ‘Cultural Indicators Approach’. In the first step, the ‘Message System Analysis’ (MSA), the world of television should first be analyzed as completely as possible. After the analysis was limited to the open aspects of physical violence, being an ambitious target, for many years, it started to study the overall complexity, i.e., all the essential features, structures, relationships and interactions to raise the stimulus.

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