Cultivation theory (sometimes referred to as the cultivation hypothesis or cultivation analysis) was an approach developed by Professor George Gerbner, dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. He began the 'Cultural Indicators' research project in the mid-1960s, to study whether and how watching television may influence viewers' ideas of what the everyday world is like. Cultivation research is in the 'effects' tradition. Cultivation theorists argue that television has long-term effects which are small, gradual, indirect but cumulative and significant.
They emphasize the effects of television viewing on the attitudes rather than the behaviour of viewers. Heavy watching of television is seen as ‘cultivating’ attitudes which are more consistent with the world of television programms than with the everyday world. Watching television may tend to induce a general mindset about violence in the world, quite apart from any effects it might have in inducing violent behaviour. Cultivation theorists distinguish between ‘first order’ effects (general beliefs about the everyday world, such as about the prevalence of violence) and ‘second order’ effects (specific attitudes, such as to law and order or to personal safety).
Journal of Communication, 26(2), 172-199.
Specifically focuses on television effects.
How portrayal of violence on television affects its viewers.
It argues that
perceivethe world as “mean and scary”.
. . . overt expression of physical force (with or without weapon, against self or others) compelling action against one's will on pain of being hurt and/or killed or threatened to be so victimized as part of the plot.
– includes carton violence, comedic or humorous violence, accidental violence,
– excludes ambiguous source of violence, such as verbal assaults, threats, and inconsequential gestures (e.g., sticking out one's finger).
This definition is used to measure the violence in TV programing, TV violence index.
Heavy viewer : 4 or more hours of TV viewing audience
vs. Light viewer : less than 2 hour of TV viewing audience
Main stream and resonance
Mainstream (Mainstreaming): Heavy viewers develop a common view of social reality based on the content of television.
Mainstreaming. We have seen that a wide variety of factors produce systematic and theoretically meaningful variations in cultivation. We have named the most general and important of these patterns mainstreaming.
The mainstream can be thought of as a relative commonality of outlooks and values that exposure to features and dynamics of the television world tends to cultivate. By mainslreaming we mean the expression of that commonality by heavy viewers in those demographic groups whose light viewers hold divergent views. In other words, differences found in the responses of different groups of viewers, differences that can be associated with other cultural, social, and political-characteristics of these groups, may be diminished or even absent from the responses of heavy viewers in the same groups. (p.30)
Resonance: Viewers experience the congruency between their own violence experiences and the one seen in TV. – reinforcement.
Recent studies show that these are not exclusive in TV violence; but, happens in other portrayal of reality such as gender roles, personal relationships, parenting, work life, political views, etc.
김동규 교수님 강의노트 참조
Q: 게임을 많이 하는 사람은 그렇지 않은 사람과 현실에 대한 지각에 차이가 있을까? 왜?