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A Critical Analysis of Some Processes in the Cultivation Effect by Robert Hawkins and Suzanne Pingree - Research Paper Example

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The methodology adopted by the researchers, including detailed description of control variables introduced,is comprehensively explained.Any similarities,as well as the differences, in researchers’ approach with Gerbner and Gross’s method, are pointed out…
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A Critical Analysis of Some Processes in the Cultivation Effect by Robert Hawkins and Suzanne Pingree
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Download file to see previous pages The methodology adopted by the researchers, including detailed description of control variables introduced, is comprehensively explained. Any similarities, as well as the differences, in researchers’ approach with Gerbner and Gross’s method, are pointed out. The qualitative as well as quantitative data is properly explained and the researchers’ justifications for the deviant data values are also analytically evaluated. The findings, which stated that the very young audience is not psychologically mature enough to get ‘cultivated’ by television, and perception of a ‘violent’ world is associated with the amount of crime related dramas and cartoons seen by the children, are adequately explained. Any shortcomings in the researchers’ approach and logic, such as, small research period, and generalized control variables, are discussed. Proper recommendations, for instance, advanced study of preconceived notions in children over a long period of time, are provided. Introduction In 1976, while exploring the continuing effects of extensive television viewing on American audience, George Gerbner and Larry Gross introduced the ‘cultivation theory.’ The primary conclusion of their research was that prolonged exposure to violence related material on the television, results in the formation of a societal reality in the minds of the viewers, which further dictates their thought formation and alters their social behavior (Gerbner and Gross, 1976). To further this hypothesis, Robert Hawkins and Suzanne Pingree, in 1977, conducted a detailed research, to study how exactly cultivation effect takes place, and what variables can enhance or diminish it. In 1980, they documented their findings in a publication titled “Some Processes in the Cultivation Effect,” which is the subject of this paper. This paper will analyze how Hawkins and Pingree, in the light of ‘cultivation hypothesis’, formulated their thesis, conducted research, and interpreted qualitative and quantitative data. Furthermore, this paper will suggest any revisions, deemed necessary, to their adopted research methodology, along with the recommendations that can enhance their findings. Hawkins and Pingree’s research was based on the already established fact that the viewers highly exposed to television programming, both aggressive and non aggressive, would carry a certain amount of prejudice in their social outlook. They were also influenced by the contrasting and contradicting studies conducted by various researchers in other parts of world, controlling numerous variables, such as Doob and McDonald’s study of cultivation effects among various demographics in Toronto, Canada (1979), and Wober’s research in Great Britain (1978). These studies showed that the effect of television on viewer’s perception is certain, however, what is still unknown is the exact ‘size and importance of that effect’ (Pingree and Hawkins, 1980). Generally, it was observed that, when controlling a third variable, there was no strong relation between watching violent programming and fearing that viewer himself would get involved in a similar scenario. One of the reasons could be that people in other parts of the worlds were unconsciously aware that their society was different than that of America, and therefore, were not impacted that much by American programming. Furthermore, not much research had been done involving controls that would illuminate the exact process of cultivation in the children. There had been studies involving age as a variable, and discovering that children in the learning stages are usually more susceptible to the television messaging systems, as compared to very young and an older audience (Drabman et ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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