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What is the Magic Bullet Theory of Mass Media?
by Dana Griffin, Demand Media
Magic bullet theory assumed the media had more influence over audience behavior than was later proved. Related Articles
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The magic bullet perspective, also called the hypodermic needle model, is a model for communications. Magic bullet theory has been around since the 1920s to explain “how mass audiences might react to mass media,” reports Media Know All. According to University of Twent in the Netherlands, the theory states that mass media has a “direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences.” Sponsored Link
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Several factors, including widespread popularity of radio and television, led to this “strong effects” theory of media influence. Also important were the new “persuasion industries” of advertising and propaganda being utilized by industries and governments alike. In the 1930s, the Payne Fund, developed by the Motion Picture Research Council, studied the impact of motion pictures on children to see if the magic bullet effect was controllable. Even Hitler monopolized the mass media in the belief that he could use it unify the German public behind the Nazis in the 1940s. Function
The theory “suggests that the message is a bullet, fired from the ‘media gun’ into the viewer's head,’”...
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