According to George Gerbner's Media Cultivation Theory, television shows cultivates people's beliefs of reality. Television is there for birth, and it measures the effects such as advertisements before and after. Cultivation is the building and maintenance of life in society and Gerbner argued that television has long term effects which are small, gradual, indirect but cumulative and significant. He studied how watching television may influence viewer's ideas of what the everyday world is like. Gerbner also investigated whether television viewers come to believe the television version of reality the more they watch it.
Today, heavy viewers watch television more than four hours a day. They see differently than light viewers in which they absorb the TV in a world that is created. People who watch a lot of television are likely to be more influenced by the ways in which the world is framed by television programs than are the people who watch less. For instance, "A study of American college students found that heavy soap opera viewers were more likely than light viewers to over estimate the number of real life married people who had affairs or who had been divorced and the number of women who had abortions.
Television demonstrates how women and men are alike and what it means to be old or young. Images of women emphasize sexuality while men emphasize control and aggression. Today, the percentages of roles of women drop as they age. According to Gerbner, after the age 35, women play less romantic roles. In contrast to women, older men do not disqualify them in certain roles. Media images make it difficult to see it the other way around. In general, old people tend to be portrayed negatively on television and heavy viewers tend to hold more negative views about older people then lighter viewers. Most heavy viewers are unaware of any influence of television viewing on their attitudes and values. [continues]
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