Two way communication

Topics: Two-step flow of communication, Media influence, Mass media Pages: 2 (299 words) Published: November 28, 2013
Put simply, the Two-Step Flow Theory is about how KEY
PEOPLE affect other people.
This hypothesis was first introduced by Paul Lazarsfeld,
Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet in a 1944 study
which focused on the process of making decisions
around the time of a Presidential election campaign
called ‘The People’s Choice’. The expected result was
that the mass media’s messages would have a direct
influence of people’s votes however the researchers
were surprised to find out this was infact not the case at
all. It was the personal and informal contact that had
more of an impact on voting behaviour as apposed to
exposure to radio or newspapers. With the results of the
research, they developed the two-step flow theory of
mass communication.
The Two-Step Flow Theory claims that the information
we receive from the mass media moves in two stages.
1. Firstly, individuals:- the opinion leaders , who
take into account the media and the messages
and receives the information it is outputting.
There are opinion leaders in all groups, whether
that be occupational, social, community or
otherwise. The leadership may change from
time to time and are dependant on the issue but
they are the most influential when interest is
shared by the group. There are two types of
opinion leaders. The first being monomorphic,
meaning they are only influential on one topic
and the other, polymorphic which means the
leader is influential on a variety of topics.
2. These opinion leader will then pass their own
interpretations of the information as well as the
actual content the media put out, to opinion
receivers /seekers.
The theory has helped with our understanding of how the
media influences our decisions as well as refining our
ability to predict the effects of the media’s messages on
audience behaviour.
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