Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Two step flow theory-Katz and Lazarfeld’s Model 1944 -55


Katz and Lazarfeld’s Model  1944 -55
It is otherwise  called as
  1. Two step flow theory
  2. Effects theory  And
  3. Limited effects theory
  In 1944 Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet developed two step flow theory. They are  focused on the process of decision-making during a Presidential election campaign. 

Elihu Katz and Paul Lazarsfeld and his collegues developed two step flow theory on 1955.  This theory asserts that information from the media moves in two distinct stages.  Ideas often flow from the mass media to less active section of the population through the opinion leaders.

The power of the mass media therefore is indirect and is reduced by the influence of local opinion leaders. The power of media therefore is indirect and is reduced by the influence of local opinion leaders.
  •  First, opinion leaders who pay close attention to the mass media and its messages receive the information.
  • ·
  • Opinion leaders pass on their own interpretations in addition to the actual media content.
  • ·
  • The term ‘personal influence’ was  intervening between the media’s direct message and the audience’s ultimate reaction to that message.·         

  • Opinion leaders are quite influential in getting people to change their attitudes and behaviors and are quite similar to those they influence.


Meaning of Two step theory

  • Media rarely directly influence individuals.
  • People are not easily manipulated by media content
  • There is a two step flow of media influence
  • Most people have developed strongly held group commitments such as political party and religious affiliations.That individual media messages  are powerless to overcome
  • When media effects do occur they will be modest and isolated . They are some how cutoff from the influence of their people. They are undermined by social crises.eg. educated urban people

The two-step flow theory has improved our understanding of how the mass media influence decision making.
The theory refined the ability to predict the influence of media messages on audience behavior, and it helped explain why certain media campaigns may have failed to alter audience attitudes and  behavior.


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