Hypodermic Needle Model

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There are many reasons why people watch television including entertainment, to get information, to keep up with fashion and trends among others. Theorists have proposed some theories to explain why people watch television and why people interpret what they watch the way they do. Theories that explain this phenomenon include the uses and gratification theory, the hypodermic needle model and the reception theory. The theories offer divergent perspectives on why people watch television and although the perspectives and in opposition to each other they offer good insight on the subject matter. The three theories are the focus of this paper so they are used to offer insight on the reasons people watch television.
The uses and gratification theory
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The model proposes that people receive the messages transmitted through media wholly as intended. The receiver is passive and does not have the power to sieve what they would like to ingest and what they would not. The tenets of the theory suggest that all people respond the same way to stimuli transmitted through media (Wimmer & Dominick, 2013). For example, it assumes that if people are watching a romantic movie on television, their reaction to the movie will be the same. One critic of the model is in respect to this tenet because it disregards the influence of culture in the interpretation of messages. The model stands contrary to the uses and gratification model since it proposes that people are passive receivers of messages sent over media so they have no power to choose the preferred media. The model gives the power of choice to the media. The media chooses the message that they would like to transfer to people and people receive the message exactly as…show more content…
The theory proposes that the interpretation of a reader to messages transmitted over media depends on the receiver’s cultural background. It follows from this tenet that a receiver that shares greater cultural background with the sender of the message is more likely to understand the message as intended (Holub, 2013). This model, like the uses and gratification model, gives the receiver of the message the power of choice of media. Depending on the receiver’s cultural background they will choose the media that offers them cultural richness that they deem appropriate or preferable for them. Drawing from this model we deduce that people watch television because it offers them culturally rich messages. Therefore, according to this theory people will choose to watch television depending on the content that is aired. This means that people will have a preference for channels that air content that they can relate
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