George Gerbner's Cultivation Theory Research

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Based on the research of George Gerbner (1919- 2005), Cultivation Theory focuses on explaining why individuals who watch countless amounts of television develop a distorted perception of reality (West & Turner 2018). Individuals develop their own view of reality based on the chosen programs viewed, in this case the choice of social platform. Due to an increase in mass media and digital technologies, Cultivation Theory is argued to be more applicable today than it has been in the past. (Dahl 2018). Although no work to date has directly addressed the relevance of Cultivation Theory to social media, the three assumptions of the Cultivation Theory can stray away from television and translate to social media.
In 1969, George Gerbner devised the
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(North 2011). This can cause users to compare themselves to other users, for social media is displaying social standard definitions of “perfect lives.” For example, cultivation theory can be used to analyze low self-esteem and body image (Sheldon 2015). Men and women are exposed to various pictures and videos of skinny women or buff men. These visuals can result in beliefs that these images are the required social standards and can cause users to place themselves in categories based on the world and society’s perceptions. Perceptions of what is expected in a society can be impactful informative due to the frequency of these types of images…show more content…
The three assumptions of the George Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory arguably translate to social media due to social media essential differences from other forms of mass media, the way social media can shape societies’ ways of thinking and relating, and the limited influence of social media. Regardless of the social platform, alterations and distortions from reality are generated through a nontangible world of social media. Due to social media’s increasing high frequency, perhaps researchers will employ future studies in how Cultivation Theory translates to social
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