Use And Gratification Theory

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With social media and other media outlets taking over our contemporary world today, it is important to understand why and how people are seeking these media outlets and how they consume them to satisfy their own specific needs, whether it is knowledge, relaxation, social interactions/companionship, diversion, or escape. On the mass media scale, this is known as the uses and gratification theory. This paper is going to be discussing the early formation of the theory and its historical context, how it has helped us understand media today, its role in the modern world, and its main criticism’s. Uses and gratifications theory is an approach to understanding why and how individuals dynamically seek out particular media to satiate specific…show more content…
There were 3 stages to the development of the theory; stage one began in 1994, where the earliest forms of uses and gratifications theory was being looked by Herta Herzog. She was classifying the reasons why people chose specific types of media. The three gratification categories she identified, based on people listening to soap operas were emotional, learning, and wishful thinking. In 1954, Abraham Maslow delineated the users and gratification theory as an addition to the Needs and Motivation theory, which claims that individuals dynamically looked to fulfill their desires based on hierarchy. In 1954, the fraction of selection was established by Wilbur Schramm. It was a formula for determining which method of mass media an individual would select and therefore helped decide the extent of gratification an individual would assume to gain from the medium in comparison to how much effort they had to put to achieve gratification. Stage 2 began in 1964 where Jay Blumler and Denis McQuail studied the 1964 election in the UK to identify the people’s motives for watching certain political programs on TV. The audience motives they were able to identify aided in laying the ground work for their research in 1972 and ultimately the users and gratification theory. Stage 3 pointers us to the utmost latest interest surrounding the uses and gratification theory and that is the connection amid the reason behind why media is consumed and the attained gratification. UGT researchers are evolving the theory to be more prognostic and explanatory by linking the desires, goals, benefits, and costs of media consumption and usage alongside individual factors. (West & Turner,
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