in Mass Communication,Psychology, Behavioral And Social Science

History :

In mid 1930’s media scholars found the first theory on Media Effects and the Media Behaviors. During second world wars media plays a vital role in both United States and Germany to made influence in the people’s mind. The Germany Hitler’s Nazi used film industry for Propaganda and they produced lots of movies about their achievements which made a great impact in Germans mind. Later the United States also used its own Hollywood and produced films like “Its Happened one night”, “It’s a wonderful life” and Mr. Smith goes to Washington” to portrait Germany as Evil force which also made impact in Americans Mind. Here media audience accepts the messages directly without any rejection.

Theory :

The media (magic gun) fired the message directly into audience head without their own knowledge. The message cause the instant reaction from the audience mind without any hesitation is called “Magic Bullet Theory”. The media (needle) injects the message into audience mind and it cause changes in audience behavior and psyche towards the message. Audience are passive and they can’t resist the media message is called “Hypodermic Needle Theory”.

Both theories are deals with impact of media messages in audience mind and how audience react towards the message without any hesitation.

Example :

In 1930, Newly formed mercury theater and Orson Wells join together and created a fake news bulletin about aliens invasion in american city called Grover’s Mill, New jersey. They broadcast this news bulletin in between the radio program called “The War of the Worlds”. The “Panic Broadcast” was reached merely 12 million American people and one million were seriously believed. Due to this broadcast the whole country was in chaos.

Study :

The magic bullet theory is based on assumption of human nature and it was not based on any empirical findings from research. Few media scholars do not accepting this model because it’s based on assumption rather than any scientific evidence. In 1938, Lazarsfeld and Herta Herzog testified the hypodermic needle theory in a radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” (a famous comic program) by insert a news bulletin which made a widespread reaction and panic among the American Mass audience. Through this investigation he found the media messages may affect or may not affect audience.

“People’s Choice” a study conducted by Lazarsfeld in 1940 about Franklin D. Roosevelt election campaign and the effects of media messages. Through this study Lazarsfeld disproved the Magic Bullet theory and added audience are more influential in interpersonal than a media messages.

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