AQA A2 Media Notes

A2 level Media Notes for Exam Board AQA

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  • Created by: Henna
  • Created on: 04-01-13 19:39
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Persuasion & Attitude
Attitudes are hypothetical constructs ­ things in people's head
which cannot be seen directly. Attitudes are seen as having
three components:
1. The affective component refers to the `feelings' or
emotions associated with the attitude
2. The behavioural component refers to a tendency to act
in a certain way
3. The cognitive component refers to the beliefs &
thoughts about the attitude object
How attitudes are changed ­
Persuasion is dependent on several factors ­
Source Factors
Credibility ­ people are more likely to be persuaded by a
credible/expert source
Physical appearance ­ physically attractive sources are
more persuasive than less attractive sources
Speed of speech ­ rapid speakers are more persuasive
than slow speakers
Message Factors
Content ­ messages which are not deliberately targeted at us are more persuasive
Fear ­ persuasion can be increased by fearful messages however a large amount of
fear may cause people to ignore the message
Medium Factors
Audio-Visual messages are more persuasive than written messages ­ especially if
the message is simple. Written messages are better if processing effort is required
Target Factors
Self-esteem ­ people with lower self-esteem are easier to persuade than those
with higher self-esteem
Source X Target
We are more likely to be persuaded to someone who is similar to us e.g. the same
ethnic background or age

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Evidence to Support to Hovland Yale Model
- Fear in messages
- Female Uni Students were divided into 3 Groups
- Each group was given a leaflet on breast examination
1. Loss Condition ­ leaflet with dangers of failing to self-examine
2. Gain Condition ­ leaflet with positive consequences of self-examination (early
detection & treatment)
3. Neutral Condition ­ leaflet with just basic facts
AFTER 4 MONTHS ...…read more

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Attitude change
is likely to be permanent.
2. The Peripheral Route ­ involves minimal cognitive effort. The personal does not
pay much attention or give much thought to the message they are presented with.
They are likely to respond to cues & use shortcuts to make their decision.
Attitude change is likely to be temporary.…read more

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Empirical Evidence to support the ELM
University Students ­ cannot generalise findings to other occupations
Ethnocentric ­ USA study ­ cannot apply findings
Ethical issues ­ possible psychological harm with emotional leaflet
Social desirability bias ­ ppts. May have lied
Individual differences/Extraneous Variables ­ age/gender/profession etc. can
affect their decisions
Reductionist ­ only focusses on the cognitive factors (ignores biology & peer
Systematic vs.…read more

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How we decide on why type to use depends on how important/relevant the issue is to
you -
Choosing a University would be Systematic
Choosing a pen colour would be Heuristic
ITO (2002)
- Japanese University Students
- 2 variables were manipulated
Strength of persuasive message (Strong/Weak)
Credibility of source (Low/High)
- 4 Conditions
1. Strong message & High credibility source BEST
2. Weak message & High credibility source
3. Strong message & Low credibility source
4.…read more

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Beliefs fit easily together e.g. I am against animal cruelty & do not eat meat
2. Dissonant cognitions - distant
- Beliefs clash with each other e.g. I am against animal cruelty but really want those
leather boots
3. Irrelevant cognitions
- Beliefs have no relationship e.g.…read more

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Lab study ­ low extraneous variables
Can use the findings to support other areas of attitude change
Ethnocentric ­ unrepresentative sample
Occupational Bias ­ only students
Gender Bias ­ only males
Low temporal validity (1959)
Unethical ­ deception. However, no ethical guidelines in 1959
Demand characteristics
Lack of mundane realism ­ doesn't happen in the real world
2.…read more

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After putting on a £50 bet were asked `How sure are you that your horse will win?'
Customers were MORE CERTAIN AFTER putting on the bet ­ changed their attitudes
post decision
Attitude One Attitude Two
Attitudes fit so no
Before Bet Not sure they will win No Bet Placed
After Bet Not sure they will win £50 Bet Placed reduce discomfort of
clashing attitudes
3.…read more

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Challenge to dissonance theory
Darryl Bem (1967) ­ people are unaware of exactly what their attitudes are or what
they think of particular issue. We approach our own attitudes in a similar way to which we
approach other peoples
e.g.…read more

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Concluded that Bem's theory could explain ordinary situations where attitudes &
behaviours differ & we do not hold strong attitudes about an issue
Festingers theory could explain situations where there was an extreme difference
between behaviour and underlying cognitions
Deaux, Dane & Wrightsman (1993) argued that dissonance theory has provided
the best example of what happens to attitudes and why they change following our
decisions.…read more



Your notes are great, thanks! Love all the pictures, it should help me to remember it

Suzanne Gillespie

These look amazing notes but their format seems to have muddled towards the end - is there any chance you could email them to me instead - dead cheeky I know but they are really good??? My email is [email protected] - THANK YOU!!!!


Looks good,

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