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Exposure to Communication Content

Peter Vorderer


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“Exposure to communication content” describes one of the most recent areas of specialization within the communication discipline. It is located at the intersection of →  Media Effects research and audience research, two academic traditions that have remained relatively separate. Over the past half a century, the well-established tradition of media effects research has revealed a rather complex and increasingly differentiated view of the individual and social processes that underlie and accompany notable changes in people's thinking, feeling, and behavior, caused by exposure to media content. The more recent work in this area has considered not only psychological mechanisms that manifest themselves in people's minds or behaviors some time after they have been exposed to communication content, but has also studied what happens while those individuals or groups are responding to media content or immediately after doing so. Book titles like Selective exposure to communication ( Zillmann & Bryant 1985 ) or Responding to the screen ( Bryant & Zillmann 1991 ) seem to indicate this trend and demonstrate that media effects research has become more involved with psychological processes rather than only with the end result. Conceptual and theoretical differentiations have also evolved, e.g., various attempts to distinguish between short- and long-term effects, or between ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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