Gratification Research Essay

1860 Words 8 Pages
Uses and gratification studies came into effect when mass media researchers became interested in how or why audiences were engaging with different forms of media (Wimmer & Dominick, 1994). The earliest recognised uses and gratifications studies were those of Herzog (1941) and Berelson (1945). Both Herzog and Berelson were interested by what engaging with certain mediums meant for individuals. They studied at a much deeper level than previous studies. Early uses and gratifications studies would receive great criticism and modification over the next 50 years as discussed by Ruggiero (2000), with many theorists conducting their own surveys with revised angles. With reference to relevant theory, this essay will outline what early uses and gratification …show more content…
The concept looks at how engaged a viewer is when interpreting the media. According to Ruggiero (2000), individuals are likely to show different levels of attention in different communication settings and different times throughout a process. For example, Rubin (1986) discusses a study conducted by Levy and Windahl (1984), where they identified three different periods of audience activity for Swedish television users; previewing, during viewing and post viewing. Levy and Windahl noted different linkages between activity variable and gratifications sought and obtained from television use during the periods. Rubin (1986) discusses with relation to Levy and Windahl’s research that, “audience’s use of television can be described as primarily ritualized or instrumental in nature” (p.293). Instrumental use of media indicating audience utility, intentionally and selectively, however ritualized use refers to utility but an otherwise less active audience condition. Uses and gratifications research does not adhere to the ability for audiences in the modern age to be using more than one medium at once. Audiences are not giving full attention to one medium, instead smaller quantities of attention to multiple mediums. Rubin (1986) states that the universality of uses and gratifications assumption of audience activity needs to be called into question, due to the increase in mediums available in …show more content…
Other theorists have responded to this model by saying that “interpersonal relationships is one of the two mediating variables of the early persuasion model and the forerunner of diffusion of innovations, it is re-emerging as a serviceable uses and gratifications variable,” (Ruggiero, 2000, p. 21). Ruggiero suggesting that the most original forms of uses and gratifications would still be useable today. However, a key feature of new media is its interactivity. In new media, the distinction between the consumer and the producer tends to blur, making it more important to examine the gratifications new media provide to users in comparison to traditional media, (Lin, 2001, as cited in Quan-Haase & Young 2010). Ruggiero (2000), concludes that uses and gratifications research should play a major role in answering important questions for those developing business online. Uses and gratification holds prospect for understanding the internet’s mutability, or its broad range of communication opportunities. In addition, Quan-Haase & Young (2010) discuss that each of the communications opportunities fulfil a distinct need making an analysis of uses and gratifications

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