Understanding Television's Influences and Effects
Published by John Libbey Media, 1995
Note that there
is now a second edition of this book, published 2005.
From the back
The possible effect of television on its viewers has been a source of controversy
for decades, and the subject comes with a research mountain to match. Over the
years, the flickering box has been blamed for every kind of social problem and
antisocial act, and in many cases has been found guilty by an audacious but often
surprisingly shaky range of studies. The hypothesis that television makes people
mad, bad, or otherwise dangerous to know has been tested in multifarious ways;
whilst other researchers have investigated whether television might actually do
viewers some good.
Experiences is a comprehensive overview and critique of this body of research.
It clearly and energetically examines all of the major studies in the field, drawing
firm conclusions not only on the notoriously vexed question of TV violence, but
also about the impact of campaigns which are specifically intended to persuade.
The prosocial content of educational and everyday programmes is also considered.
Uniquely, the book rips the academic arguments and findings from the vacuum in
which they are generally produced, and pitches them mercilessly against numerous
examples of TV content, from Sesame Street to The Simpsons, Casualty
to Cracker, and finds that there can be more to television than meets the
also the article Ten Things Wrong With the 'Effects Model'.
"Crushingly thorough and
pitilessly well-researched, this study takes no prisoners as it systematically
demolishes every faulty paradigm and poorly controlled experiment that has sought
to prove the direct effects of television on behaviour. Well-publicised in the
latest media debate on violence, it deserves to be read more rather than merely
cited." -- Sight and Sound, November 1995.
"An authoritative and intelligent
study of the 'effects' of television... This much needed voice of reason illustrates
how scientific research can be not only misleading, but also politically biased."
-- Critical Survey, Autumn 1996.
"An extraordinarily solid
critical summary... Moving Experiences is an excellent book for all who
want to get an overview of the state of contemporary media effects research. Gauntlett
is well read, brilliant, and witty, the latter being something very rare in the
discipline he works in." -- Ulf Dalquist, University of Lund, Sweden, Filmhaftet,
Vol. 23: 1995.
"A fascinating book" --
Socialist Review, January 1996.