Communication is the movement of information from one place to another place. This can happen in a personal or a public manner. The communication methods that happen in a public manner are called mass media. In mass media, information can be delivered to the correct receivers at most of the time, but sometimes it does not happen. Therefore, senders always use psychological theories and practices to target the most effective audience among the public audience using demographics. Furthermore, psychology is used to make the information more attractive to the receivers. Some sectors in mass media are continuously integrating to psychological theories namely, Advertising, Politics, Entertainment, Journalism, and Culture.
Mass media is the circulatory system of the body that is called Advertising or Marketing. Marketing is a very strategic process for business as compared to its other operations. To be more strategic, marketers use psychology and target the most ideal audience to their business by preparing their ads more interactive with their consumers. “Understanding the often unconscious psychological processes that affect every consumer and play such an important role in marketing communication” (Balalle, 2016). The facts that are collected from consumers can drive business to choose the most suitable mass media for their promotional campaigns and those facts also help to make marketable concepts for business promotions.
Politics is one of the best examples where mass media and psychology are inter-related. The point made by Krosnick (2001) has demonstrated that the understanding of the voter about the candidate’s personal traits such as leadership, trustworthiness, intelligence are the keys to win a vote in the USA. This fact has been again practically proved from the result of presidential election United States in 2016. Because of that, politicians try to share their personal vision and show their personalities using mass media like television interviews, social media, and websites. This media-psychological integration has made the duties of politicians more difficult and competitive.
Entertainment is an activity where the psychological strategies are used to communicate with people using mass media. Referring to Shrum, Sangalang (2014) said that new media landscapes have been introduced to television, movies, and games. Those new trends drive artists to do artistic creations which are centralized to complexity by going beyond the enjoyment. Because of that, the artistic creations should be cast to mass media with psychological complexity. Nowadays, psychological strategies are being used in music videos, movies and teledramas are used to destroy good cultural beliefs of the society.
Journalism is another perfect example that influences the psychological behaviour of people through mass media. According to a survey, Harris (2004) mentioned that 37% of children who are between kindergarten and Grade 6 in the United States have been frightened or mentally upset by hearing or watching to news stories on television. This can be due to the violation and unauthorized activities in society. It is evident that Journalism which is happening through mass media is affecting the psychological soul of humans.
Psychology and mass media are the keys to promote the cultural perspective of civilization. This fact has been proved by Sheehan (2003) using an incident that happened in the Chinese communist revolution. The new communist government in China wanted to instigate women to become economically productive. Thus, encouraging businesses to do ads that are centralized to women and the economy was a policy of that government. This attempt was able to increase the women employment rate of China and a significant growth had been indicated to the overall economy of the country. Cultural changes that happen through mass media are always inter-related with Psychology.
In short, mass media is the most advanced medium of communication. It can be television, social media, newspaper, website or even a poster on a wall. However, the communication which happens through mass media also starts with a human as the sender and ends with another human as the receiver. In other words, communication is mass media which is also a reaction between two human parties. Therefore psychology, the scientific study field of the human mind is unconditionally effecting on mass media. Day by day this bond is advancing with the technological revolutions. This will drive marketers and journalists who manage mass media to be more inter-related with psychological theories and best practices.
- Balalle, H. (2016) Necessary Changes for Unnecessary Media Advertising. [Online] Available from: https://www.nerdynaut.com/business/necessary-changes-for-unnecessary-media-advertising [Accessed: 6th January 2017].
- Harris, R. J. (2004) A cognitive psychology of mass communication. 4th Ed. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
- Krosnick, J. A. (2001) The Psychology of Voting. [Online] Columbus: Ohio State University. Available from: https://pprg.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/10-The-psychology-of-voting.pdf . [Accessed: 7th January 2017].
- Sangalang, A. (2014). The psychology of entertainment media: Blurring the lines between entertainment and persuasion (2nd ed.), L.J. Shrum (Ed.). Book Review. [Online] International Journal of Communication, 8, 1122-1124. Available from : http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/download/2776/1122 . [ Accessed: 7th January 2017].
- Sheehan, K. B. (2014) Controversies in Contemporary Advertising. 2nd Ed. Washington DC: SAGE Publications, Inc.