Chapter 2 Hedonistic-Driven Message Reception Theories
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HEDONISTIC-DRIVEN MESSAGE RECEPTION THEORIES
Hedonistic-driven message reception theories share the following characteristics: A person motivated by reward-cost considerations perceives a message and then cognitively processes that message in terms of that motivation, i.e., the extent to which the message’s content or style of presentation promises that a cognition or action will result in pleasure or pain. If the message is successful, the result of that cognitive process is either reinforcement of or a change in preexisting cognitions or actions. Thus, as with other message reception theories, this theory set follows an OSPR model, except for a couple of members of that set that at least explicitly ignore the O. The accompanying Table lists the manner in which the theories included here instantiate the OSPR model.
I will distinguish between two more specific approaches within this general category. The first, epitomized by the Yale Communication Research Program and its progeny, emphasizes reinforcement principles as interpreted in the drive-theoretical tradition summarized in the previous chapter. The second, exemplified by the Activation Model of Information Exposure, privilege a homeostatic view of the person as attempting to maintain a desired comfort level. I will finish with three other hedonistic-based message ← 33 | 34 → reception theories that fit neither category: the Theory of Reasoned Action, Social Learning Theory, and the Spiral of Silence.
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