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TV is as powerful as religion on peoples perspective - Cultivation theory

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posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 03:56 PM
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Brilliant 3 min clip here




Todays world is not facing all out nuclear war between two superpowers, yet it feels more chaotic and perilous than it did in the 1970s or 80s, perhaps because the presentation of current affairs has become more chaotic and perilous, it's almost a hyper-edited real time televisual thriller.

Today the tuning into the news is like tuning into the direct face of terror. [Fox news reporter dramatically says] "A chilling new look tonight at the face of terror, video of a suicide bomber smiling to the camera" ... "This is like a Jihadist 24/7, it's got that sort of tension in it where you can not really turn yourself away" ... and the reason you can't really turn yourself away because you are biologically primed to pay attention to any particular threat. The amigdali in our brain may fire off in attention to the pre-programmed terrors we are born with; instinctive fear of loud noises and sudden movements, but they are also abused to help us fear almost anything.

Television can certainly condition you to become scared of anything, for example dark city streets; most of the dark city streets you see are on TV and what's happening ion them? Well usually something awful like a mugging or a murder.

In the 1970s professor George Gerbner and Larry Gross of the university of Pennsylvania conducted pioneering research into the role of television on viewers. They believed that within a few decades television had come to enjoy a degree of influence on modern society that was comparable to the power that religion had held over the previous centuries.

Gerbner and Gross developed a hypothesis called cultivation theory, and cultivation theory says that over time watching TV alters a viewers perception of reality so that their view of the real world starts to match in step with the televised one. And the more frequently an image or event is depicted on screen the greater significance the cultivated viewer attaches to it in the real world.

Since much of TV consists of a lot of confrontation, dramatic violence and alarming news coverage the more passive nervous and frightened you become. Gerbner called this mean world syndrome, literally the belief that your world has become a mean and frightening place. Gerbners research appeared to show that heavy viewers appeared to severely over-estimate the amount of risk they faced in everyday life, they were more likely to think that crime rates were rising even when they were falling, and often thought they were more likely to become victims of crime themselves.

[humerus finish]


If you want references for the research I can recommend the wiki on cultivation theory. I would be wary of the new edits from dubious journals saying 'it's nonsense', I read a few, they gave no real reason why.

Please turn off your TV, it really is being used as a conditioning agent!

From the above link:


Cultivation theory is a social theory which examines the long-term effects of television. "The primary proposition of cultivation theory states that the more time people spend "living" in the television world, the more likely they are to believe social reality portrayed on television."[1] Cultivation leaves people with a misperception of what is true in our world.

Developed by George Gerbner and Larry Gross of the University of Pennsylvania, cultivation theory derived from several large-scale research projects as part of an overall research project entitled 'Cultural Indicators'. The purpose of the Cultural Indicators project was to identify and track the 'cultivated' effects of television on viewers. They were "concerned with the effects of television programming (particularly violent programming) on the attitudes and behaviors of the American public."[2] Gerbner asserts that the overall concern about the effects of television on audiences stemmed from the unprecedented centrality of television in American culture. "The theory clearly posits that the cultivation effect occurs only after long-term, cumulative exposure to television. "[1] He claimed that because TV contains so much violence, people who spend the most time in front of the tube develop an exaggerated belief in a mean and scary world. "[3] He posited that television as a mass medium of communication had formed into a common symbolic environment that bound diverse communities together, socializing people into standardized roles and behaviors. "Today, the TV set is a key member of the household, with virtually unlimited access to every person in the family."[3] He compared the power of television to the power of religion, saying that television was to modern society what religion once was in earlier times.
edit on 11-8-2013 by ZeuZZ because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 05:44 PM
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Great clip. I'm a huge proponent of cultivation theory. One of the things that I've noted is how often people will attempt to relate real life information to a fictional television show or even utilize a tv show to provide context to even their own thoughts/beliefs on a subject including very personal beliefs about themselves. A few years ago, I had a number of conversations with friends who admitted that they believed they were a sociopath although I was very well aware that they had previously exhibited traits that would be impossible for an actual sociopath. I asked them why they had this belief and they all ended up stating that it was because they "understood" and "shared the same feelings with" a fictional tv show character. I stated my observations of their personalities that contradicted their tv-induced self diagnosis. Since these conversations, a number of them did seek diagnosis and so far, not a single one of them was diagnosed as a sociopath. I do have one friend who is a diagnosed sociopath and he considers that tv show "rubbish" in displaying that particular disorder.

To me, this is another side of the "cultivation theory" coin. I think the cause of this phenomena is two part--1. the most interesting of fictional main characters are generally those in which the typical public knows little about and 2. the awake brain is always in a state of experiential learning. The first can give the viewer an impression that they are actually learning something about an unknown subject and the latter would result in a dopamine release to "reward" the acquisition of new knowledge. Whereas a book could have the same effect on some level, it's not as significant as watching a live action sequence being played out on the television. The combination could allow for the blurring of the lines of what's real, what isn't and how that information ends up getting stored. I think a lot of people probably are going to have a problem with my saying that but I'd ask them how many times they relate something or utilize knowledge gained from a tv show or movie to something occurring in reality.



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by ZeuZZ
 

Excellent thread subject. This is something people, on ATS especially, need to know more about.


Gerbner and Gross developed a hypothesis called cultivation theory, and cultivation theory says that over time watching TV alters a viewers perception of reality so that their view of the real world starts to match in step with the televised one. And the more frequently an image or event is depicted on screen the greater significance the cultivated viewer attaches to it in the real world.

It is precisely this syndrome that animates many people who believe in conspiracy theories. All the people who believe that fluoride in water is making them sick, that illegal immigrants are overrunning America, that the world's governments are pumping noxious chemicals into the upper atmosphere for heaven knows what reason, etc., etc., are people whose views of reality have been severely distorted by too much media consumption.

If people would base their views on the reality they themselves experience every day, instead of what some hairdo on a screen tells them, they would be a lot less anxious – and a lot less clueless, too.

I heartily agree that commercial television is a menace.



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 10:01 PM
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TV is real...
thats why we have so many "reality" shows
reality is TV..TV is reality...
dont look away.....its real.



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:42 AM
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Great topic and thank you for putting me onto 'cultivation theory'. I actually watched this program last year (big up charlie brooker), online of course since I don't own a TV
I highly agree with this cultivation theory, and i've seen first hand victims who are just waiting for life to turn out like it does on tele, or in the movies - trying to be the 'cool' that the telebox promised.

When I was younger someone once pointed out to me and asked if I thought the soaps on TV were actually the government/media's way of telling people how to live. I still consider this now. People talk about soaps as if it's real life. When I was at college, a program called 'skins' was big with the college kids, who in turn were pretty much acting out in the same way. I suppose people find relation when they watch programs like that, but is the program reflecting you or are you reflecting the program.

The psychological art of suggestion shows that when someone mimicks your actions and falls into your rhythm you then are suggestible and the lead will turn with you following their actions. I don't doubt the possibility that this technique is used on TV.

Personally I try to avoid any media where I am being drip-fed information.
Source out your own mind food!

It literally frightens me when I watch mothers and other caregivers just plonk their child down in front of a TV screen, switch on the kids channels then go do their household duties, literally leaving their kids minds in the hands of the drip-fed media. These people are not even monitoring what's going into their children's brains! Dangerous stuff.

Then the older kids sit around watching music channels, hearing the repeated mantras of pop music with it's hypnotically catchy formulaic beats, watching the next flavour of the week gyrate her hips, remove items of clothing and express a flashy lifestyle. These kids then go out into the world and act this out, thinking that's what life's about.

Television is the new day religion, the opium of the masses. The TV screen is the Jesus who's there to hold your hand when your lonely, and your information dispensing god. I have family members who can't be in their homes without the TV on, whether they are watching it or not, it's like their safety blanket or something.

I would class myself among the victims of the television generation, and some two to three years TV free and I still have to de-condition myself when it's images float into my mind.

Pull the plug.

"The current standard is the equivalent of an adolescent restricted to the diet of an infant.
The rapidly changing body would acquire dysfunctional and deformative symptoms,
And could not properly mature on a diet of apple sauce and crushed pears"
-Saul Williams


"A young child stares at a glowing screen transfixed by tales of violence
His teenage father tells him that that's life, not that Barney ......
A purple dinosaur that speaks of love, a black man that speaks of blood
Which one is keeping it real, son?
Who manufactured your steel, son?"
- Saul Williams
edit on 12-8-2013 by melancholiflower because: add



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I don't think it's just some conspiracy theorists that may watch way too much television to the point of it affecting them. Watching tv is the general past time for a huge portion of Americans, most of whom don't believe in chemtrails or what have you. TV appeals to a hefty variety of people and there is so much variety in it that it could induce all sorts of thinking although a few general themes due tend to seem more prevalent. For instance, shows with themes that basically oust learned opinion and ignore contrary evidence/explanation. In general, one could see an overlying theme that basically could potentially promote a distrust towards scientific opinion (most of these shows seem to come from News Corp, btw).

Whether that is intentional or not or if it's simply feeding the masses what they want in the ratings pursuit, I don't know. Like melancholiflower, I, too, was told to avoid television as a child. I remember watching my parents watch tv and being thoroughly creeped out by their expressions and automatic responses. Cue canned laughter. Was it really that funny? Generally, no. It's really sad when I can spot those who watch several hours of tv just by their behavior and those who don't. It's a pretty huge difference. Overall, I think it's a brain rotter.



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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I honestly believe that people think they can't live without it.
It is too powerful, too controlling, and too addicting.

Without TV, most people wouldn't have a clue on what is popular.
We all know that this is one big popularity contest, right?

As long as a person knows the difference and sees the problems with media...
They would be better off.

Plus when you pay for the network programming, you line their pockets.


Who wants to contribute to that?






posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 09:58 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


I don't think it's just some conspiracy theorists that may watch way too much television to the point of it affecting them.

Indeed not. I didn't say it was only conspiracy theorists. However, the current popularity of conspiracy theories among the masses owes a great deal to do with television. Cultivation theory seems a good explanation for the origins of a paranoid conspiracy-haunted mindset, and the theories themselves have always received plenty of publicity on television. They were on TV long, long before the internet became popular.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 03:10 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Agreed. Hello X-Files, right? I find it really very interesting that the bulk of conspiracy genre shows have been primarily through News Corp and Liberty Media. Even more interesting is that John Malone, the CEO of Liberty Media, once saved Rupert Murdoch of News Corp from bankruptcy. Even TruTV, the host of Jesse Ventura's Conspiracy Theory was once owned by Liberty Media (now owned by Time Warner but they aren't any better as they are the ones that released an issue of Time on secret Illuminati type groups last year which included a cheeky nod at their founders having been Skull & Bones
). Sometimes I think that whole business is a conspiracy to dumb down the US. What the Discovery Channel does is even more noxious than any fictional tv show like Fox, however, because people expect documentaries there and get things like this: www.cnn.com...

Really though, all the major media companies dabble in it a bit. I just find it especially distasteful when it's coming from channels whose original intent was to promote learning.
edit on 13/8/13 by WhiteAlice because: emotifail



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 04:48 AM
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Terence Mckenna, 'the internet is the cure for TV'. Awesome short clip here, sums up the entire situation exactly, and bear in mind Mckenna said this 20 years ago, before the internet was hardly even in use! Decades ahead of his time.



TV is the most insidious drug that the 20th century has had to deal with, and it is a drug, it's the first of the electronic drugs. If it were heroin people would be alarmed, that people are sat around for 6-8 hours a day of TV on average in a sort of hypnotic state, and I don't even think it's a content problem, I think its the actual medium that is toxic. This is what Marshall McLuhan was trying to say and no body really understood him when he said it, that the medium is the message, the message is not the message. We have millions of people who are warehoused in almost a larval state in their apartments paying for their medical plans and glued to this mindless opera of cultural decay that is recited day after day in front of them. And this is a creation to some degree of the world corporate state.

What electronic culture permits is incredible diversity, and what the print created world demanded and created was tremendous depression of diversity. Print created concepts like the citizen, that is a print created notion. It created notions like the public, there was no public before print, that idea didn't even exist. So we now define ourselves as "a member of the public" or "a citizen" these are very curious categories where you discover yourself to a member of very large organization that you never remember joining, you were just sort of born into it.

What the electronic culture empowers is diversity eccentricity and a pluralistic kind of mix, and that is very threatening to the print mind and TV mind, because they are all about controlling through having groups of people that you can deal with. That's why TV served a print agenda for the first 30 years or so of it's existence.

Thank god the internet came onto the scene when it did.

The only difference between a drug and computer is you can swallow one and you can't swallow the other, and that's the only difference, and they are working to correct that problem. The future drugs will be far more like computers and the future computers will be far more like drugs. Just wait until your operating system is in your contact lens, or behind your eyelids. It will become nearly indistinguishable from taking a large dose of a psychedelic drug at this point.
edit on 13-8-2013 by ZeuZZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 05:01 AM
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I disagree that it's the medium of tv that is toxic. Contentless tv wouldn't be toxic, it would just be extremely unappealing and people would soon turn away from the medium if all it received was pictures of sheep jumping fences while pleasant background music played. The medium of television has plenty of educational value and even greater potential, if it wasn't solely in the hands of those who are in it for profit or propaganda.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 05:26 AM
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I/We (me and wife) haven't watched TV in 10+ years although we have a nice big screen TV.

We use it only to watch *movies* - those we watch when and how we like it. TV has turned into the most stupid thing in existence. The only time when I found TV halfway interesting was back many years ago when I moved to the US and then we had all those (at that time new to me) interesting cable channels like discovery, history etc. where ON OCCASION there was the one or the other interesting show/documentary.

But even when there are interesting shows and documentaries they are often superficially done. Say if you watch a show on paranormal stuff etc. or say, for example "Ancient Aliens"...you are MUCH better off with books or doing internet research. TV is mostly lies and shows just made for ratings, it's just a bombardment with stupidity, content made by stupid people FOR stupid people where the average attention span is 20 seconds.
edit on 13-8-2013 by NoRulesAllowed because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 08:08 AM
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Originally posted by IvanAstikov
I disagree that it's the medium of tv that is toxic. Contentless tv wouldn't be toxic, it would just be extremely unappealing and people would soon turn away from the medium if all it received was pictures of sheep jumping fences while pleasant background music played. The medium of television has plenty of educational value and even greater potential, if it wasn't solely in the hands of those who are in it for profit or propaganda.


The very act of watching TV is unheallthy especially for young people. We did not evolve to 'watch two dimensional objects at a static distance". The younger the child the more damage done. Physical damage. Not to mention the mental, emotional and spiritual damage.

Even reading books is unnatrual. Our eyes (therefore our brains) are meant to view objects at varying distances and positions. If we don't exercise those skills they deteriorate.

Learning activities, taking this into consideration, are available to teachers but not widely known.

Get thread - I'll check back in after work. Good day everyone.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 08:28 AM
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reply to post by ZeuZZ
 


Without even watching the clip, it is a valid idea. Too many people are easily lead to believe almost anything. Advertisers know this well. I watched a little experiment, done ON advertisers, that showed this. The people running it had the groups in one location, and told them to make up a campaign for a product. They were then transported through a set route to another location, told this was a "timed" deal, and they had to do it fast, or lose the business. So, they complied. Along the route were various little things to influence them, and they worked, very well. Both teams (I think it was two) showed that they were influenced by the little "hints" along the way, that they didn't even remember seeing. People as a group are gullible.

This has been known for a long time, and you can be that those in control know, and USE the techniques themselves. Scare tactics to control the masses, to program them to believe anything and everything, even to "educate" the children.

So, yes, television can be a danger. However, KNOWING that such can happen, and how to spot it, can make a huge difference.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by IvanAstikov
I disagree that it's the medium of tv that is toxic. Contentless tv wouldn't be toxic, it would just be extremely unappealing and people would soon turn away from the medium if all it received was pictures of sheep jumping fences while pleasant background music played. The medium of television has plenty of educational value and even greater potential, if it wasn't solely in the hands of those who are in it for profit or propaganda.


I would suggest that you read 'Amusing Ourselves To Death" by Neil Postman. He makes an extremely effective argument that the medium of television itself is the problem. Another fantastic read in this same vein is "Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television" by Jerry Mander.

Both of these gentlemen saw our present reality long before it happened. Visionaries, to say the least.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by ZeuZZ
 

Excellent thread subject. This is something people, on ATS especially, need to know more about.


Gerbner and Gross developed a hypothesis called cultivation theory, and cultivation theory says that over time watching TV alters a viewers perception of reality so that their view of the real world starts to match in step with the televised one. And the more frequently an image or event is depicted on screen the greater significance the cultivated viewer attaches to it in the real world.

It is precisely this syndrome that animates many people who believe in conspiracy theories. All the people who believe that fluoride in water is making them sick, that illegal immigrants are overrunning America, that the world's governments are pumping noxious chemicals into the upper atmosphere for heaven knows what reason, etc., etc., are people whose views of reality have been severely distorted by too much media consumption.

If people would base their views on the reality they themselves experience every day, instead of what some hairdo on a screen tells them, they would be a lot less anxious – and a lot less clueless, too.

I heartily agree that commercial television is a menace.



I don't watch tv chuckles.... books are actually what turned me into a conspiracy type person and i didn't know it till I interacted with people who watch constant tv. our views differed.. and i was labeled as such.

most people who watch tv can care less about chemicals being pumped into the atmosphere and flouride being pumped into their water... they are more interested on the most recent tv show craze or whatever sports season is going on.

everything you stated leads me to believe that TV possibly made you anxious and turned you into a conspiracy buff... but simply because that is the way it happened to you.. it does not mean that is the way it happened to everyone who can be labeled a conspiracy theory buff. people tend to reflect themselves on others.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by ZeuZZ
 

Excellent thread subject. This is something people, on ATS especially, need to know more about.


Gerbner and Gross developed a hypothesis called cultivation theory, and cultivation theory says that over time watching TV alters a viewers perception of reality so that their view of the real world starts to match in step with the televised one. And the more frequently an image or event is depicted on screen the greater significance the cultivated viewer attaches to it in the real world.

It is precisely this syndrome that animates many people who believe in conspiracy theories. All the people who believe that fluoride in water is making them sick, that illegal immigrants are overrunning America, that the world's governments are pumping noxious chemicals into the upper atmosphere for heaven knows what reason, etc., etc., are people whose views of reality have been severely distorted by too much media consumption.

If people would base their views on the reality they themselves experience every day, instead of what some hairdo on a screen tells them, they would be a lot less anxious – and a lot less clueless, too.

I heartily agree that commercial television is a menace.



I don't watch tv chuckles.... books are actually what turned me into a conspiracy type person and i didn't know it till I interacted with people who watch constant tv. our views differed.. and i was labeled as such.

most people who watch tv can care less about chemicals being pumped into the atmosphere and flouride being pumped into their water... they are more interested on the most recent tv show craze or whatever sports season is going on.

everything you stated leads me to believe that TV possibly made you anxious and turned you into a conspiracy buff... but simply because that is the way it happened to you.. it does not mean that is the way it happened to everyone who can be labeled a conspiracy theory buff. people tend to reflect themselves on others.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by Thejaybird
 


I don't see anything visionary about not even seeing a place for tv as a medium of entertainment, even if it had no educational value whatsoever, not that being entertaining prohibits something from being educational.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by NoRulesAllowed
I/We (me and wife) haven't watched TV in 10+ years although we have a nice big screen TV.

We use it only to watch *movies* - those we watch when and how we like it.


Watching movies or the occasional hour or so a day is fine, I like watching a flick every now and then (even then I tend to illegally stream them lol). It's more the people that do nothing but watch films, or watch TV, that this post is directed at, to raise them from their stupor.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by ZeuZZ

Terence Mckenna, 'the internet is the cure for TV'. Awesome short clip here, sums up the entire situation exactly, and bear in mind Mckenna said this 20 years ago, before the internet was hardly even in use! Decades ahead of his time.

 


As much as I agree with you and mr mckenna I also think the internet is not as safe from the TV dilemma as it appears. I see tv as drip-fed-information, where we are literally just taking in mind-food that's being put in the feeder, rather than going out and sourcing our own. The internet sort of seems to remedy this problem, however, websites like facebook seem to have recontinued this drip-feeding, just with new clothes and a hip new haircut.

I've found websites like facebook, with all the likes and status updates filling the news feed start to cause users to have little desire to venture further, instead residing themselves to the information being poured out infront of their eyes. I had to stop using facebook because of this trap and the sheer amount of disinformation and inspirational crap that starting worming its way into my brain.

I'm not saying it's the same for all fb users, but i definitely think there's a tendency for it. It seems to have disguised itself well and look like your in control of what drizzles down your newsfeed based on your friends and likes, but there seems to be popular memes and alot of regurgitated inspirational quotes that don't hold much meaning and aren't very constructive but serve to just keep you feeling a little better as you waste your waking life scrolling down down then back to the top.

It also seems to enhance this celebrity culture, only this time the average jo is suddenly a celebrity and is warped into a world of cooldom where their neurosis and character traits are praised or ignored depending on how many likes they receive. And the soap operas are replaced with real life family feuds and who's sleeping with whos.

So though much of the internet can remedy the tv assassination of your mind, there are still similar pitfalls where you can find yourself with your ego being fed, continuing a false sense of self and life, and continuing the doped up dumbed down feeling associated with television watching.





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