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Media Effects

Media Effects

First Edition
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January 2012 | 400 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Media Effects offers students an in-depth examination of the media's constant influence on individuals and society. W. James Potter frames media's effects in two templates: influence on individuals and influence on larger social structures and institutions. By positioning the different types of effects in the forefront, Potter helps students understand the full range of media effects, how they manifest themselves, and the factors that that are likely to bring these effects into being. Throughout the book, Potter encourages students to analyze their own experiences by searching for evidence of these effects in their own lives, making the content meaningful on a personal level.

1. Why Study Media Effects?
2. Defining Key Ideas
3. What is a Media Effect?
4. Media Influence
5. Media Theories
6. Physiological Effects
7. Cognitive Effects
8. Belief Effects
9. Attitude Effects
10. Affective Effects
11. Behaviorial Effects
12. Macro Level Effects on the Public
13. Macro Level Effects - Institutions
14. Macro Level Effects - Society, Culture, and Mass Media
15. Big Picture
16. Springboard


Instructor Resource Site

The password-protected Instructor Teaching Site includes PowerPoints, classroom assignments, and web and video resources.

Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site features SAGE Journal Articles, and web and video resources.

Good basic text. Will include a chapter for my course readings.

Dr Kjetil Rødje
Media, Cognition & Communication Dept, University of Copenhagen
May 26, 2015

Great BA book for students in Communication Studies/Science. I highly recommend it.

Dr Todd Graham
Journalism Department, Groningen University (RuG)
April 16, 2015

Good general reading for students. Additional papers sometimes not easy to integrate. Good charts.

Professor Andreas Fahr
Communication and Mass Media Research, University of Fribourg
March 22, 2015

This book comprehensively discusses various theories on media effects. My students would find this book vary informative and educational.

Dr Jung Woo Lee
Institute for Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh
February 7, 2014

Did not meet the needs of the Media & Society course I was teaching, the Potter Media Literacy text was more appropriate.

Mrs Bethney Wilson
Communication Dept, University of Kentucky
September 16, 2013

The book is really comprehensive and useful, but I felt it was not as easy to ready as the text that I chose for my media course.

Dr Bradley Bond
Communication Studies Dept, University of San Diego
August 5, 2013

An outstanding and comprehensive, jargon free introduction to media effects research. Written in a no nonsense, accessible style. The Media Effects Templates outlined in the text are a great tool to keep students focused on core issues

Mr Kenneth Sloane
Dept of Creative Media, Dundalk Institute of Technology
March 12, 2013

The volume is a perfect introduction to the broad field of Media research. The very complex discipline is presented in a very thoughtful manner allowing undergraduates a rather smooth start.

Dr Stefan Zimmermann
Geography, University of Osnabruck
July 18, 2012

course was changed to usability

Dr Carie Lambert
School Of Arts Humanities, University of Texas at Dallas
July 4, 2012

Very interesting text with a useful student friendly approach

Ms Ciara O'Sullivan
Media and Communcations, Templemore College of Further Education
June 12, 2012
Key features


  • Comprehensive: This book covers the full range of media-influenced effects by approaching them conceptually, providing students with a complete understanding of each concept.
  • Engaging: Keeping the focus on the effects students are most likely to encounter in their own lives, instead of on history of theories and methods, this book is highly practical for students and provides them with insights they can use.
  • Organized: Using two Media Effects Templates for guidance, students can confidently navigate through the material without getting lost or overwhelmed. The templates easily divide the effects into individual or larger group influences.
  • Extended examples: By providing numerous examples of media effects in narrative anecdotes throughout the text, the book illuminates key ideas about how media influence people and how those effects show up in everyday life.
  • Exercises: Each chapter concludes with a list of review questions to test readers' comprehension of main ideas in the chapter and provides opportunities for critical thinking that stimulates a deeper analytical examination of issues.

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Brief TOC

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

For instructors

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