Theories of Mass Communication and Media Effects Across Cultures

  • Marieke de Mooij


Theories of mass communication effects are roughly distinguished between direct effects as in stimulus–response theories and limited effects that take more communication variables into account, for example, the two-step flow of communication. Examples of theories of indirect media influences are the uses and gratifications approach, agenda-setting theory, and the spiral of silence. Such theories are not universally applicable. At the basis of balance and congruity theory is the assumption of cognitive consistency, a typical characteristic of individualistic cultures. Also cultivation theory cannot be applied universally as it is based on social learning. True cultural imperialism effects are hard to find around the world. In diffusion theory, both interpersonal and mediated communications are strong elements. Also in news diffusion and viral diffusion all types of communication play a role. Around the world research approaches vary between the critical and the empirical perspective.


Mass Medium Opinion Leader Uncertainty Avoidance Agenda Setting Mass Communication 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marieke de Mooij
    • 1
  1. 1.Burgh-HaamstedeThe Netherlands

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