ERIC Number: ED243159
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Trends in Popular Magazine Depictions of the Computer.
Holz, Josephine R.
Observing that most adults' present conceptions of the computer have been shaped by media images, a content analysis was conducted of 169 articles on computers published in six popular magazines from the 1940s through 1969. The articles were coded in terms of their themes and topics, and the specific terms used to refer to computers in each article were listed, as were metaphors or analogies that involved anthropomorphosis, or the attribution of human characteristics to computers. The results indicated that the largest number of articles were published between 1965 and 1969, and between 1975 and 1979. The major focus of the articles began with developments and advances in computer technology and changed over time to uses and predicted uses of the computer. Military uses were the most frequently mentioned during the first 20 years, but this was replaced by mention of the business/industrial sector, which was subsequently replaced by academic uses. References to the limitations, advantages, or similarities of computers versus human beings decreased rather steadily over the period studied, as did the number of different terms used to refer to the computer. Anthropomorphic similes and metaphors describing computers were used sporadically throughout the time period studied. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (75th, Philadelphia, PA, March 8-11, 1984).