ERIC Number: ED218623
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Motivations, Media Use, and Electoral Decision Making.
Becker, Lee B.; Demers, David K.
Most of the research on motivations and media use has assumed that there is some general motivation that directs habitual media behavior. Recent work on motivations, however, suggests that it may be valuable to distinguish between general needs and more specific needs, both of which may direct media behavior. For example, regular media use might well be the result of a general motivation to keep informed. On the other hand, use of specific campaign media materials, such as advertisements or political debates, might be directed by a specific need on the part of voters for information to help make election decisions. This set of expectations was tested using data from a telephone survey of registered voters in Ohio during the 1980 United States presidential campaign. It was postulated that home owners (as opposed to renters), the married, those high in formal education, the older, white, and males would be higher in general need for information. As expected, the results indicated general information need was related to general media use habits. Those persons reporting high levels of need for information read news magazines, watched the national television news, and read a daily newspaper. There was no support at all for the belief that voter uncertainty was related to the need for election information. Specifically, the data indicated that a general need for information was viewed as a product of the respondent's background and social situation, while the need for information for a specific election decision was the product of general media use habits and possibly uncertainty about the election decision to be made. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A