ERIC Number: ED273951
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-May
Reference Count: 0
Applying Schema Theory to Mass Media Information Processing: Moving toward a Formal Model.
Wicks, Robert H.
Schema theory may be significant in determining if and how news audiences process information. For any given news topic, people have from none to many schemata (cognitive structures that represent organized knowledge about a given concept or type of stimulus abstracted from prior experience) upon which to draw. Models of how schemata are used should illustrate a process, and in the case of news media and information processing, the process may be associated with effective information transmission and retention between the news media and the individuals. A "data-pool" model offered by D. A. Norman and D. G. Bobrow traces the process by which schemata are activated, but fails to explain adequately the precise channels through which specific types of information must pass during information processing. It also cannot be tested adequately for its merit. An 11-stage process model for schema theory developed by R. Axelrod provides for processing of information based on a series of "yes" or "no" questions. This model has an "escape valve" or a means for departure of information without interpretation. The R. Hastie information processing model suggests that people must react to an event in one of two ways: either find an appropriate schema or begin the construction of a new schema. Since research in the area of mass media information processing is relatively new, it seems best to work with a model that can be easily operationalized, moving later to more complex plans. In view of this, the Hastie model offers the greatest utility for mass communications researchers. A five-page list of references concludes the document. (SRT)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Encoding (Psychology), Information Processing, Mass Media, Media Research, Models, News Media, Political Science, Recall (Psychology), Schemata (Cognition), Social Psychology, Social Science Research
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (36th, Chicago, IL, May 22-26, 1986).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A