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EXPLAIN THE RELEVANCE OF EMOTIONAL

RESPONSE THEORIES AND MASS MEDIA


THEORIES IN MESSAGE DESIGN,
PARTICIPATION AND RESPONSIVENESS IN
COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY
CAMPAIGNS

Chris Mutungi, SIS/PHD/C/015/17


An emotion
- An emotion is a complex psychological
state that involves three distinct components:
a subjective experience(individual), a
physiological response (body movement), and
a behavioral or expressive response (reaction)

-An emotion is a mental and physiological


state associated with a wide variety of
feelings, thoughts and behaviour.
Emotional Response

Emotional response can be defined as "A


reaction to a particular intrapsychic feeling or
feelings, accompanied by physiological
changes that may or may not be outwardly
manifested but that motivate or precipitate
some action of behavioral change” Mosby
(2012).
 The way the body responds to external
stimulus and the accompanying physical
reaction through one or more of the basic
human emotions. E.g. anger and fear
 Some of the physical reactions experienced
include sweating palms and a racing heart
beat
ADVOCACY
-The process of raising voices in an effective
manner in order to influence others. It is a
process rather than a product. Subedi (2008)
-When advocacy is carried out to support or
empower the marginalised, it is a means of
gaining a better policy environment with
implications for the implementation of
policies, rather than an end in itself
CAMPAIGNS

Planned communication initiatives aimed at


generating specific outcomes in a relatively
large number of individuals, within a
specified time, and through an organized set
of communication activities
Message Design

-The careful integration of words, images,


sound, and motion into a message that
clearly conveys an idea to the relevant public.

-Message design is important since it


determines the level of acceptance or
rejection of the message by the target
audience.
Theory
 Griffin (2012) A theory is an idea that
explains an event or behavior and it brings
clarity to an otherwise jumbled situation, and
brings order out of chaos. A theory seeks to
explain how and why things happen.
 Theories are general statements that
summarise our understanding of the way the
world works.
 Whenever a human being is confronted by a
situation (stimulus), the body reacts to the
situation by generating an emotion which is
in-line with the stimulus’ perceived effect to
the body.
 The generation of the emotions is driven by
the need for survival.
 There are several emotions but the common
ones include, anger, disgust, fear, joy,
sadness, trust, distrust, surprise, happiness,
contempt etc.
 Three categories of emotions. primary,
secondary and tertiary.

 Primary- love

 Secondary- affection/longing/lust

 Tertiary -adoration/caring and liking as


The evolution theory
-historical approach to explain the origin of
the development of emotions.
-history, culture and social factors define how
emotions develop. ( some communities more
emotional than others)
-Evolution theorists say that human beings
share crucial emotions and believe that one
does not need to reason in order to exhibit a
particular emotion
James-Lange theory
-People have a physiological response to
environmental stimuli and that their
interpretation of that physical response then
results in an emotional experience. James &
Lange (1927)
-An event causes physiological arousal first,
the after an interpretation of the arousal an
emotion is generated
Canon-Bard theory
-people react to a stimulus and exhibit the
corresponding or associated emotion at the
same time.
-Physiological reactions to different emotions
can be similar.
-people can experience sweating, a racing
heart and increased respiration in response to
fear, anger or excitement
Cognitive appraisal theory
 emotions are as a result of appraisals of
situations and events that in turn elicit
different reaction to different people.
 It’s a conscious reaction to stimulus.

 one reasons first, and then engages the


relevant emotion to react to the stimulus.
Agenda setting theory
-The media chooses a few things to highlight
and this makes their audiences think that
those are the most important issues to follow
or discuss.
-The media points to a direction and the
audience’s line of thought is focused on that
direction.
Hypodermic needle/Magic bullet theory

-The media has a direct and immediate effect


on its audience.
-Once the message from the media reaches
the audience, they respond immediately.
Mainstreaming theory
-This theory proposes that the media has the
ability to move its audiences towards a
common view of something.

- It is a theory which sees the public move


together towards a common goal.
Two step flow theory

-Information from the media moves in two


clear steps
-Opinion leaders in society, who then
interpret, sometimes adding their own
opinions, and pass the information to the
general public.
 Both theories place the target public at the
centre

 The theories expect some response

 The reaction to the stimulus and message


vary from one individual to another

 With the emotional response theories, the


campaign message can be equated to the
stimulus
 It is the message that elicits the response
from the public.

 It is that which triggers the emotions relevant


to how it affects the public.

 The public’s reaction to the external factor


(message/stimulus) depends on how the
message is designed and presented and how
it affects them
 It is the message that triggers the reaction
from the people

 The public’s reaction to a message depends


on how the message is designed and
presented and how it affects them

 Two factors that affect message reception are


demographics and living standard measure.
An example of the living standard measure is
the mpango wa kando campaign
 Message was to discourage promiscuity but
took the cost angle

 Failed to consider SLM

 Different people reacted differently. Those


with money ,no effect

 The design of the message failed to show the


dangers of HIV
 To the rich , this message may elicit
contempt and get ignore. The poor may also
ignore. Cost items may be irreverent ( not
same)

 message designers should know which


emotion they what aroused and for which
effect. The expected result should be very
clear
 On the media theories, Agenda setting theory is
very applicable in message design and response.

 Example of post election violence 2007/8

 Musicians grouped and composed songs and


messages for peace. They called on Kenyans to
shun violence and co-exist.

 Several personalities were also involved in the


campaigns
 it played a crucial role in ending the hatred
among different ethnic groups and
rejuvenated harmony and co-existence
 The mainstreaming theory of mass
communication proposes that, the media has
the ability to move the public towards a
common view/goal
 The objective of most campaigns is to
influence the public towards a
certain/common view point or action
 World under 18 Nairobi Championships’
digital campaign.
 The games took place at Kasarani stadium,
Nairobi from 12th to 16th July 2017
 Attendance in the first two days was not very
good
 The media campaign team used popular radio
stations and presenters to push numbers
 Ash tag #twendekasa was created
 The results were overwhelming.

 For the first time since 1987, Kasarani


stadium was filled to capacity (65,000) in the
final two days of the games.

 Many more were watching the games from


outside the stadium
 The above examples show how
understanding of both the emotional
response and mass media theories can help
message owners and designers in crafting
messages that directly speak to the target
public
 The theories are relevant in that their focus is
on the public and how they react to that
which hits them. stimulus/message
 This helps message designers create content
that will elicit the desired response/effect
THANK YOU