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Concept: Media influence


Mass media plays an important role in communicating about health research and services to patients, and in shaping public perceptions and decisions about health. Healthcare professionals also play an important role in providing patients with credible, evidence-based and up-to-date information on a wide range of health issues. This study aims to explore primary care nurses' experiences of how mass media influences frontline healthcare.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, United Kingdom, Media, Public relations, Mass media, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan


Through a systematic review of the literature, this article summarizes and evaluates evidence for the effectiveness of mass media interventions for child survival. To be included, studies had to describe a mass media intervention; address a child survival health topic; present quantitative data from a low- or middle-income country; use an evaluation design that compared outcomes using pre- and postintervention data, treatment versus comparison groups, or postintervention data across levels of exposure; and report a behavioral or health outcome. The 111 campaign evaluations that met the inclusion criteria included 15 diarrheal disease, 8 immunization, 2 malaria, 14 nutrition, 1 preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 4 respiratory disease, and 67 reproductive health interventions. These evaluations were then sorted into weak (n = 33), moderate (n = 32), and stronger evaluations (n = 46) on the basis of the sampling method, the evaluation design, and efforts to address threats to inference of mass media effects. The moderate and stronger evaluations provide evidence that mass media-centric campaigns can positively impact a wide range of child survival health behaviors.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Health, Media, Art, Mass media, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan


Mass media influence public acceptability, and hence feasibility, of public health interventions. This study investigates newsprint constructions of the alcohol problem and minimum unit pricing (MUP).

Concepts: Health economics, Medicine, Public health, Newspaper, Mass media, Journalism, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan


A large body of literature has demonstrated mass media effects on body image and disordered eating. More recently, research in this area has turned to ‘new’ forms of media, such as the Internet, and particularly Social Networking Sites (SNSs). A systematic search for peer-reviewed articles on SNS use and body image and eating disorders resulted in 20 studies meeting specific inclusion criteria. As a whole, these articles demonstrated that use of SNSs is associated with body image and disordered eating. Specific SNS activities, such as viewing and uploading photos and seeking negative feedback via status updates, were identified as particularly problematic. A small number of studies also addressed underlying processes and found that appearance-based social comparison mediated the relationship between SNS use and body image and eating concerns. Gender was not found to be a moderating factor. It was concluded that, although there is a good deal of correlational research supporting the maladaptive effect of SNS use on body image and disordered eating, more longitudinal and experimental studies are needed.

Concepts: Sociology, Feedback, Negative feedback, Internet, Social network service, Mass media, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan


For nearly half a century, psychologists, pediatricians and psychiatrists have studied the potential impact of media violence on aggression and societal violence, particularly among youth. Despite hundreds of studies, scholars have failed to find consensus on potential effects. Nonetheless, professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Psychological Association have released policy statements conclusively linking violent media to societal concerns. In reaction, some scholars have accused these professional groups of distorting evidence and failing to inform the public of the inconsistent nature of studies in this field. The current paper reviews recent research on media violence. It concludes that caution is recommended in public statements regarding media effects and that professional groups risk serious reputation damage with policy statements calling for behavioral change without clear reflection of the current evidence-base of the research. Recommendations are provided for practitioners and for science policy.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Science, Violence, Society, Mass media, Media influence, Media violence research


In general, media coverage would not be implemented unless the number of infected cases reaches some critical number. To reflect this feature, we incorporate the media effect and a critical number of infected cases into the disease transmission rate and consider an susceptible-infected-susceptible epidemic model with logistic growth. Our model analysis shows that early media alert and strong media effects are preferable to decrease the numbers of infected cases at endemic equilibria. Furthermore, we noticed that the model may have up to three endemic equilibria and bi-stability can occur in a threshold interval for the critical number. Note that the interval depends on parameters for the focal disease and the media effect. It is possible to roughly estimate the interval for re-emerging diseases in a given region. Therefore, the result could be useful to health policymakers. Global stability is also obtained when the model admits a unique endemic equilibrium.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Mathematics, Infection, Mass media, Epidemic model, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan


In this study, we evaluated associations of experiences with mass media imported from Western nations such as the United States versus mass media from China and other Asian countries with eating and body image disturbances of young Chinese women. Participating women (N=456) completed self-report measures of disordered eating, specific sources of appearance dissatisfaction (fatness, facial features, stature), and Western versus Chinese/Asian mass media influences. The sample was significantly more likely to report perceived pressure from, comparisons with, and preferences for physical appearance depictions in Chinese/Asian mass media than Western media. Chinese/Asian media influences also combined for more unique variance in prediction models for all disturbances except stature concerns. While experiences with Western media were related to disturbances as well, the overall impact of Chinese/Asian media influences was more prominent.

Concepts: United States, Mass media, Propaganda, Media influence, Concentration of media ownership


Research on the impact of suicide depictions in the media is traditionally focussed on two possible outcomes: on the one hand, there is ample evidence for additional copycat effects after media coverage of suicides referred to as the Werther effect but on the other hand, suicide rates decrease after appropriate media depictions of suicides referred to as the Papageno effect. It is still uncertain what exactly qualifies studies that only limitedly support an imitative or preventive media effect, i.e. studies with ambiguous findings, as they are often disregarded. The present literature review focuses on equivocal studies (n = 25) on copycat suicides that were systematically analyzed based on theoretically derived criteria. The results of the systematic analysis of all identified studies imply that media effects on suicidality are better understood and discussed as a continuum between the two extremes that were introduced as either a damaging Werther effect or a beneficial Papageno effect. Future studies must clarify what factors contribute to a shift from ambiguous findings to harmful media effects on individual suicidality.

Concepts: Future, Suicide, The Complete Manual of Suicide, Mass media, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan, Copycat suicide


This research advances and tests a normative mediation model of media effects on youth smoking. The model predicts that exposure to various types of smoking-related media messages, including anti-smoking ads, cigarette ads, and smoking scenes in movies and television shows, exerts indirect effects on youth smoking intentions through the mediation of perceived descriptive and injunctive norms. Analysis of the data from the 3rd Legacy Media Tracking Survey offers general support for the proposed model with some unexpected findings, revealing a complex picture of media influence on youth smoking via normative and non-normative mechanisms. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Concepts: Smoking, Das Model, Mediation, Debut albums, Mass media, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan, Arbitration


Background. There is ample evidence media reporting of celebrity suicides increases copycat suicides. This study had three aims: (a) to quantitatively examine copycat suicides with exponential modelling that predicts the copycat suicide effect of South Korean celebrity suicides; (b) to investigate the association between media effect and subsequent suicides following celebrity deaths; and © to investigate the extent in which media influences the increase and rate of decline of copycat suicides following a celebrity suicide. Methods. All suicides during 1991-2010 in South Korea were included in this study utilising a nationwide database. Fifteen celebrities were selected based on the frequency of media reports following 1 week after their suicide. The media effect was obtained through the Korean Integrated Newspaper Database System. Exponential curve fits and correlation analyses investigated the quantitative effect of copycat suicides. Results. After controlling for baseline number of average suicides, there was a marked increase in the number of suicides following each celebrity suicides, which followed an exponential model. There was a significant correlation between the total number of copycat suicides and number of media following the celebrity suicide (r = 0.74, p < 0.01). There were weak-to-moderate correlations between the amplitude of increase in suicides (r = 0.45, p = 0.09) and rate of decline (r = 0.38, p = 0.16) with the total number of media coverage. Conclusions. Copycat suicides following celebrity suicides follow exponential modelling. Additionally, there is a strong media effect between the number of media reports following the days after celebrity suicides and subsequent copycat suicides. This may also be associated with the amplitude and rate of decline of copycat suicides. This suggests that improving media reporting and implementing preventative interventions for vulnerable populations may be important.

Concepts: Sociology, South Korea, Korea, Korean War, Mass media, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan