1st Edition

Exemplification in Communication the influence of Case Reports on the Perception of Issues

By Dolf Zillmann, Hans-Bernd Brosius Copyright 2000
    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume offers a new conceptual framework for exemplification, a coherent theoretical approach based on contemporary psychological models of information processing, and an exhaustive integration of the pertinent research demonstrations. Focus is on the news media, but the influence of fiction and quasi-fiction is also considered. The informational competition between concrete, verbal, or pictorial exemplification and abstract, mostly quantitative exposition is analyzed. Implications for issue perception, including delayed consequences are also examined.

    Exemplification is subjected to conceptual scrutiny and a new theoretical framework is offered. Contemporary psychological paradigms are applied to predict effects of various forms of exemplification. Perhaps most important, novel experimental research is presented to document the specific consequences of exemplifications featured in the news, even of those featured in fiction. Finally, recommendations for information providers and recipients are derived from the research demonstration in order to advance media literacy specific to exemplification.

    This unique volume:
    * provides a comprehensive account of the power of case-report selection in the manipulation of perceptions of social issues,
    * addresses exemplification in communication, i.e., the influence of case reports in the news media, primarily, on the perception of pertinent social issues,
    * offers an empirical assessment of the practice of issue exemplifying by the media,
    * gives an exhaustive account of representative research on exemplification effects on issue perception--primarily by the news media, but also by the entertainment media, and
    * includes a compilation of guidelines for information providers and recipients in efforts at creating media literacy with regard to exemplification.

    Contents: Preface. Exemplification in Communication. Exemplification in Practice. Information Processing. Exemplification Effects of the News. Exemplification Effects of Fiction and Quasi-Fiction. Toward Exemplification Literacy.


    Dolf Zillmann University of Alabama, Hans-Bernd Brosius University of Munich

    "[It] takes as its premise that examples used in news or entertainment programs have considerable impact. Zillmann...and Brosius...usefully combine efforts here to show American and European variations in the use of or emphasis on examples....this is a pathbreaking book examining a feature of media not focused on before."
    Communication Booknotes Quarterly

    "This volume presents concepts of tremendous value to media producers and consumers, journalists and journalists-in-training, PR practitioners and those who aspire to practice public relations....This book could be required reading for journalism students, to foster discussion about the choices they make, conscious or not, as professionals....Zillmann and Brosius offer a solid vehicle for discussing journalistic responsibilities and the consequences they will have on the job....Ultimately, as Zillmann and Brosius note, 'Exemplars...give journalism its greatest manipulative power.' Journalists should understand that power and be encouraged to use it as ethically as possible."
    Communication Theory

    "...the painstaking rigor characterizing this splendid example of scholarship augurs well for the discipline of communication."
    Contemporary Psychology