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Book Review: Hypodermic Needle Theory

Posted on Feb 17, 2017, by summers

Lately, due to the current political scenario in the country, I have heard and read many people argue, on both sides, that the problem arises from media manipulation.

Both for or against the president’s impediment complains that the media is in favor of the opponent. From this, we can conclude that one group thinks the other is easily manipulated by the media and their own interests.
This argument is so low, so naive, that it’s hard even to believe that anyone would take a position based on it. This is exactly the level of debate taking place in Brazil today. It’s more of a football crowd than anything else, in fact, it just doesn’t feel like politics.

The hypodermic needle theory tells us that a message propagated to a mass could reach it uniformly. This idea arose during the war due to the radio transmissions that were important to unite the nation of the country that was at war.

However, this theory was soon refuted as being extraordinarily simplistic. It does not take into account several variables that involve communication, such as the message context. Furthermore, it was based on similar individuals, distinguished only by age and social class. They were isolated from each other and had no critical sense.

It is now quite clear that the population is extremely diverse.

Another theory tells us that there are two steps to the flow of communication and they are due to the influence of opinion makers within communities as opinion builders on a micro-scale.

Another study carried out during the March demonstrations shows the engagement of both sides in social media. As is clear from the image below, the protesters against the impediment are more swayed than their opponents.
Anti-offside protesters (red) are more influential in absorbing the ideas of their icons.

The image clearly demonstrates the power that certain pro-government icons have with their followers. In addition to this idea of ​​the media coup being weak, the side that blames the most is the one that is most likely to be influenced.

Next time someone comes up with this speech, you already know, let them know about the hypodermic theory.

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