Efekt trzeciej osoby jako jeden z przejawów wpływu mediów na odbiorcę. Geneza i perspektywy badawcze
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The subject of media and mass communication has been analysed extensively. In the litera-ture, cases were analysed of the functioning of the mass media, the role of the media as an instrumentof marketing activities (including political) and the impact of media messages on recipients. Publica-tions on the third person effect – which is an effect of media impact on recipients – are, however, rarein Poland.The hypothesis of the third person effect was proposed by W. Phillips Davison. The effect canbe defined as the phenomenon in which social unit does not perceive or underestimate impact ofa media message (e.g. TV political advertising) on itself but does see the influence of this message onothers. Initial studies were concentrated at verifying of which variables induce the third person effect.The focus was put on socio-demographic characteristics, media-related variables, and persons withwhom the respondent compares. Another group of studies focused on social theories, trying to identi-fy which theories better explain the third person effect. The direction and strength of the third personeffect depends on situational variables, which includes socio-demographic variables, those related to media message and how the respondent perceived the ‘others’. The third person effect also dependson the recipient’s exposure to media messages. One factor of the third person effect is the assessment of the harmfulness of the content conveyed, i.e. the more negative a message is, the greater the asym-metry of the third person effect.The article introduces the concept of the third person effect, the variables influencing the crea-tion of the effect and selected theoretical issues that explain this phenomenon.
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