Theory of Media Literacy: A Cognitive Approach

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SAGE Publications, May 5, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 307 pages
Our society has become characterized by aggressive media. Information is constantly at our fingertips whether it be through the books, newspapers, and magazines we read, the television we watch, the radio stations to which we listen, or the computers that connect us to the world in a matter of seconds. We can try to limit our media exposure, but it is impossible to avoid all media messages. As a result, we psychologically protect ourselves by automatically processing the media to which we are exposed. Theory of Media Literacy: A Cognitive Approach comprehensively explains how we absorb the flood of information in our media-saturated society and examines how we often construct faulty meanings from those messages. In this book, author W. James Potter enlightens readers on the tasks of information processing. By building on a foundation of principles about how humans think, Theory of Media Literacy examines decisions about filtering messages, standard schema to match meaning, and higher level skills to construct meaning. A central theme of Potter's theory is the locus that governs the degree to which a person is media literate. The locus is enriched by developing skills as well as good knowledge structures on five topics: media effects, media content, media industries, real world parameters, and the self. Key Features Presents the first social scientific theory of the process of media literacy Explores a broad range of literature on media literacy written over the past two decades Focuses on how the human mind works, especially in this mass media-saturated society Theory of Media Literacy is an essential resource to a wide audience within the media discipline. The book provides empirical researchers with direction to test the theory and extend our understanding of how the media affect i

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Contents

Definitions and Distinctions
49
The Media Literacy Model
68
The Foundational Knowledge Structures
85
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

W. James Potter, professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, holds one PhD in Communication Studies and another in Instructional Technology. He has been teaching media courses for more than two decades in the areas of effects on individuals and society, content narratives, structure and economics of media industries, advertising, journalism, programming, and production. He has served as editor of the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media and is the author of many journal articles and books, including the following: Media Effects, The 11 Myths of Media Violence, Becoming a Strategic Thinker: Developing Skills for Success, On Media Violence, Theory of Media Literacy: A Cognitive Approach, and How to Publish Your Communication Research (with Alison Alexander).

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