ON THE MEANING AND VALIDITY OF TELEVISION VIEWING

Authors

  • GAVRIEL SALOMON,

    1. Gavriel Salomon (Ph.D. Stanford University, 1968) is associate professor of Educational Psychology at the School of Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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  • AKIBA A. COHEN

    1. Akiba A. Cohen (Ph.D. Michigan State University, 1973) is assistant professor of Communication, The Communications Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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  • This paper was accepted for publication November 17, 1977.

Abstract

The construct validity of “television viewing” is developed and explicated. It is suggested that while this concept is usually used as a strict behavioral variable, many different constructs are implied by it. The construct validity of television viewing can be derived from a conceptualization of what it is in television which, when viewed, or exposed to, interacts with human behavior and attributes. Four such conceptualizations are illustrated, each leading to a different construct of “viewing”: (1) television as a social-situational factor involving choice behavior between activities; (2) television as a transmission of a content repertoire, implying decision-making regarding messages; (3) television as a source of content-messages dealing with recall, comprehension, and attitude change; and (4) television as a “language” pertaining to the processes of encoding messages in the service of extracting knowledge.

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