Basic overview[ edit ] The theory is based on a s study on social influence that states that media effects are indirectly established through the personal influence of opinion leaders. The majority of people receive much of their information and are influenced by the media secondhand, through the personal influence of opinion leaders. Concept[ edit ] The two-step model says that most people are not directly influenced by mass media, and instead form their opinions based on opinion leaders who interpret media messages and put them into context. Opinion leaders are those initially exposed to a specific media content, and who interpret it based on their own opinion.
In the early days of mass communication, people believed that the media had a direct and powerful influence on audiences. This way of thinking about media influence became known as the Hypodermic Needle Theory.
Of course, communication is a complex process and this theory soon proved inadequate. The Two Step Flow Theory suggests that opinion leaders pay close attention to the mass media and pass on their interpretation of media messages to others.
After analyzing the flow of information, the researchers discovered that news finds its way to people through a number of prominent and influential opinion leaders — who include celebrities, journalists and bloggers.
A long time ago, advertisers realized that word of mouth and recommendations are a powerful way to sell products. Books like The Anatomy of Buzz are all about how important word of mouth is to advertising campaigns. A lot of campaigns set out to use personal influence by targeting opinion leaders.
In the age of social networking, however, prominent celebrities and journalists often sidestep the media altogether and talk with us directly. In some ways, these people — while they might be part of the mass media — meet many of the criteria of opinion leaders.
Al Gore is a great example of an opinion leader. Inhe was the focus of a documentary called An Inconvenient Truth which followed his campaign to raise awareness about global warming.
The campaign reached an estimated audience of over one million people.
Virtually overnight, the video and the campaign became a viral success. To generate exposure for their campaign, the activists enlisted the help of several celebrities — including actor George Clooney.
First, it acknowledges that audiences are composed of individuals who are part of a society. They actively interpret media messages and are influenced by people around them. Of course, this theory has some limitations as well. Nevertheless, the Two Step Flow Theory is still an interesting way to think about communication and media influence.Two-step flow theory is an amendment of these two different age theory.
In its design of research, it believe that people are influenced by the mass media, people’s own will and the social environment people in together, but not a extreme one of them.
The two-step flow of communication hypothesis was first introduced by Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet in "The People's Choice", a study focused on the process of decision-making during a Presidential election campaign.
TWO-STEP FLOW THEORY The two-step flow theory is about how KEY people (opinion leaders). The Emergence of the Two-Step Concept; Criticism of the Model; The Paradigm’s Fight for Survival; The concept of the “two-step flow of communication” emerged from The People’s Choice, This chapter on the two-step model provides an excellent review of the emergence of the theory, empirical methods, and findings from studies.
One theory that has always been popular and thoroughly talked about in research and academic studies is the two-step flow theory of communications. The two-step flow theory of communications explains how information from the media moves in two distinct stages.
Two-step flow model of communication, theory of communication that proposes that interpersonal interaction has a far stronger effect on shaping public opinion than mass media outlets.
The two-step flow model was formulated in by Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet in the book. The Two Step Flow Theory of communication is superior to the Hypodermic Needle Theory in a number of ways. First, it acknowledges that audiences are composed of individuals who are part of a society.
They actively interpret media messages and are influenced by people around them.