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MCAT Psychoogy Question — Survey Theory

A small town in rural Pennsylvania has the highest per capita circulation of “The Quaker Home Journal,” a periodical running articles on animal husbandry, furniture repair, and crop growth. When the residents are polled on their preference among three of the hottest global pop-stars, 65% respond “never heard of them.” This is a demonstration of:

a) class-dominant theory

b) culturalist theory

c) limited-effects theory

d) symbolic interactionist perspective




Limited-effects theory states that people choose to watch or read based on what they already believe: media affects the audience in a limited way. Class-dominant theory states that media projects and reflects the views of a controlling minority elite, not applicable in this case. Culturalist theory states that people interact with media to create their own meanings from images and messages they receive. Symbolic interactionism allows micro-level analysis of sociological phenomenon through the use of symbols in face-to-face interactions.

In this case, an insular community does not particularly care about global pop sensations. This is an example of limited-effects theory.

A) class-dominant theory, incorrect. These people do not care about mass-media, and therefore a controlling elite cannot reach them.

B) culturalist theory, incorrect, Here the audience chooses their message rather than their interaction with the message.

C) limited-effects theory, correct.

D) symbolic interactionist perspective, incorrect, This is a sociological perspective for analysis of micro interactions between individuals using shared symbols.

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