Carl Hovland’s “message learning approach” assumed that, since attitudes are learned, they can be changed through a learning process.
Wilbur Schramm was one of the first communications scholars to take an interdisciplinary perspective, integrating the work of social scientists in other disciplines who studied communication.
Harold Lasswell’s classic analysis of World War I propaganda techniques published in 1927. Lasswell examined propaganda, the power of symbols, and public opinion. Lasswell’s famous communication model: “who says what, in which channel, to whom, with what effect?”
Shannon and Weaver’s linear flow model of communication.
As our environment becomes increasingly saturated with strategic messages from numerous sources and through multiple media, individuals must learn to be wise consumers of information. Media literacy–the ability to discriminate between valid and invalid information and between reasoned and fallacious arguments–is becoming a survival skill. Communication scholars have an important role to play in discerning how individuals process mediated messages and in educating message consumers to protect themselves by distinguishing what is credible from what is suspect.
Argumentation. Grounded in Aristotle’s concept of logos, argumentation is the effort to persuade by appealing to reason (or giving reasons). Argumentation and debate have been important subjects in communication instruction since the publication of Whatley’s Elements of Rhetoric in the nineteenth century.
Mass communication and media studies seek to identify ways mass media can better used to improve the quality of life. Political communication. Analyze outcomes through voter behavior, public opinion polls, and survey research.