Understanding the effects of media on individuals and society requires that we examine the messages being sent, the medium transmitting them, the owners of the media, and the audience members themselves. The effects can be cognitive, attitudinal, behavioral, and psychological.

Media effects can also be examined in terms of a number of theoretical approaches, including functional analysis, agenda setting, uses and gratifications, social learning, symbolic interactionism, spiral of silence, media logic, and cultivation analysis.

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