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Applied Evolutionary Psychology$
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S. Craig Roberts

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199586073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586073.001.0001

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News as reality-inducing, survival-relevant, and gender-specific stimuli

News as reality-inducing, survival-relevant, and gender-specific stimuli

Chapter:
(p.361) Chapter 22 News as reality-inducing, survival-relevant, and gender-specific stimuli
Source:
Applied Evolutionary Psychology
Author(s):

Maria Elizabeth Grabe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586073.003.0022

The idea that the human brain struggles to distinguish--at least at some level--between mediated and physical reality opened the door for evolutionary psychology perspectives to enter the young field of media scholarship.  Specifically, this line of thinking is grounded in the idea that the human brain has not yet evolved the mechanisms for distinction drawing.  Thus during the initial seconds of exposure to media content, it treats it as real; and the more lifelike, negative, and compelling the media message, the more seamless the equation with the physical world. This perspective, known as the media equation, is slowest to find traction in the specific media subfield of news research. This chapter will pay homage to the pioneers of the media equasion perspective, quibble a bit with them, tackle the place of media in the life history of Homo sapiens, and focus on journalism as a specific area of media research in desperate need of an Evolutionary Psychology plunge.

Keywords:   media, reality, media equation, visual processing, information processing, gender variance, negative news, compelling images, journalism, news and informed citizens

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