Actually, deriving such assumptions is easy because it has long been a social norm that we become what we take in through our vision, hearing, and other senses. In this way, the foundations of economics become integrated with the workings of the media by making it possible to predict the latter’s effect in society through its varying forms and elements.
Because of the said benefits from media exposure, individuals become more attracted and even addicted to various forms of media and this becomes manifested in the type of role models they look up to, the type of information they become interested in, the reactions and emotions they exude in different situations, as well as the amount of time that they spend exposed to the form of media that they prefer. Such an addiction to the different forms of media also present a significant scenario in which the consumers’ demand for their preferred form of media remains insatiable despite its continuous and ever increasing supply.
This ever present and increasing demand is perceived by media producers as opportunities for the industry’s gains, thus more forms of entertainment and extensive coverage on popular topics are created, as well as portals by which one could access the flowing supply of media. The study of the economics of media is derived using several methodologies, such as field work, laboratory experiments, and theorization.
These methodologies have been conducted to either challenge or further establish the assumptions on how concepts in economics are applied in the widespread role and influence of media in the society. Results of such studies show that the easily derived assumption that media influences all actions and preferences of an individual may not be true for all behaviors after all. This paper shall discuss several forms of media, incidences in which they create an impact on the lifestyle of individuals and in which they do not affect human behavior at all, unlike what the previous assumptions imply.
MEDIA AND THE NON-STANDARD HUMAN BEHAVIOR Through time, media has evolved from a tool utilized to organize and disseminate information, to means by which perceptions are molded, public views are directed, and actions are motivated. For such a powerful force, however, media is not always the perfect tool and may therefore not always represent what is standard or factual. In fact, media can be biased most of the time, and this most often occurs in cases when there is a conflict of interest.
The conflict of interest referred to in this context pertains to the use of information that benefits media producers or allows them to preserve certain preferred conditions, as opposed to actual information or truths present out there that may have the potential damaging effects on their operations and gainful opportunities. Cain, Loewenstein and Moore (2005) aptly defines conflict of interest as that which occurs “…when individuals’ professional responsibilities diverge from their personal interests”.
The media producers referred to here are, generally, all individuals involved in the organization and dissemination of information, from field researchers to financiers of the production, to the individuals actually presenting the information to the public. In the context of conflict of interest, the media producers’ professional responsibility to present the truth and facts are not in line with their personal goals, such as when facts may damage their organization’s image or a certain figure that they support.