In theories and research concerning the potential influence of the mass media on audiences and/or society, subtle and perhaps indirect consequences only apparent over an extended period of time, as in the so-called slow drip effect. Schramm's concerns, for instance, included the possibility of ‘the gradual building up of pictures of the world from what the mass media choose to report of it; the gradual homogenization of images and behaviours over large populations, as a result of the universality of the mass media.’ Such concerns can be related to the role of the mass media as agents in socialization, as also in social expectations theory. However, any such influences are very difficult to prove, and only in stances of extreme technological determinism would they be treated as extricable from the social processes in which media production and use are embedded. See alsoagenda setting; cultivation theory; effects; effects tradition; compareshort-term effects.
Subjects: Media Studies.