PhD defense Katarina Panic

Date: from Wednesday 2 April 2014 to Wednesday 2 April 2014
Het Panc, Zaal Rector Blancquaert (Onderbergen 1, 9000 Gent)


Since the arrival of the digital computer and the Internet, an enormous shift has taken
place in the global media landscape. Especially the last two decades are characterized by
an ascent of ‘new digital media’ such as the Internet, mobile (smart) phones, interactive
digital television, computer games, tablets and so on. Today, new media are so
omnipresent in people’s lives that they have changed the way they think, act and
communicate (Creeber & Martin, 2009). 
For this dissertation, the most important implication of contemporary media is the fact
that they give rise to a context that is fundamentally different fromthe traditional mass
media landscape. Resulting from a series oftechnological evolutions and innovations,
new media differ fundamentallyfrom traditional ones in terms of interactivity, speed and information load, which may in turn have a profound impact on the way people process information in this new environment. If this is the case, the question arises whether we need to reconsider some well-known traditional theories of persuasive communication.

The main goal of this dissertation is to investigate whether todays new media environment affects ourinsight in some well-established and frequently used theoretical frameworks in the field of persuasive communication. More specifically, this dissertation investigates the effects of new media in a social marketing context.Looking into the concept of new media, and what it can mean for the processing of persuasive information in a social marketingcontext, three main theoretical models are distinguished, each related to one or more characteristics ofnew media. These models are the Extended Parallel Processing Model(EMMP; Witte, 1992), the Persuasion Knowledge Model(Friestad & Wright, 1994) and the congruence theory (sometimes also referred to as the Schema Congruity Theory; Mandler, 1982).


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