Uses and Gratification Theory essay

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Many people engage in different hobbies in order to gratify themselves. The Uses and Gratification Theory states that people are agents who make conscious choices among different media, and they do this to gratify themselves; they use different media to divert them from problems, to gain information, to alleviate loneliness and so forth. For instance, a person who chooses to watch action movies will say that these movies give him/her a chance to enjoy and feel good about the movie or him/herself. Therefore, a person’s choice of a television program will be directed towards that person’s need to gain gratification.

Significance of Uses and Gratification Theory

A person who watches legal fiction on television usually identifies with the heroes of these programs. These programs are produced in a highly intellectual manner, and they help a person to have high aims in terms of viewing justice in the world. The choice goes hand in hand with the gratification formula since a person who watches these programs does not do so in vain. According to the gratification theory, people derive pleasure from engaging in some chosen programs. Therefore, watching legal fiction makes a person derive pleasure in the way that justice is delivered. The person follows a legal program, and identifies with main characters, lawyers, the accused or even the defendants in a court system. The main aim is to see the final decision of the case in question and in the end this brings pleasure to a person watching. This is in line with the gratification theory; choosing this program gives enjoyment to a person, and the person keeps watching this program because he/she knows that it will gratify him. A person cannot keep going back to a program that he/she does not like, and this shows that gratification theory is always in play.

Apart from deriving pleasure from different programs, a person also gets a lot of information from them. For instance, a person watching legal programs will get a lot of legal jargon (vocabulary), and this will assist him when conversing with people in the law profession. A person also gets information on how various crimes are handled. The investigators, especially, do a lot of amazing jobs, and this helps a person to gain knowledge on the means of getting information. According to gratification theory, it also gives people the use of media to alleviate their moods. A person chooses a media that will alleviate his/her moods; therefore, a person who watches legal films and programs will feel good after watching those. For instance, if a person is angry, that person will choose a program that alleviates his/her mood and the anger will fade. Gratification comes about as a result of satisfaction that a person gets after engaging in a certain activity; thus, if a program does not satisfy the viewer, then the program is not in line with the theory of gratification, and a person will not watch it.

A person will also seek for other forms of entertainment in case the program that gratifies him/her most is not available. Therefore, a person might seek to read legal magazines or legal fiction to get the feeling that he/she gets from watching the program. These programs and related forms of media help a person elevate his/her self esteem, and this will be satisfying for a person. Such programs also help a person relax and escape hurdles of real life. This is why a person enjoys doing things that are not part of his/her everyday life.

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