Two-step Flow of Communication

The two-step flow of communication model hypothesizes that ideas flow from mass media to opinion leaders, and from them to a wider population. It was first introduced by sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld et al. in 1944 and elaborated by Elihu Katz and Lazarsfeld in 1955 and subsequent publications. Lowery and DeFleur argue the book was much more than a simple research report: it was an effort to interpret the authors' research within a framework of conceptual schemes, theoretical issues, and research findings drawn broadly from the scientific study of small groups Unlike the hypodermic needle model, which considers mass media effects to be direct, the two-step flow model stresses human agency.

According to Lazarsfeld and Katz, mass media information is channeled to the "masses" through opinion leadership. The people with most access to media, and having a more literate understanding of media content, explain and diffuse the content to others.

Based on the two-step flow hypothesis, the term “personal influence” came to illustrate the process intervening between the media’s direct message and the audience’s reaction to that message. Opinion leaders tend to be similar to those they influence—based on personality, interests, demographics, or socio-economic factors. These leaders tend to influence others to change their attitudes and behaviors. The two-step theory refined the ability to predict how media messages influence audience behavior and explains why certain media campaigns do not alter audiences’ attitudes. This hypothesis provided a basis for the multi-step flow theory of mass communication.

Read more about Two-step Flow Of Communication:  Lazarsfeld and Katz, Criticisms

Other articles related to "flow, communication, flows":

Two-step Flow Of Communication - Criticisms
... The original two-step flow hypothesis—that ideas flow from the media to opinion leaders and then to less active sections of the population—has been criticized and negated by myriad ... and Danielson assert, “we would urge that the Katz-Lazarsfeld two-stage flow hypothesis, as a description of the initial information process, be applied to mass communication with caution” ... They find substantial evidence that initial mass media information flows directly to people on the whole and is not relayed by opinion leaders ...

Famous quotes containing the word flow:

    And if blood of Martyrs is to flow on the steps
    We must first build the steps;
    And if the Temple is to be cast down
    We must first build the Temple.
    —T.S. (Thomas Stearns)