COMM 125: Introduction to Communication Behavior - University of Pennsylvania (2017)

Course Description

This course introduces students to the theoretical models and research methods used to study communication and behavior, with a focus on mass media processes and effects. Topics include: the social construction of meaning through communication, effects of media violence, children’s responses to educational television, the political impact of the news, and the influence of social media on social relationships.

The aim of the course is to provide students with (1) a general understanding of research on attitudinal and behavioral aspects of mediated communication, and (2) the basic conceptual tools needed to critically evaluate the assumptions, theories, and empirical evidence supporting conclusions about communication behavior and media effects. The paradigms of critical and cultural studies are reviewed briefly; however, the class focuses on social scientific approaches to understanding communication behavior.