SELECTIVITY IN COMMUNICATION
With the development of mass media and the exploitation of these media by advertisers, politicians educators and others, we are bombarded with communications more than ever before. A person forced to attend to all available communications would have time for little else and would run the danger of becoming completely disoriented. Fortunately, we are equipped to make a selection from the stream of messages to which we are exposed.
You can observe selectivity at work if you perform a little experiment yourself. Try to write one-line summaries or headlines of stories that you remember from the last time you read a newspaper or saw a TV news program. Your list will probably be a small one. Ask yourself, “Why did I remember these stories?” A second question could be, “Why did I not remember or pay attention to the other stories?”
Each person has different methods of handling the flood of information that comes their way. We can group the major explanations of selectivity into three categories
(a) Consistency theories
(b) Utility theories-Uses and Gratification
(c) Availability theories
All of them are based on aspects of human personality and behaviour and some lay emphasis on certain aspects while others lay stress on yet others.