Defining the Cultivation Theory


What is the Cultivation Theory?


Cultivation Theory suggests that exposure to television will cultivate a viewers perception of reality. From infancy, television cultivates people by planting images in their minds of what is socially acceptable. Though cultivation theory suggests heavy viewers are most affected, light viewers receive a ripple effect from the heavy viewers due to their influence on culture. In other words, people act based on what they see and hear.


George Gerbner spearheaded the investigation of television in 1967 to understand how people are impacted by what they see. The assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy are a few of the issues during the late 60’s that prompted the need for research on the effects of television.


Television is a prime source of the media and marketing, these things are all integrated within the medium of television and we are cultivated by what is shown. Whether it's a violent crime, police brutality, or a new weight loss pill, people are cultivated by what they see.



Information and Data Organized by D2J3 Spring 2008

Jonathan Jeong • Daniel Tompos • Johnathan Saller • Jeremy Williams • Dina Yacoub