In the present day in age television plays a larger role in contributing to peoples overall lifestyles than it did a few decades ago. Since the advent of television, its technology and capability to entice a viewer has grown exponentially. With a cornucopias amount of shows that can be watched, television presents an aspect that didn’t exist in the past; addiction. Society is inevitably drawn to the onslaught of televised programing, but is that a bad thing? As television continues to advance many shows have correspondingly advanced alongside them, producing more cognitively advanced shows, challenging the viewer on an intellectual standpoint.
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Steven Johnson a credited author and popular culture media analyst goes against the common perception of television in his article Watching TV Makes you Smarter. The common perception of television suggest that television gives the viewer a skewed reality, whereas Johnson suggests that today’s television shows are mentally stimulating and are capable of challenging ones cognitive intelligence. Whereas Authors Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi both credited authors and college professors, Kubey being a director of the center for media studies at Rutgers University, and Csikszentmihalyi the C.S. and D.J. Davidson professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University, state in their article Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor that television is nothing short of a drug. Serving as society’s addiction to the “light box”. Through the distinctive tone used by each author, they are able to establish a connection with the reader, building up their ethos. In Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi article, they appeal to a more academic audience with their abundant use of logos. With the style Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi take clearly dictates their academic tone through their use of specific details and diction. Johnson accomplishes to ascertain an audacious tone regarding his topic. He manages to build ethos through his reliance on pathos while enticing the reader. In the two articles Johnson as well as Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi establish contrasting tones, which allow the message to be highlighted within the work through the usage of the author’s details, and diction. Due to the broad audience of Johnson’s article the audacious tone taken enables logos to be built through pathos allowing the readers to connect to the message at hand. Kubey’s and Csikszentmihalyi’s article concentrates towards the perspective of the academic audience encompassed by the effect of television addiction, the academic and proficient tone built by the collection of logos sanctions the audience to associate connections among points of the topic. Irrelevant by the diverse usage of tone within the articles, the message is portrayed efficiently due to the writer’s acknowledgment of the articles particular audience and context in mind as well as the usage of certain diction and details.
Kubey’s and Csikszentmihalyi’s article “Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor”, clearly establishes the distinctive academic tone taken by the two authors. Both coming from creditable educational backgrounds it is no surprise that their superior dialect is reflected in their writing. The writers reinforce their academic tone through their use of specific diction with the usage of phrases such as “dysphoric rumination” (125). The term the authors used in their article describes the viewer’s generalized feeling of distress when a television screen goes blank. With the use if complex diction the authors are instituting this intelligence and academic tone dictating throughout their article.
By providing viable examples of the topic at hand the authors are capable of conveying certain thoughts to their targeted academic audience through the usage of their details. The authors use several details regarding different statistical and scientific examples.
To study people’s reactions to Television, researchers have undertaken laboratory experiments in which they have monitored the brain waves (using an electroencephalograph, or EEG), skin resistance or heart rate of people watching television. (125)
Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi use details that are scientifically proven through scientific experiments with distinctive variables. Their details are relevant to their tone by demonstrating their use of academic and concrete sources to verify their claims that were made regarding television addiction. Through the usage of multifarious diction and details that clearly show an academic standpoint, the authors can be seen targeting a more sophisticated audience with the use of an academic tone.
Authors Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi are both reputable candidates in their resected fields of studies. Both are college professors and have credited themselves with experience in their educational endeavors. Having said that the two authors have creditable backgrounds the Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi establish ethos. Through their usage of an abundance of logos the authors are able to build ethos in their articles. Catering to a more academic audience the authors ensure to provide creditable sources to establish their ethos:
Gary A. Stein of the University of Chicago collected fascinating individual accounts of families whose sets have broken this back in the day when households generally had only one set: “The family walked around like chicken without a head.” “It was terrible. We did nothing, my husband and I talked.” “Screamed constantly. Children bothered me, and my nerves were on edge. Tried to interest them in games, but impossible. TV is part of them”. (128)
With details such as this one used throughout the text the authors bring in a cornucopias amount of logos into their article. By doing so they are substantially constructing this ethos by not only bringing credible sources themselves but by interoperating in in the context of their topic.
In Johnson’s article “Watching TV Makes You Smarter”, he creates an audacious tone by going against what is commonly believed. What Johnson is trying to do is convey a certain aspect to a topic that hasn’t been given much thought before. By establishing his own perspective of the topic Johnson is able to continue his claims through his usage of details
For decades we’ve worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a path declining steadily by the lowest-common-denominatorâ€¦. But as 24 episodes suggest, the exact opposite is happening: the culture is getting more cognately demanding, not less. (133)
As Johnson continues on in his essay he is trying to institute a connection with is audience. Through the concept of pathos Johnson try to familiarize the audience with television shows that the reader can relate to such as “24, E.R., The Sopranos, The West Wing, and shows like bonanza” (132-136). Thru an establishing factor like this Johnson enables himself to make a viable and plausible connection with his audience bring them closer to his argument so they can relate it to themselves.
In making a relation with the audience and connecting with them the author is allowed to use his logic to build an understanding of the author’s viewpoints.
I believe that the Sleeper Curve is the single most important new force altering the mental development of young people today, and I believe it is largely a force for good: enhancing our cognitive faculties, not dumbing them down (133).
With an underlining aspect of pathos Johnson is capable of bringing in logos to support his claim mentioned in his article. By having established a connection with the reader he is able to promote his thoughts through logos.
In the two articles Johnson as well as Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi establish contrasting tones, which allow the message to be highlighted within the work through the usage of the author’s details, and diction. Due to the broad audience of Johnson’s article the audacious tone taken enables logos to be built through pathos allowing the readers to connect to the message at hand. Kubey’s and Csikszentmihalyi’s article concentrates towards the perspective of the academic audience encompassed by the effect of television addiction, the academic and proficient tone built by the collection of logos sanctions the audience to associate connections among points of the topic. Irrelevant by the diverse usage of tone within the articles, the message is portrayed efficiently due to the writer’s acknowledgment of the articles particular audience and context in mind as well as the usage of certain diction and details. In the examples that were provided, it can be seen that authors Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi as well as Johnson have done a sufficient job at conveying their arguments in a selective style of writing. Through their use of rhetorical appeals, and the different tones present in the articles, the authors can target and appeal to a certain audience.
Robert Kubey, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. “Television Addition Is No Mere Metaphor”. Common Culture. 7th ed. Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, 2010. 123-131. Print.
Steven Johnson. “Watching TV Makes You Smarter”. Common Culture. 7th ed. Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, 2010. 131-144. Print.
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