Active and Passive Audience Definition, Theory, Differences & Examples. Difference between an active and passive audience. Example of Active and Passive Audiences. Finally, what is the Active and Passive Audience Theory?
Definition of Active and Passive Audience
Active audiences refer to those people who receive media information actively and make sense of the messages based on their social and personal contexts. Thus, they listen to the media messages rather than hearing them only. However, active audiences receive media information actively, but the act of receiving media information is unintentional. So, active audiences pay full attention to receive information and interpret them to give feedback.
Examples of Active Audience
For example, people are the active audience who comment on social media content to express opinions.
Another example, based on the story shared in the example of the active and passive audience below, Ela is an active audience who scrutinizes the message before accepting them.
Characteristic of Active audiences
Active audiences are actively involved in listening carefully to give an opinion; therefore, they are a complicated and critical thinker. Additionally, they have good schemata.
Passive Audiences refer to those people who watch and observe the media information without making sense. Hence, they are recognized as inactive receivers. Passive audiences have low motivation to process information, low ability to process information and focus on simple cues (e.g., appearances instead of content)
Examples of Active Audience
For example, People who are active in social media do not like to comment on social media content.
Another example, based on the story shared in the example of the active and passive audience below, Bela is a passive audience that accepts the message without challenging them.
Characteristics of Passive audiences
The Passive audience is inactively involved in hearing something rather than listening. Passive audiences merely observe the message; therefore, they are cognitive misers who are lazy to think.
Examples of Active and Passive audiences
For example, Ela and Bela are siblings who are watching the news on television. The news reporter is providing tips on how to stay healthy. Ela tries to listen to the news reporter’s tips actively to follow them. Then, she asks her sister Bela to be confirmed that do these tips really work or not? In contrast, Bela accepts those tips easily. Here, Ela is an active audience who is a critical thinker. Therefore, she focuses on the news presenter’s dress, speaking style, and the meaning of messages carefully.
On the other hand, Bela watches the news without focusing on the content of the message. Here, Bela is a passive audience who is a cognitive miser. Therefore, she does not focus on interpreting the message; she only focuses on the news reporter’s appearance inactively. As a result, she believes the news reporter’s tips easily and becomes manipulated.
Difference Between Active and Passive Audiences
|Active audiences interpret and respond to the media texts||In contrast, Passive audiences merely observe the media text.|
|They decode and evaluate the message.||On the other hand, they accept the message without evaluating it.|
|Active audiences form opinions and provide feedback.||The passive audiences accept the opinions only.|
|Active audiences pay full attention to listen to the message.||In contrast, passive audiences pay little attention to hear the message.|
|For example, Ela scrutinizes messages received from the news reporter rather than accepts them directly.||For example, Bela accepts messages received from the news reporter without scrutinizing them.|
|The message cannot affect the active audience directly.||The message affects the passive audience directly.|
|It is difficult to manipulate the active audience.||On the other hand, it is easy to manipulate the passive audience.|
|Active audiences are critical thinkers.||The passive audiences are cognitive misers.|
|They have good schemata.||They are lazy to think.|
|The active audience is involved in listening.||However, the passive audience is involved in hearing.|
Active Audience Theory
Active audience theory explains that active media audiences do not just accept media information inactively; rather, they interpret the message based on their personal and social contexts.
The active audience theories are the Hypodermic needle model of communication, the Encoding/decoding model of communication, the Uses and gratifications theory, the Two-step flow theory, and so on.
The hypodermic needle model proposed that the targeted information is directly received by the audience or receiver. It also shows that the passive audiences accept the message fully.
The encoding/decoding model of communication represents that media information is created, distributed, and interpreted through a theoretical approach.
Uses and gratifications theory shows a strategic approach to explaining how and why people or audiences actively find specific media to meet specific needs. It also represents an audience-centered strategy to perceive the process of mass communication.
The two-step flow of communication model argues that audiences accept information and believe media information more if the opinion leaders deliver the message. So, the audience gets influenced by mass media if the opinion leader supports to disseminates the information.