Psychology and Economics
Vigna’s (2007) study challenges the standard model of decision-making in three respects. One notes that unlike in previous assumptions, individuals have non-standard preferences in that their choices are not entirely consistent through time, they may be willing to take risks for their choices, and they may select options based on how it favors certain social affinities. Second is that their decisions may be based on non-standard beliefs that are not entirely accurate due to the individual’s overconfidence and projection tendencies.
Lastly, individuals have their own systematic biases in decision-making that may involve emotions, situational conditions, perceptions on social pressures, etc. Due to these non-standard traits, it is not always possible for individuals to act based on rational expectations, such as those predicted models and theories. In some cases, they may take the rational predicted path but in some cases, they may deviate. As a rule though, an individual’s unique psyche drives them to stray from behavioral standards in favor of conditions and outcomes that benefit their needs and preferences.
So in a way, it is still true that their preferences and utilitarian nature govern their decision-making process, and the expectation that their behaviors are easily manipulated by external influences, such as the media, does not always apply. Thus in reference to the case study of Fox News and the election outcomes, it may be true that some viewers were swayed to the Republican vote but these individuals represent a small portion, the Persuasion-prone, of the majority.
It may be understood that although pressures and media influence abound, the strong preference of the majority for a Democratic government has won over. The majority who may have been temporarily affected by the biased news were able to uphold their own beliefs and preferences and vote for the Democratic Party. The news, under the manipulation of a biased organization, may create images of prosperity and security under the Republican rule but it is the public’s own personal bias towards Democratic ruling that wins against all odds. Media violence and the viewers’ response
Like the news, movies have evolved drastically through time in the manner by which it is created, presented to the public, and with the types of content that it brings forth to the viewers. Great debates throughout history have been launched on the kind of message and degree of morality or immorality that certain movies produce for the viewers’ consumption. Thus, similar with how bias by accounting firms were dealt with, boards were organized to moderate the amount of obscenity displayed when films are shown to the public and to control the age of viewers through the use of movie ratings.