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Audience effect is the impact that a passive audience has on a subject performing a task. It was first formally noted in various psychology studies in the early 20th century. During some studies the presence of a passive audience facilitated the better performance of a simple task; while other studies show the presence of a passive audience inhibited the performance of a more difficult task or one that wasn't well practiced, possibly due to psychological pressure or stress.

History Edit

In 1965, Robert Zajonc proposed Drive theory as an explanation of the audience effect.

In a study conducted by MIT, donation rates increase with the presence of observers, and neuroimaging results revealed that activation in the ventral striatum before the same choice (“to donate” or “not donate”) was significantly effected by the presence of observers.[1]

Etiology Edit

Psychological systems should be designed to increase punishment which was shown by models that turn on individuals' cultivating reputations as moralistic punisher in response to one's decisions to punish will be known by others. The presence of an audience can cause an increase in moralistic punishment [2]


(Nature Dimensions) Edit

Fish Edit

The effect of an audience Is noticeable on intrasexual communication in male Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens. The occurrence of an audience could have effects on the behavior of the communicating animals and on signal evolution. According to a research on the presence of an audience of affected intra-sexual aggressive communication in this kind of male fighting fish, it was found that if the audience was a female, males increased the intensity of conspicuous displays that can be used in communication with both males and females and decreased highly aggressive displays that are solely directed to males. If the audience was a male of similar size, there was no significant change in the way in which males displayed. These results suggest the presence of an audience could be one reason that many long-range and conspicuous signals are often shaped to transmit information to both males and females. [3]

Budgerigars Birds Edit

Male budgerigars,Melopsittacus undulatus, socially monogamous birds, actively pursue extra-pair copulations while breeding in captive flocks. Males are significantly more likely to engage in extra-pair activity when their mates are not able to observe their behaviour, and the evidence suggests that a male's frequency of extra-pair activity is negatively related to his mate's reproductive success, as measured by nestling weight and number of fledglings.

A second experiment was designed to separate an audience effect phenomenon from alternative explanations such as time conflicts with mate guarding. Males were given the opportunity to court an extra-pair female both when their mates were present as a potential audience and with no audience present. In both conditions, mates were isolated from both the flock and the test male, removing the need and the opportunity to guard. Males were still significantly more likely to court extra-pair females when their mates could not see them, supporting the audience effect interpretation. It is suggested that female budgerigars may use mate fidelity in assessing male parental qualities. If so, males that court extra-pair females only when their mates cannot observe may avoid weakening an existing pair bond.[4]

PeacocksEdit

The Blue Peafowl is polygamous. The male Blue Peafowl struts around by spreading its tail feathers during the mating season to attract the female partner. The Indian Peacock has iridescent blue-green plumage. The upper tail coverts on its back are elongated and ornate with an eye at the end of each feather. These are the Peacock's display feathers. Peafowl are most notable for the male's extravagant display feathers which, despite actually growing from their back, are known as a 'tail' or train. This train in reality is not the tail but the enormously elongated upper tail coverts. The female plumage is a mixture of vibrant yellow, dark purple, deep red and iridescent blue, with the greenish-grey predominating. In the breeding season, females stand apart by lacking the long 'tail feathers' also known as train. Interestingly in the non-breeding season they can be distinguished from males by the green color of the neck as opposed to the blue on the males. The colors result from the micro-structure of the feathers and the resulting optical phenomena. The ornate train is believed to be the result of female sexual selection as males raised the feathers into a fan and quiver it as part of courtship display. Research suggests that peahens select males on the basis of their plumage. The plumage also is an indication of the health of the male. The audience effect of the peahens will enhance the showing off by the male.  Moreover, the audience effect applies when humans who wear colourful clothing will also stimulate the peacocks to show off the plumage through a competitive display of colours imagined by the peacocks.   [5]

ChickensEdit

Male chicken produce characteristic pulsatile calls upon discovering food and are more likely to call in the presence of a hen. Calling thus appears to be dependent upon food and to be modulated by social context. The relationships between food calling, food availability and courtship were examined in a laboratory setting. Subjects interacted with an unfamiliar hen and were then given access to food, using an instrumental conditioning procedure. In some control conditions, the males were tested alone, while in others food was unavailable. Food calling, sexual display and the rate at which males performed an operant response were measured. Call production increased dramatically when food first became available, both when a hen was present and when males were alone. This change in call rate did not occur during control trials without food. Sexual display was maximal when males were first placed in the test chamber with a hen present and declined exponentially thereafter. The presence of a hen had no effect on food calling during this period. Food calling was thus principally elicited by food stimuli and was not reliably associated with courtship behaviour. When a hen was present, males called at a higher rate following food presentations. In contrast the rate at which males worked to obtain food was unaffected by social context. The 'audience' effect therefore acts specifically to potentiate calling and is distinct from social facilitation.[6]

(Human Dimensions)Edit

Social Aspect Edit

Olympics Games and Sports Edit

The effect of an audience on the performance of an athlete cannot be neglected.  For instance, during the Olympic Games 2012, the relationship between audience and the performer is complex. It is determined by the interaction of particular factors pertaining in various situations.  The general effect of an audience is to stimulate the performance levels of participants and improve their participation. However, for some competitors, the audience might be a source of stress and anxiety. [7]

Also, the ‘audience effect’ is a change in behavior caused by someone else watching. This evidently includes a wide range of possible changes. Top athletes have been known to perform as ineptly as novices when they have the pressure of an audience. However, the opposite can also be true: having a crowd cheer on can make an athlete to achieve physical feats that would not have alone. [8] At home, player will increase the percentage to win. Their supporters are mainly their nations, with the same culture and ideology status, will enhance the home team players to win the game.

"There is plenty of research out there which says crowds have an effect on athlete performance," says Matt Jevon, a sports psychologist who works with stars in golf, motorsport, rugby and tennis. The majority of sport fans believe in the power of home advantage and reckon that the audience has the key role in that advantage. In footballing terms it is often referred to as the "12th Man", the power of the crowd to amplify the abilities of the home team and weaken the away team. Dutch club Feyenoord went as far as dedicating the number 12 shirt to the fans. And certain football stadiums are notorious to opposition fans because of the consistency of the noise generated by the crowd and the perceived difficulty in going there. "It is not really the crowd that has the biggest effect, it is a shot of testosterone when you are playing at home," says sports psychologist Sandy Wolfson. The testosterone boost starts happening even before the crowd arrive, and may relate to a sense of primitive territoriality. [9]

Office Edit

"When the cats are away, the mice will play." Performance of a person may be a bit different when noticing someone is watching. When a boss walks into a room, perhaps a staff will be more likely to do a better job.  Often without even knowing, behaviour of an individual may constantly change based on who is around at the time.

School Edit

From a study, the audience was transfixed by the volume of new ideas that were being applied at Westfields School. Great learning results through activities supported through the use of games, mobile technology, video, music technology and other specialised software. One great innovative idea was useful at engaging kids across the entire curriculum. Their learning activities are scaffolded through their own internet radio channel S'cool Radio. The children take turns in operating and hosting the radio channel, working in pairs. They take on the responsibility to write and produce their own shows, and in doing so they are able to reach out not only to their own peers (the radio shows are broadcast over public address systems during break times) and their parents, but also the wider community, and ultimately, to a worldwide audience. In effect, the process of activity can approach the 'hidden audience' effect.

Another study shows that the importance of providing an audience for young students who write essays or journals/ blogs, who then 'perform' their ideas and writing skills, receiving feedback from their peers. It is highly motivational to notice that there is audience. Performance levels are raised as extra effort is made. The meteoric success of Quadblogging lies in its organisation of 4 school clusters, which provide a guaranteed audience to read and comment on every post the children make. Evidence from earlier studies conducted in Plymouth in 2007 revealed that the 'hidden audience', teachers who read students' wiki content, encouraged them to raise their game in terms of improved academic writing, greater accuracy, deeper critical analysis and thinking, and a more polished presentational style. [10]

Family Edit

Generally, the elder kid among siblings will be more affected by the audience effect as they are more mature and they play the leading role in the family. There is a higher chance that they will perform better to be a role model to their brothers and sisters. Also, the elder kids will suffer from a greater hidden pressure because the elder children will have a higher expectations from their parents.

Infants Edit

There is evidence that smile production in 10-month-old infants is affected by the presence or absence of an audience for the facial display. The audience effect does not appear to be mediated by emotion. The evidence indicates that facial expressions are at least partly independent of emotion and partly dependent on a social-communicative context from a very early age.[11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

Internet Edit

Another interesting phenomenon in humans is how we change our behaviour based on what we want others to think of ourselves. Only have to click on a YouTube video and see some of the comments people put down in order to come to realisation that these individuals would not be nearly so rude if they were not hidden behind the shroud of anonymity. Whether admit it or not, people care about what others think of oneself to a certain degree. Psychologists call this ‘image score’. In experiments conducting with people, individuals are less likely to behave selfishly if others are watching who could be judging them. [17]

Political AspectEdit

Obama visits to Colorado 2012 Edit

Obama offered hugs, tears and sympathy to survivors of the shooting rampage and to families whose loved ones were shot dead during the premiere of new Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ at an Aurora theater in Denver, Colorado. The deadly rampage briefly silenced the acrimonious presidential contest, with both campaigns cutting short schedules and pulling advertising in Colorado out of respect for the dead and injured. But for Obama, the pause was to be short-lived. After his Colorado visit, he was to fly Reno, Nev., for a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, followed by a series of campaign fundraisers in California, Oregon and Washington state. Obama does not agree to passing the law of citizen obtaining a gun easily since the chaotic tragedy in July 2012 at Colorado. Audience effect is shown when Obama shows his concerns on the shooting rampage and the issue of gun control controversial issue. [18] [19]

Article 23 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong in 2003 Edit

Moreover, a sensitive issue or a political demonstration bearing an audience effect will affect the decision-making of politicians.  For instance, Article 23 of the Basic Law requires Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to enact laws on its own to prohibit acts including treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government of China, and theft of state secrets. This became a subject of considerable controversy when the Government of the HKSAR attempted to introduce legislation to implement the Article in 2003. The proposed legislation gave much power to the police, such as not requiring a search warrant to search a home of a "suspected terrorist". This has led to public outcry, and resulted in massive demonstrations on 1 July 2003, where it is estimated that over half a million protestors took to the streets. After the demonstrations, the government indefinitely shelved its drafted law.  This is a very good example showing the audience effect on politics. [20]

Military Aspect Edit

The War in Afghanistan (2001–present), the Northern Alliance which includes the soldiers from the United States (US), Australia, United Kingdom (UK) and the Afghan United Front are linked to have war with Afghanistan from October 2001 to present. Soldiers are recruited from the Alliance countries. Audience effect is a critical issue to boost the morale of the armies. As their circumstances are reported frequently by the media, families of the soldiers can see them fighting for their country boldly. Soldiers will have a greater potential and tend to dedicate to their country and more willing to sacrifice their lives. [21] [22] [23] [24]

Media Aspect Edit

Audience activity in the media transaction may function to promote or to deter media effects. Facilitative activity includes selectivity, attention, and involvement. Inhibitory activity includes avoidance, distraction, and skepticism. The authors expected instrumental media motivation, selectivity, attention, and involvement to be positive predictors of satisfaction, parasocial interaction, and cultivation effects from watching daytime television serials. They expected avoidance, distraction, and skepticism to be negative predictors of those effects. Three path analyses largely supported their expectations. The authors observed direct links between instrumental motivation and media effects, and indirect links that operated through audience activity, such variations in audience activity help explain how and why people respond differently to media messages.[25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] It is suggested that there is lack of clarity as to whether the media have effects is that researchers have proceeded from the wrong theoretical conceptualizations to study the wrong questions. The dependency model of media effects is presented as a theoretical alternative in which the nature of the tripartite audience-media-society relationship is assumed to most directly determine many of the effects that the media have on people and society. The present paper focuses upon audience dependency on media information resources as a key interactive condition for alteration of audience beliefs, behavior, or feelings as a result of mass communicated in formation. Audience dependency is said to be high in societies in which the media serve many central information functions and in periods of rapid social change or pervasive social conflict. The dependency model is further elaborated and illustrated by examination of several cognitive, affective, and behavioral effects which may be readily analyzed and researched from such theoretical framework.[32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40]


See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. Izuma, Keise, Saito, Daisuke N.; Sadato, Norihiro (2009). Processing of the Incentive for Social Approval in the Ventral Striatum during Charitable Donation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience X:Y. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. URL accessed on 22 April 2012.
  2. Audience effects on moralistic punishment.
  3. Doutrelant, Claire, Peter K. McGregor a and Rui F. Oliveira (2001). The effect of an audience on intrasexual communication in male Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens. Behavioral Ecology 12 (3): 283-286.
  4. BALTZf, ALIZA P, ANNE B. CLARK (May 1997). Extra-pair courtship behaviour of male budgerigars and the effect of an audience. Department of Biological Sciences, Binghamton University 53 (5): 1017–1024.
  5. (17). “Fact Sheets Indian Peafowl.”. Smithsonian Institution..
  6. Food calling and audienceeffects in male chickens, Gallus gallus: their relationships to food availability, courtship and social facilitation.
  7. Audience effect.
  8. A, Pinto, Oates, J., Grutter, A. & Bshary, R. (2011). Cleaner Wrasses Labroides dimidiatus Are More Cooperative in the Presence of an Audience.. Current Biology..
  9. Does the crowd affect the result?.
  10. (2008). The Good, the Bad and the Wiki.. British Journal of Educational Technology.
  11. Jones, Susan Scanlon, Kimberly Collins and Hye-Won Hong (January 1991). An Audience Effect on Smile Production in 10-Month-Old Infants. Psychology 353, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405 2: 45-49.
  12. (May 2008). Social Feedback to Infants' Babbling Facilitates Rapid Phonological Learning. Psychological Science 19: 515-523.
  13. (November 2005). Do Facial Movements Express Emotions or Communicate Motives?. Pers Soc Psychol Rev 9: 278-311.
  14. (July 2004). Self-Presentations of Happiness: Sincere, Polite, or Cautious?. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 30: 905-914.
  15. (January 1992). Unobservable Facial Actions and Emotion. Psychological Science 3: 28-33.
  16. (May 1991). When's a Smile a Smile? Or How to Detect a Message by Digitizing the Signal. Psychological Science 2: 166-172.
  17. A., Pinto, Oates, J., Grutter, A. & Bshary, R. (2011). Cleaner Wrasses Labroides dimidiatus Are More Cooperative in the Presence of an Audience.. Current Biology..
  18. He Really Cares: Obama To Pay Visit to Colorado … On Way to West Coast Fundraisers.
  19. Obama visits Colorado, says shooting was an ‘evil act’.
  20. Wong, Yiu-Chung. One Country, Two Systems in Crisis: Hong Kong's Transformation Since the Handover.. Lexington books. (ISBN 0-7391-0492-6).
  21. 2012 UNHCR Country operations profile--Afghanistan.
  22. includeonly>Ed., Vulliamy. ""After the September Eleventh Terrorist attacks on America, "It's time for war, Bush and Blair tell Taliban – We're ready to go in – PM|Planes shot at over Kabul"". London:", Retrieved 2 August 2011.. Retrieved on October 7 2011.
  23. includeonly>Vira, Varun. ""Pakistan: Violence versus Stability: A Net Assessment." Center for Strategic and International Studies,". Retrieved on July 25 2011.
  24. (18). "Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)". NATO.
  25. Kim, jungkee, Alan M. Rubin (April 1997). The Variable Influence of Audience Activity on Media Effects. Communication Research 24: 107-135.
  26. (1). From television to the film set: Korean drama Daejanggeum drives Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and Thai audiences to screen-tourism 74: 423-442.
  27. (March 2004). Pleasure Reading: Associations Between Young Women's Sexual Attitudes and their Reading of Contemporary Women's Magazines. Psychology of Women Quarterly 28: 48-58.
  28. (August 2003). Assessing Causality in the Cognitive Mediation Model: A Panel Study of Motivations, Information Processing, and Learning During Campaign 2000. Communication Researc 30: 359-386.
  29. (October 2001). The Cognitive Mediation Model of Learning From the News: Evidence From Nonelection, Off-Year Election, and Presidential Election Contexts. Communication Research 28: 571-601.
  30. (June 2001). Parents Versus Peers: Exploring the Significance of Peer Mediation of Antisocial Television. Communication Research 28: 251-274.
  31. (April 1999). Identifying and Explaining the Relationship Between Parental Mediation and Children's Aggression. Communication Research 26: 124-143.
  32. Ball-Rokeach, S.J., M.L. DeFleur (January 1976). A Dependency Model of Mass-Media Effects. Washington State University 3: 3-21.
  33. (July 2012). Between Usefulness and Legitimacy: Media Coverage of Governmental Intervention during the Financial Crisis and Selected Effects. The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 17: 294-315.
  34. (May 2012). Exploring emotional expressions on YouTube through the lens of media system dependency theory. New Media & Society 14: 457-475.
  35. (February 2012). Willingness to Help Following the Sichuan Earthquake: Modeling the Effects of Media Involvement, Stress, Trust, and Relational Resources. Communication Research 39: 3-25.
  36. (October 2010). No news from the East? Predicting patterns of coverage of Eastern Europe in selected German newspapers 72: 465-485.
  37. (April 2010). The mortality muzzle: The effect of death thoughts on attitudes toward national security and a watchdog press. Journalism 11: 185-202.
  38. (November 2009). Understanding public support for stem cell research: media communication, interpersonal communication and trust in key actors. Public Understanding of Science 18: 704-718.
  39. (May 2009). We were all there': Remembering America in the anniversary coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Memory Studies 2: 235-253.
  40. (April 2009). The Democratic Effects of the Internet, 1994--2003: A Cross-National Inquiry of 152 Countries 71: 115-136.
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