The second theory I will discuss is the Theory of Selective Influence. It is also called the conditional effects model. This model, unlike the Theory of Uniform Influences, states that the media can play a significant role in changing behavior, but the strength of the media’s message is interpreted different by different people, which can lead them to two separate conclusions while consuming any type of the same medium.
The conditional effect model uses variables like gender, age, ethnicity, etc to measure the effect of certain mediated messages on different groups of people. The greater number of “risk factors,” like age and gender, the stronger the effect of the message will be.
The theory of conditional effects takes into the different kinds of variables or “risk-factors” that make every person different. The risk factors determine what group is affected more or less by the mediated message.
Girls are subject to mediated messages of perfection. A girl that is has more risk factors for an eating disorder might interpret a photo of a stick thin model as perfect, flawless and society’s expectation for her looks. Another girl who does not have those risk factors might view the image and see it for the creation it is, not reality.
This theory is more effective than the previous because it allows for conditional elements and traits that make humans, humans.