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Efficacy constructs play central roles in health, political, computer-mediated, environmental, and mass communication research. In this review, we sought to organize and evaluate the efficacy concepts that have accumulated in media effects scholarship. First, we characterize how media effects researchers have studied efficacy constructs, both as perceptions and as message features. We discuss key conceptual and methodological issues for each efficacy construct. Second, we offer a conceptual matrix that puts prominent efficacy constructs in conversation with one another. We conclude with recommendations for media scholars studying efficacy. Ultimately, our review underscores the need for greater clarity and consistency in the study of efficacy as a predictor, outcome, mechanism, and moderator of media use and exposure.
Annals of the International Communication Association – Taylor & Francis
Published: Jan 2, 2023
Keywords: Efficacy; measurement; media effects; jingle fallacy; jangle fallacy
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