Uses and Gratifications Theory
What is the Uses and Gratifications Theory?
The Uses and Gratifications Theory is a Mass Communication theory that focuses on the needs, motives, and gratifications of media users. The theory states that media consumers are passive consumers of mass communications; rather, they play an active role in media consumption.
Uses and gratifications is a media user-centered theory of media use and effects. As a media theory, uses and gratifications posit that people choose from among media and other communication channels to satisfy their needs and desires. Such selection and use of communication channels are influenced by communicators' motives and their social and psychological background characteristics. Further, media users are seen as variably active in their media-use behavior. In short, media effects are seen as the result of the joint influence of media users' background characteristics, motives, activity, and media selection/exposure working in tandem.