In the theory of media effects, one-step flow theory is concerned with the communication processes that directly influence the audience. The theory relates to a unidirectional message flow in which the content is transmitted directly from sender to receiver without any mediation or filter. Put simply, the theory states that media can have a direct conditioning effect on what people think and do, since there is no mediator or opinion leader in the one-step flow process. This is also referred to as the hypodermic needle model or magic bullet theory of communication. On this view, the process of information flow directly contradicts the two-step flow theory, which emphasizes the influential role of opinion leaders in communication.

At one level, the basis of one-step flow theory ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles