Uses and gratifications as media choice

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



College of Business


The uses and gratifications tradition has been used as a framework for studying audiences’ motives for media use for over 60 years (Rubin, 1981). Unlike other mass communication paradigms that emphasize either media content or media effects, uses and gratifications researchers focus on media use and assume users to be active, purposeful, and selective in their media choices. Understanding why we use media or why we are motivated to choose particular types of content may offer some insight into understanding how we process media and, ultimately, how it affects us. Specifically, the now classic uses and gratifications précis seeks to understand

the social and psychological origins of needs which generate expectations of the mass media and other sources which lead to differential patterns of media exposure (or engagement in other activities) resulting in needs gratifications and other consequences, perhaps mostly unintended ones.

Publication Title

Media Choice: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview