Puganesh Selvaraj @ Pugaa
27 September 2010
Introduction & Maslow’s Hierarchy of
Historical Development of U&G
Latest: Facebook and MySpace are
youths favorite!
Introduction & Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
U & G arose originally in the 1940s and
underwent a revival in the 1970s and 1980s
Propounded by Kartz, E. in 1970 – how people
use media for gratification of their needs.
Abraham Maslow create Maslow’s Hierarchy
of Needs – propound that people choose what
they want to see and read and different media
compete to satisfy each individuals needs.
There are 5 levels in the form of pyramid with
the basic needs such as food and clothing at
the base line and the higher order at top of
The fulfillment of each level needs leads to the
individual looking to satisfy the next level of
needs and so on till he reaches the superiormost need of self-actualization.
Physiological Needs — water, breath, food,
cloth and etc
Safety Needs —security of employment,
property, health, resources and etc
Social Needs — family, friendship and love
Esteem Needs — self esteem, achievement and
Self Actualization — This level of need
pertains to what a person's full potential is
and realizing that potential.
U & G : Type of Gratification
Information – we want to satisfy our
Personal Identity – people look for models to
benchmark their behaviors;
Integration & Social Interaction – use the
media to find out the circumstances of other
people; and
Entertainment – relaxation.
Historical Development of U&G
Beginning in the 1940s, researchers began
seeing patterns under the perspective of the
uses and gratifications theory in radio
In 1948, Lasswell introduced a four-functional
interpretation of the media on a macrosociological level
Media served the functions of surveillance,
correlation, entertainment and cultural
transmission for both society and individuals.
In 1972, Blumler and Katz extended Lasswell's four group
25 years later. These included four primary factors for which
one may use the media:
Diversion—Escape from routine and problems; an
emotional release.
Personal Relationships —Social utility of information in
conversation; substitution of media for companionship.
Personal Identity or Individual Psychology —Value
reinforcement or reassurance; self-understanding, reality
Surveillance—Information about factors which might
affect one or will help one do or accomplish something
Katz, Gurevitch and Haas (1973) saw the mass
media as a means by which individuals connect or
disconnect themselves with others
Cognitive needs —Acquiring information,
knowledge and understanding.
Affective needs —Emotion, pleasure, feelings.
Personal integrative needs —Credibility,
stability, status.
Social integrative needs —Family and friends.
Tension release needs —Escape and diversion
Individuals use Social Networking Services
(SNS) to satisfy specific gratification that
they seek.
Famous SNS: Facebook and MySpace.
Anderson’s in August 2003.
At first used by the employees who participated in
a contest of who can recruit more friends online.
The growth is was generated from mouth-tomouth.
ultimately made what is MySpace today.
2004: Created for Harvard students and later
opened for other higher learning institutes.
2006: Opened the site to general public.
2007: Was reported to have more than 21
million registered members, generating 1.6
billion page views a day.
Why youths use Facebook and Myspace through
Uses and Gratification Theory.
Efficient Communication
Spread news quickly to multiple users at a time
Helps to get latest updates of acquaintance (ie,
An efficient way for an individual to get quick
response of when she or he desires attention.
2. Convenient Communication
Staying in touch of family and friends and
managing communication
Good for long term communication
Can get connected with others at a very lost cost.
Enjoys receiving end of communication without
having to engage in turn in any dialogue.
3. Curiosity about others
Acquire information of others whom they
are interested.
Obtain updates about an old acquaintance
Find out about new people.
4. Popularity
Attempts to add as many as friends
possible to increase popularity
People likes getting comments from others
to build up image.
5. Relationship Formation &
Extremely useful in maintaining new pre-
existing relationship and meet new people
To initiate conversation between friends.
Because of nature of individual’s curiosity and
the desire to build and develop relationship.
SNS users enjoys convenience, efficiency and
popularity of using the powerful medium to
convey messages and find answers.
Based on the 5 elements discussed on the
earlier sessions, youths use SNS to satisfy
specific gratification that they seek.
Blumler and Katz. 1972. The Uses of Mass Communication:
Current Perspectives on Gratification Research.
Katz, E., Haas, H., & Gurevitch, M. (1973). On the use of the
mass media for important things. American Sociological
Review, 38(2), 164-181.
Mark, A. U., Qingwen, D., and Kenneth, D. 2010. Explaining
why youth use MySpace and Facebook through Uses and
Gratification Theory. 12(2) 215-229.

Communication based-model: Uses & Gratification Model