The Major Theories Underpinning PMC’s Theory of Change
Social Learning Theory of Albert Bandura:
Human behavior is heavily influenced by vicarious observation, with other people serving as role-models. Trial-and-error is relatively tedious but also inefficient when the cost of errors is injury. So, many people short-cut this process by learning from the successes and mistakes of others.
Social Cognitive Theory of Albert Bandura:
Behavior change will only occur when an individual perceives change is possible – not only that they possess sufficient agency to enact novel behaviors, but that their former day to day presuppositions about the world are not immutable. We call this self-efficacy.
Horton and Wohl’s concept of Parasocial Interaction:
A quasi-interpersonal relationship between an audience member and a media personality or character. Audience member identifies with, and forms a relationship with, a character – emotionally analogous to real-world interpersonal relationships.
Sood’s Audience Involvement:
Audience involvement can be seen as being composed of two main elements: (a) reflection (critical and/or referential), and (b) parasocial interaction (cognitive, affective, behavioural participation or any combination of these) with the show. Sood states that the degree of audience involvement is a key factor in the effectiveness of the entertainment-education intervention.
Bentley’s Dramatic Theory:
Melodrama presents day-to-day reality in a slightly exaggerated fashion, in which the moral universes of good and evil are in obvious discord; therefore, it places the audience between the forces of good and evil, causing individual self-reflection around questions of morality and ethics.
Jung’s Theory of Archetypes and Stereotypes and the Collective Unconscious:
Despite enormous cultural diversity around the world, there are psychological and physiological commonalities that are universal to lived human experience. Universal experiences like the Hero’s Journey and the Cinderella Story constitute a psychological “commons” of humanity and familiar across time and space. Culturally specific examples of these archetypical experiences can create highly resonant fictional characters for local audiences.
Lazarsfeld’s two-step flow of communication:
Once a message is received by the audience, the gregarious among them will communicate the message to others (hence a two-step flow). This supra-broadcast activity spontaneously creates new social learning environments, allowing community members to evaluate previously held ideas, consider alternatives, and take steps to advance social change.
Shannon and Weaver’s Communication Model:
A linear schematic showing how an intended message flows from a source, through a delivery medium, to a receiving vessel and finally reaches its intended audience. En route, the message will invariably be impacted by “noise” (cultural norms, other messages), which can either reinforce or invalidate the message.
Rovigatti’s circular adaptation of Shannon and Weaver’s Communication Model and additional circuit for a social content soap opera:
Instead of a linear, one-way flow, Rovigatti’s morphed Shannon and Weaver’s model into a circular flow where the audience can provide feedback to the original source and thereby influence future messages sent from that source. The flow of communication can work to sell a commodity, but also “sell” social services.
PMC’s Methodology is an adaptation and expansion of the renowned Sabido methodology. Many of the elements and theoretical underpinnings are the same, although PMC has added elements as we’ve gained experience in numerous markets and media formats. Miguel Sabido pioneered the foundations for the Sabido methodology in the 1970s when he was Vice President for Research at Televisa in Mexico with ideas for a new pro-social communication model using telenovelas to promote literacy, family planning, and other social development goals.