Revisiting Cultivation as a Gravitational Process: A Cross-National Comparison of the Cultivation of Fear and Mistrust
Communication scholars have found varying levels of support for cultivation theory in the United States and abroad. Using a multilevel modeling approach and data from 27 countries (N > 51,000) from the fifth round of the European Social Survey, we found that the country in which a study is conducted explains a significant amount of the variance in violence-related outcome variables as well as in their relationship with television viewing. We further demonstrate how one cross-national contextual variable (welfare state regime) moderates cultivation relationships. For some of our outcomes, the relationships vary predictably across these groupings in a manner that strongly suggests mainstreaming. We propose that a macro-level approach would provide valuable insight into the complexities of cultivation theory.