If any one issue can be said to have motivated media studies, it is the question of ‘effects.’ From the perspective of policy-makers and the general public, the eld could be expected to provide evidence of what media do to individuals and, by implication, to society at large. From an academic perspective, the eld has gained legitimacy and attracted funding by proposing to explain what specic difference the media make for modern culture, politics, and the economy. Effects have mostly been addressed in the sense of relatively shortterm cognitive and behavioral impact of media and their contents on the members of mass audiences, as examined by quantitative methodologies. Especially in this area, it is still appropriate to speak of a dominant paradigm of research (Gitlin, 1978; Webster and Phalen, 1997), even if that mainstream has been critiqued and complemented by a qualitative substream (Chapter 9, this volume).