M ASS communication researchers have raised many questionsabout the relationship between television use and audiences'perceptions of social reality. In the forefront are George Gerbner and his associates, who contend that heavy television viewing cultivates an exaggerated belief in a mean and scary world. Although all but a small fraction of the research evidence for cultivation is correlational, results are usually discussed in terms of television's effects on audiences. In addition, cultivation analysis has been plagued with findings that have been reversed, reduced, or eliminated altogether through the application of single or multiple control variables. Hence, the mere existence of cultivation has been the subject of heated debates.