AllportSays TV, Radio Potentially Dangerous
Gordon W. Allport '19, professor of Psychology, emphasized the danger of radio as a "weapon of mischief" yesterday in a discussion of Orson Welles' famous 1938 broadcast of "Invasion from Mars."
Allport cited people's high reliance upon radio for news and information as the chief reason for its potential danger. When asked about the influence to television, he stated, "Television is twice as dangerous as radio because it utilizes both the audio and visual senses."
The 1938 panic was caused by failure of the critical attitude in listeners. Allport stated. Skillful work by Welles made the material credible to listeners made insecure by the recent depression and the fear of Hitler's Germany. People believed with they hard and some saw just what the commentators were describing.