The theory was propounded by George Gerbner, L. Gross, M. Morgan, N. Signorielli in 1976. It talks about how the mass media gradually cultivate message in audience mind and consciousness. According to Aneto, Onabanjo and Osifes (2008:71) the basic assumption of the theory include:
- Cultivation analysis basically means that heavy Tv viewers will cultivate the perception of reality portrayed by the television.
- People predicate their about and their actions in the world on the cultivated reality provided by television.
- The substance of the consciousness cultivated by television is not so much specific attitude and opinions as more basic assumption about the fact if life and standard of judgment on which consciousness is based.
- Television major cultural function is to stabilize social pattern; it is a medium of socialization and acculturation.
- The observable independent contribution of television to the culture are relatively small. Simply, though we cannot always see media effects they due occur and eventually will change the culture in possible, profound ways.
The major thrust of the theory lies on the question of whether television and other media encourage perception of reality that is more consistent with media portrayals than with actuality. Supporters of this theory argue that heavy television viewing, no doubt distorts our perception of the world we live in, making it seem more like an utopian world. The theory thus, concentrates on the long term affect of media exposure on both adults and children rather than on the short term impact on attitude and opinion.