Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media vol:47 issue:2 pages:289-295
Paul Hirsch claimed that the mainstreaming effect of cultivation theory is a statistical artifact known as "regression to the mean." Regression to the mean occurs when one group is selected out of a larger sample on the basis of extreme scores on one variable and is then compared with the group's score on a second variable. In Gerbner's methodology random effects have equal opportunity to influence the outcome for both heavy and light viewers. This means that Hirsch was wrong and that mainstreaming cannot be an artifact of regression to the mean.