# Unit 5 - Academic Achievement

```General Purpose:  To understand the impact that media can have on

Unit Outline

I.   Media Use and Academic Achievement

A.   Past Research

1.   Mixed Effect for Exposure on Grades

a.   small effect
b.   large effect
c.   no effect

2.   Improving on Past Research

II.  Potter's Study (Potter, 1987)

A.   Goals and Methods - surveyed 500 teenagers on media use.

B.   Predictors and Outcomes - linked the two data sets

1.   Predictors - type and amount of TV kids watch in a
week

2.   Outcome - standardized test scores of reading,
math, science, and social science

C.   Results

1.   Type of Exposure Makes the Difference

a.   If kids watched documentaries, they scored
higher on the achievement tests - small
effect.

b.   If kids watched a lot of MTV, they had lower
scores on the achievement tests - small
effect.

2.   Time Displacement Effects - as they watched more
TV, does it help or hurt?

a.   Low - 0-10 (scores got better)
b.   Moderate - 10-30 (scores got better)
c.   High - 30+ (reverse effect - scores got worse)

3.   Effects of Late Night Viewing

a.   Watched a lot of Letterman then in the High
category.

b.   As they watched more Letterman, scores went
down - small effect.

4.   Average Impact of Exposure on Achievement - see
page 50

D.   The Chicken and the Egg

III. A Natural Experiment (Tannis MacBeth Williams, 1960)

A.   A "Natural Experiment" and Causal Inferences - use a
naturally occurring event and try to draw a causal
statement.

B.   The Communities (Notel, Unitel, & Multitel) - Small
northern Canadian communities with no TV, one channel,
and multiple channels.

C.   Design of Experiment - to capture the effect TV will
have.  Constructed 3 measurement periods over 4 years.
Had two dimensions to work in (within community and
between communities)

D.   Areas of Study

1.   Reading Skill - used word attack

2.   Creativity - alternate use test

3.   Problem-Solving and Persistence - see page 179.

E.   Results

1.   Reading - within 4 years Notel and Multitel became
equal

2.   Creativity - same patterns as results of reading

3.   Problem-Solving (Success 45/55; Persist 25/75) (TV
Use 25/75) - pattern is the same but the size is
small (starts out with a small difference).

IV.  Thinking and Watching TV (Armstrong & Greenberg, 1990) - lab
study of college students

A.   How Do We Think When We Watch TV?  no effect,
interference, or improvement

C.   Experimental Groups - divided people into 3 groups

1.   Control - no TV on (just perform the tasks)

2.   Ignore TV - turn TV on but ignore (just perform the

3.   Dual Task - TV on (watch TV and perform tasks as
well)

D.   Results (35/65 effect size) - moderate effect (evidence
of an interference effect)

E.   Conclusions

1.   Complexity of the information - bigger difference

2.   No evidence that trying to do both helps

V.   Explaining the Effects of Media on Achievement

A.   Time Displacement - TV pushes out study time.

C.   Different Forms of "Skills" Required
```

Notes prepared by Teresa Jones, Spring, 1996. Page created April 21, 1996; updated on October 6, 1999. Edited by Mike Lowry Copyright © Teresa Jones and Steve Booth-Butterfield, 1996.