Comm 80 Answers for Objectives
for Test Two

Author: Krista Farley

1. Describe past research on media use and achievement.

mixed effects for exposure on grades: sometimes positive, negative, or no effect.

2. Identity how current research on achievement was improved.

Study effect of different types of media content rather than just total media watched and look at many different indicators of achievement rather than just one indicator.

3. Describe Potter's study and its key findings.

self report survey of school kids on their type of TV watching and standardized scores
Key findings: type of exposure makes a difference
increase news - higher standardized scores
increase sports/soaps - lower standardized scores
more late night TV - lower standardized scores.

4. Describe William's study and its causal inferences

3 Communities - notel (no TV, then cable TV added), unitel (1 channel), multitel (3 channels); observe communities 3 times ('73, '75, and '77) on academic achievement
look for impact of TV on individuals not previously exposed to TV
a natural experiment.

5. Identify the areas of study Williams investigated.

Reading skills --> Word Attack
Creativity --> Alternate Use Test
Problem Solving --> Nine Dot Problem.

6. Give main findings in each area of study from Williams' work.

No difference between unitel and multitel (combine into "alltel")
notel starts with large advantage, but loses advantage when TV introduced
Reading: within for four years alltel and notel became equal in word attack scores
Creativity: notel steadily declined, alltel remained constant (large effect)
Problem Solving: pattern same yet difference small.

7. Describe the goals and procedures of the Armstrong study.

How do we think when we watch TV? Dual processing task, people perform cognitive task - short term, problem solving, creativity, reading comprehension.

8. Identify the results from the Armstrong study.

35/65 Moderate effect size, you will do worse in academics if you are watching TV when you claim to be studying.

9. Give three explanations for the media effect on achievement.

1. Time Displacement - TV time squeezes out study time
2. Information Overload - try to master some academic information while trying to process the TV info
3. Different forms of "skills" required - a lot of media is different from what is required in the academic area.

10. Describe the impact that beauty images have on dieting, self concept, and other behaviors.

thin, fit = beautiful, cultivate an image of how women should look, women try to achieve that look and try to obtain that through eating disorders not a well balanced diet and exercise; men also can develop a false standard for judging partners.

11. Define prosocial.

any nonviolent, social message designed to be helpful or beneficial.

12. Describe the general procedure in prosocial studies.

make use of prosocial message, all experiments use randomization, almost always observing behavior.

13. Give examples of the types of prosocial research.

Mister Rogers Neighborhood, Sesame Street.

14. Describe the goal and effect of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

use neighborhood -> world metaphor, moderate (35/65) - more cooperative, increase self-esteem.

15. Describe the main goal and effect of Sesame Street.

symbolic learning, used as a head start program to learn letters and numbers, better symbolic learning scores to disadvantages and frequent viewers - target audience.

16. Describe Hearold's summary of prosocial effects.

summarize all of the research studies done looking at the prosocial messages and effects, episodes of Lassie, Electric Company, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, helpfulness, corporation, shyness.

17. Identify the main findings from Hearold's summary.

average effect of message on prosocial act prosocial? 35/65 moderate effect), no difference of prosocial effect whether it contained real people or fictional; no difference for research setting (lab, field, or natural).

18. Describe the effects of age, sex, and message on prosocial outcomes.

age: divide at sexual maturity --- younger more affected, older are less affected
sex: females more affected, males less affected at all ages
age and sex each have separate, main effects on prosocial responding.

19. Give the three major conclusions about prosocial media.

most difficult to change behavior, did not effect people uniformly, society desires prosocial themes.

20. Identify preventable morbidity and mortality rates.

500t deaths due to poor diet/exercise - most preventable
450t deaths due to smoking - all preventable
200t AIDS heaths since 1981 - most preventable
mils STDs - overwhelming majority preventable
10t traffic fatalities from alcohol - most preventable
40t breast cancer deaths - 1/3 preventable.

21. Describe the types of safe sex messages in the media and their impact on behavior.

negative view, oblique, unclear, rarely shows an open condom, how does it look, how do you use it, media ignores safe sex, talk about it humorously to relieve tension.

22. Identify the effects of smoking.

+50 million Americans use tobacco products
younger people much more likely to use
'92 - $45 billion is sales.

23. Describe effects of ads on smoking rates.

positive messages ---> sales increase
anti-tobacco ads ---> tobacco use decreases.

24. Give the industry code concerning tobacco ads.

1970 - agreed to stop advertising on TV yet the government also had to stop anti-smoking commercials.

25. Describe the themes tobacco ads use to sell tobacco.

geared towards women and children.

26. Describe the nutrition cultivation study and its results.

long-term uncontradicted media messages, watch a lot of TV should have different perceptions of diet because TV tends to show "bad" diet actions
found that elementary kids who watched more TV (above the average) had worse diets (large difference) and scored worse on diet quiz (moderate diff) compared to kids who watched less TV..

27. Identify the impact of anti-drug ads on attitudes and behaviors.

fewer people are using drugs in America, drugs aren't seen as cool anymore, high number of people experiment with drugs
these outcomes are stronger in communities that received more anti-drug ads (PSAs).

28. Identify the findings from the Stanford Heart Disease Study.

Comment from Steve --- We didn't cover this in class and it won't be on the test, but:.

A really cool study . . . researchers used three small towns in Northern California to see if they could change health behaviors (diet, tobacco cessation, checkups) that afffect heart disease (a leading killer of people) with either: 1) media alone, or 2) media plus interpersonal. A control town (the third group) received no intervention. Campaign lasted three years.
Over time, things got worse in the control group with more deaths from heart disease.
Within one year things got better with media+interpersonal as deaths decreased and continued to decrease
In two years, things got better with media alone with small decreases in death rates that continued into the third year
It appears that media alone can be used to affect health behaviors, but it takes a longer and more sustained campaign to get the effect.

29. Define media violence.

overt expression of physical force or the compelling of action against one's will with the threat of force.

30. Describe the procedures of longitudinal studies.

taken over along period of time using the same group of people to observe their changing perceptions
measure TVV and AGG at the sametime over several different times
focus on the diagonals to solve the "chicken vs. egg" dilemma.

31. Describe desensitization effects of media violence.

narcotic effect, repeatedly expose people to media messages, they do not have the same response after a period of time, become immune to the violence seen because of repeated exposure; effect is both physiological and cognitive.

32. Identify the procedures Phillips employs.

gets death records focusing on murder victims and suicide, the he went through the archives to see when violent message media coverage occurred, if more media coverage leads to more suicide; the focus is on the amount of coverage (does more media lead to more violence?).

33. Describe the effects Phillips found.

the longer the story was in the NY Times the higher the suicide rates were, if the media talks about suicide a little the number of suicides increase a little (43/57); similar outcomes with murder rates being affected by coverage of prize fights and executions; also that scary "race of victim" effect.

34. Apply cultivation theory to the "mean world."

consistent, long term message --> violence, changes our perceptions of the world.

35. Describe the controversies in violence studies.

Catharsis theory - as you are exposed to more violence you will be less aggressive because of purging, never has been replicated
Milavsky's longitudinal study finds weaker results than other longitudinal studies
Freedman concludes that effect of media violence is like "writing traffic tickets in front of a crack house.".

36. Describe Hearold's summary of violence effects.

Like the prosocial summary, Hearold got all experiments looking at TVV and AGG. Summarizes all results across many different people, researchers, and types of TVV..

37. Identify the main findings from Hearold's summary.

small effect, strongest message is images that portrayed real forms of human aggression, fictionalized had a small effect, violence not punished has more of an effect
media violence causes aggression yet counter evidence does not occur due to other reasons for aggression, effects weaker than prosocial.

38. Describe the effects of age and sex on aggression.

boys and girls 13 and under same effect, after puberty men continue to be influenced by violence yet women have a negative effect
Age and sex interact here as opposed to having separate main effects as in prosocial. Thus, you need to know both the age and sex of a receiver to understand the effect of TVV.

39. Describe the conclusions reached in class about media violence.

The weight of the empirical evidence supports the conclusion that exposure to violence causes more aggression. The same methods of science that found tobacco causes cancer produce the conclusion of causal effect with media and aggression. There are contradictions in the literature, but the majority of studies find a negative outcome.

40. Define pornography.

sexually explicit messages
by definition porno is mediated; literally means the "writing of harlots".

41. Compare pornography and obscenity.

pornography is an sexually explicit message and obscenity is a legal judgement

42. Describe the changes in tolerance about pornography.

American society has become more tolerant of porno because porno messages have become more explicit and graphic over time.

43. Identify key statistics about exposure and consumption.

1992 $15 billion spent on pornography
10,000 different porn titles
$2 billion spent on renting porn videos
15% of all video rentals in a year are porns.

44. Give the three major themes in pornography.

1. Relation-less sex and euphoria
2. Macho studs and pleasure vessels
3. Male violence toward women (not often shown, both implicit and explicit).

45. Describe the immediate effects of pornography.

men moved closer to women if they watched a porno, when asked to recall the interview men who watched the porno didn't remember the conversation yet did remember the female's physical characteristics, women found a clear difference on who was more turned on by her by whether they watched the porn or not
Also strong effects physiologically, behaviorally, and cognitively.

46. Explain the basic procedure in Massive Exposure studies.

set up a cover story revolves around a marketing area, last 6 weeks - every Wednesday for 2 hours, watch random diets of pornography - no/moderate/massive, questionnaire, survey.

47. Describe desensitization, cultivation, acceptance of sexual violence, and changes in sexual satisfaction in Massive Exposure studies.

Lots of information here, but general conclusion: More porno, more anti-social
Also both men and women show anti-social effect with stronger effect on men.

48. Identify prosocial and antisocial effects of pornography.

prosocial effects: marital counseling, sex education, artistic expression, entertainment
antisocial effects: obscenity, kiddie porn, street crime, organized crime, de-humanization.

49. Describe the likelihood of sexual assaults.

1/3 chance women will be assaulted; under-reported so conservative estimate.

50. Explain person characteristics which affect sexual assault.

date rape by men - about 10% self-identify on scenarios
a normal pathology - self-identified date-rapists use more porno rape myth acceptance, likelihood of raping, arousal - all related to more self-reported assault.

51. Describe how violent pornography may affect sexual violence.

Two ways: 1) change person characteristics (rape myth, likelihood, etc.) and 2) situation motivator (violent porno primes aggressive responses) 52. Identify the effects of pornography on state rape rates.

states that have high availability of porn also have a higher sexual assault rate (18/82 effect).

53. Describe conclusions about pornography reached in class.

pornography does influence, even if porn vanished sexual assault would still exist, education's moderating role, ethics, individual choice, and society.

54. Identify the distinguishing features of slasher videos.

Blend "softcore" porno (not explicit sexuality but nudity, foreplay, masturbation) with explicit violence (chainsaw massacre). Because sex is "soft" often receives "R" or "PG-13" rating which means that younger people can get to it more easily.

55. Compare similarities and differences in effects of slasher videos versus violent pornography.

The combination of violence and sex (hardcore or softcore) stimulates aggressive behavior.


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Updated September 15, 1996; Copyright © Krista Farley & SBB, 1996.