The Investigative DNA: An Analysis of the Role of Local Television Investigative Journalists • Jesse Abdenour, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Daniel Riffe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Building off previous studies of journalistic roles, this paper shows evidence that local television investigative reporters are more oriented toward audience appeal and are more adversarial than other journalists. A factor analysis of survey responses (N=165) revealed five functions describing investigative reporters’ perceived roles: Adversarial, Interpretive, Entertainer, Pragmatist, and Mobilizer. Further analyses indicated that ethnicity, amount of investigative work, and an organization’s emphasis on journalism were significant predictors of investigative role.
Forces at the Gate: Social Media’s Influence on Editorial and Production Decisions in Local Television Newsrooms • Anthony Adornato • This nationwide survey of news directors at network affiliate television stations explores the impact social media is having on editorial and production decisions related to newscasts. The results show popular, or trending, content and topics on social media are a significant factor in choosing stories to cover. The research examines how these stories are treated in newscasts versus those gathered through more traditional sources. The study also reveals that the reliance on social media content has increased the chances that newsrooms will spread misinformation. A third of respondents indicated their stations have reported information from social media that was later found to be false or inaccurate. Despite this, policy has not caught up with practice. One of the more striking findings of this study is, of those newsrooms that have social media policies, nearly 40% said the policy does not include procedures for verifying social media content before it is included in a newscast.
Radio and Secondary Orality: A Rhetorical Analysis of Hora 20 • Adriana Angel, Universidad de Manizales • This paper provides some preliminary ideas and exploratory characteristics about the language of radio. After conducting a rhetorical analysis of the talk radio program Hora 20, this manuscript suggests a few levels that allow us to start thinking about the grammar of radio. Specifically, this article suggests three main levels through which the secondary orality of radio manifests in Hora 20: emphatic, grammatical, and dialogic levels. It examines how the use of elements such as interjections, rhythm, tone, flow, spontaneity, genre, enumeration, redundancy, as well as, parallel, pedagogical, collaborative, and confrontational dialogues, define the language of talk radio. Finally, this piece claims all three levels and corresponding sublevels of secondary orality create a particular rhetorical situation of addressivity in which speakers connect with their addressees in particular ways.
Just Like Fox News? MSNBC’s Prime-Time Coverage of Health Care Reform in August 2009 • Mitchell Bard, Iona College • MSNBC is regularly cited in the literature as an example of a liberal news organization, often presented with Fox News representing its corresponding opposite, conservative news. Yet there have been few studies of MSNBC’s content, unlike the robust literature examining Fox News. This article employs a qualitative textual analysis of MSNBC’s coverage of health care reform in August 2009 to examine whether the network’s programs adhered to the objective journalistic values of fairness and balance and an allegiance to accuracy and the facts, despite MSNBC’s perceived ideological predisposition. The study replicates a similar analysis by the author of Fox News’ prime-time programs during the same period. The examination revealed that, despite their ideological predispositions, while both “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” and “The Rachel Maddow Show” operated consistent with the objective journalism value of an allegiance to accuracy and the facts, only Maddow’s program consistently adhered to the value of balance and fairness. The findings come in contrast to the earlier Fox News study, which revealed that none of the three hosts consistently operated consistent with either of the journalistic values. The impact of MSNBC’s practices are discussed in terms of the effect on the public’s trust in news.
Post-television news: Perceptions of three online forms of news video production • John Beatty, La Salle University; Jon Matos, La Salle University • This exploratory quasi-experimental study tested viewer reaction to three versions of the same news story labelled “Standard,” “YouTube” and “MTV.” Participants were asked to rate the three versions on 13 semantic-differential items, as well as to discuss them in controlled focus groups. Results indicate that video news viewers do have a preference for non-traditional types of news presentations online. Broadcasters and journalism faculty should look at new models of online news, such as Philip DeFranco.
Deregulation and Technology Pushes Radio Out of Tune • Adeniyi Bello, Texas Tech University • Depth interviews with six longtime radio professionals reveal some enthusiasm for digital technology but a unanimous dissatisfaction with the results of deregulation. Observations include: “Radio is probably in its most challenged and dangerous period”; “plundering the industry and lopping off heads, just eliminating jobs by the truckloads”; “There’s no longer a farm team in radio.” All attribute the industry’s pathologies to deregulation, aided by technology. Some question the wisdom of maintaining the current free-market oriented regulatory environment after what they describe as a 17-year failed experiment for both an industry and informed democracy.
Comparing Flagship News Programs: Women’s Sport Coverage in ESPN’s SportsCenter and FOX Sports 1’s FOX Sports Live • Andrew Billings, University of Alabama; Brittany D. Young, University of Alabama • A total of 118 hours of sports news broadcast programming was subject to gender clock-time analysis, half from ESPN’s SportsCenter and half from 2013 startup network Fox Sports 1’s Fox Sports Live. Results showed that both programs featured women’s sports less than one percent of the time, with only modest gains found in an Olympic month (February 2014) of presumed heavy women’s sports exposure compared to a fall (October/November 2013) coding period. Moreover, both programs featured the same top five sports in nearly identical proportionality and story lengths of women’s spots were consistently 70% of a men’s spot regardless of program. Results indicate that Fox Sports Live is replicating SportsCenter’s programming choices far more than challenging them from a gender perspective.
Losing Their ‘Mojo’? Mobile Journalism and the Deprofessionalization of Television News Work • Justin Blankenship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Mobile Journalism, whereby a single reporter must write, shoot and edit their own news stories, is a rapidly growing trend among local television news stations in the United States. Using sociology of professions literature and a qualitative case study methodology, this study examines the impact of mobile journalism on the “professionalization” of television news reporters. Findings suggest that mobile journalism may have an impact on several aspects of professional orientation, including expert knowledge, autonomy, routinization and encroachment from outside organizations.
Facing the Death Penalty While Facing the Cameras: A Case Study of Television Journalism Work Routines • Mary Bock, University of Texas at Austin; Jose Araiza • This case study of a capital murder trial explores the way television journalism work routines shape trial coverage. Based on field observations, textual analysis and open-ended interviews, it examined how TV news routine are translated into the stories that are broadcast and posted to the web. The analysis suggests that video news-gathering routines for trials rely heavily on law-enforcement sources, granting considerable control for the story’s framing to those authorities.
Interactive TV News: A Potential Method for Broadcast Television News • Trent Boulter, University of Texas at Austin • This experiment looks at development and use of a delivery system for broadcast television news. An in-home study was conducted for two weeks, allowing people daily access to three local and 5 national newscasts via one interactive newscast. The purpose of the study was to observe when and how they would use the interactive content. The results show that people employed time-delay practices while taking action, on average, every 57 (TV) and 52 seconds (computer).
The Lean Newsroom: A Manifesto For Risk • Jonathan Groves, Drury University; Carrie Brown, University of Memphis • This paper integrates concepts from organizational culture and learning literature with strategic and innovation theory and proposes a three-tiered model to guide change efforts at media organizations. Drawing upon examples from original ethnographic research in four newsrooms, it offers news leaders a road map for fostering continuous adaptation to a fast-changing digital landscape. To succeed at creating a sustainable future, leaders must embrace the constant iteration and user focus of successful digital startups and position themselves strategically in the competitive environment. However, none of these efforts will succeed without careful attention to the underlying assumptions in an organization’s culture that can block learning and change.
The Effects of Melodramatic Animation in News on News Evaluative Judgment via Presence: A Path Analysis • Benjamin Cheng, College of International Education, Hong Kong Baptist University; Wai Han Lo • An experiment with 187 college students was conducted to investigate the effects of using melodramatic animation in crime-related news reporting on the evaluative judgment of news through presence. The results of a path analysis suggest that presence relates to negative rating of a suspect featured in a news report and audience’s confidence in judging the suspect as guilty. However, a diverse result was found for the influence of the use of melodramatic animation in news on presence in different news categories. The practical and ethical issues of using this news format are discussed.
Hostile Story or Hostile source: A test of HME in a conservative media environment • Yoon-Jung Choi; Sang Hee Kweon, Sung Kyun Kwan University • Opinionated news in a competitive cable TV news environment seems to be a strategy for attracting audiences not only in the U.S. but also in Korea. In this respect, this paper tested the hostile media effect in the opinionated news context and also examined whether the hostile perception comes from the news story or from the news source. The findings show that opinionated news perceptions vary as a function of political ideology and ideologically consistent source cues. However, the findings suggest that partisans’ perceptions can differ according to the situational precondition of media outlets. Liberals were more sensitive in a conservative media environment.
“Boots on the Ground?”: How International News Organizations Integrate User-Generated Content Into Their YouTube Channels • Johanna Cleary; Eisa al Nashmi, Kuwait University; Terry Bloom, University of Miami; Michael North, University of Miami • How is user-generated content (UGC) employed by international news agencies? Through a content analysis of 571 videos posted on the YouTube channels of five international news agencies, this study examines whether UGC is a significant part of today’s international journalism and whether those organizations are actively encouraging interactivity among their viewers. The study includes Al Jazeera English, France 24 English, RT, CNN International, and Al Arabiya.
Framing Conflict and Explicit Violence through Images in Arab Media • Michael Bruce, The University of Alabama; Lindsey Conlin, The University of Alabama • This study employed a content analysis in order to examine visual images of conflict and violence in Arab media. Results show that liberal commercial Arab networks displayed more conflict visuals than western-style networks, and that violent imagery was also more explicit on liberal commercial networks. However, most of the visuals displayed on both types of Arab media did not focus on conflict, indicating that fear of a violent Arab media may be an over-reaction.
Making Air with a Magic Bullet: The Multimedia Journalist’s Impact on News Production • Dean Cummings, Cleveland Convergence • Television news managers view the multimedia journalist as a “magic bullet” to answer economic and production needs. Meanwhile, veteran workers initiate paradigm repair threatening the implementation of the new production model. To make the multimedia journalist successful, managers adjust their supervisory and editorial skills. In the wake of changes, the introduction of young journalists and the steady dismissal of veteran reporters appear to be creating a cultural shift within local television newsrooms.
Framing the 2012 Presidential Election on U.S. Television: Candidates, Issues, and Sources • Daniela Dimitrova, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication • Using media framing as a theoretical base, this study examines the coverage of the 2012 US presidential election on the three leading television news networks–ABC, CBS and NBC. Consistent with previous election news framing research, the content analysis shows that the coverage used strategic game framing at the expense of substantive issue discussion and also tended to be episodic in nature and emphasized conflict. The analysis also demonstrates that domestic politicians dominated the coverage while other sources such as ordinary citizens and experts remained much less visible. The theoretical and practical implications of this type of election news coverage are discussed in the context of journalism practice and democratic governance.
Digitally influential: How technology affects construction of news processes • Patrick Ferrucci, Bradley University • This ethnographic study examines the effects of technology on the construction of news processes at a digitally native news nonprofit. Specifically, this asks how technology affects gatekeeping and how technology allows the audience more influence on news production. The study finds that a lack of resources results in less desire for innovation; however, technology does give the audience direct access to journalists and significantly more power concerning content. These findings are then discussed through the lens of gatekeeping theory and their meaning for the immediate future of digital journalism.
Audience Perceptions of Quality: A Comparison of Newsgathering Technologies across Viewing Technologies and Generational Cohorts • Charlie Gee, Duquesne University; Zeynep Tanes-Ehle, Duquesne University; Giselle Auger, Duquesne University • This study explores the role of traditional and mobile newsgathering technologies on perceived quality of news stories from the guiding perspective of uses and gratifications theory. In this experimental study, 600 participants evaluated the quality of 58 news stories of various content produced with four different news technologies. Two mobile technologies—iPhone and iPad and two traditional technologies—HD video camera and DSLR were used to produce the stories. Results showed differences in perceived quality of news stories produced with the DLSR as the highest of quality compared to the mobile technologies. The HD camera was found not to be a significant determinant of perceived quality compared to other recording technologies.
Social TV and Democracy: How Second Screening During News Relates to Political Participation • Homero Gil de Zuniga, University of Vienna; Victor Garcia, University of Texas at Austin; Shannon McGregor, University of Texas at Austin • The political implications of second screening, a hybrid media process that combines television and a second, web-connected screen, are analyzed here. Based on national, two-wave longitudinal panel data, this study sheds light on the future of social TV by examining the relationship between second screening and online political behaviors. Results show that second screening for news is a significant predictor of online political participation and a key link between TV news and political engagement.
Towards Broadcasting 2.0? Interactivity and User-Generated Content in Local Radio and Television Programs • Kevin Grieves, Ohio University; Greg Newton, Ohio University • Newer forms of digital media reflect a fundamental shift from a unidirectional model of communicating with audiences to an interactive one. Local radio and television stations are now able to interact with listeners and viewers more easily via online and social media channels. Little is known, however, about how interactivity and user-generated content impact traditional broadcast program content. Content analysis of local radio and television programs indicates occasional and somewhat marginalized inclusion of such elements.
The Role of Political Identity and Media Selection on Perceptions of Hostile Media Bias during the 2012 Presidential Campaign • Mei-Chen Lin; Paul Haridakis; Gary Hanson, Kent State University • We examined predictors of hostile media bias in the 2012 presidential campaign. In the current study, group-based characteristics (i.e., group status, intergroup bias, political ideology) and political cynicism were significant predictors of people’s perceptions of a hostile media bias toward their political party. TV and social networking sites were negative predictors while the use of two other media – radio and video sharing sites – were positive predictors of hostile media bias perceptions.
Market Size and Local Television News Use of “Cheap” Video • Mark Harmon, University of Tennessee; Maria Fontenot, University of Tennessee-Knoxville • The researchers used Livestream to gather a stratified local TV news sample of 29 newscasts, 298 stories. The data show that, contrary to prediction, market size did not affect initiative, story topics, manner of presentation, or use of non-original “cheap” video—such as network feeds, security camera footage, viewer submissions, or Google and other web maps. Crime and disaster/accident were the most common topics; voice over and live reporting were the usual story types.
Content versus context: The effects of writing style on memory and emotions in local television news • Keren Henderson, LSU • This experiment measures the influence of inverted pyramid and diamond (storytelling) writing styles on news consumers for the sake of discussing the relationship between social responsibility and business decisions in local television news production. The study investigates the differences between the inverted-pyramid writing style and the storytelling (or diamond-shaped writing) style on memory, emotions and brand recognition abilities of local television news viewers.
The Rise of Online News Aggregators: Consumption and Competition • Angela M. Lee, University of Texas at Dallas; H. Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin • While traditional news firms continue to struggle online, news aggregators (i.e., Yahoo News, Google News and the Huffington Post) have become a major source of news for American audiences. Through a national survey of 1,143 U.S. Internet users, this study (1) offers an in-depth look at the composition of news aggregator users, (2) proposes a theoretical model that examines demographic and psychological predictors of aggregator use, and (3) uncovers non-competitive relationships between three major news aggregators and major TV, print and social media news outlets. Such findings are at odds with industry sentiment, or hostility toward news aggregators and call for a reassessment of the role of news aggregators in today’s media landscape.
Working Social: Personal vs. Professional Social Media Use by Local TV Reporters • Suzanne Lysak, Syracuse University; Michael Cremedas; Jean Jadhon, Hollins University, WDBJ-TV • This survey of 405 local TV reporters explored challenges posed by their increasing use of social media: what guidance they are provided as they use social media; how frequently reporters and newsroom managers clash over a reporter’s posts; and how frequently reporters are directed to remove social media posts—whether personal or professional accounts. The information can be helpful to news managers who are creating or revising policy for social media use in their newsrooms.
Positive news websites and extroversion: Motives, preferences, and sharing behavior among American and British readers. • Karen McIntyre, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Meghan Sobel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Personality has been known to influence media choices. This study examined the relationship between American and British respondents’ level of extroversion and their motivations, story preferences, and sharing behavior in regard to consuming positive news on two “good news” websites. A survey of 1,560 positive news consumers was conducted. Results revealed that among American readers, extroversion was more strongly associated with the information-seeking motive whereas extroversion was more strongly associated with social utility among British readers. For both nationalities, extroverts were more likely than introverts to share stories with a wider group of people, although sharing medium was found to be more important than audience size. Finally, both groups of positive news readers were most likely to both view and share the stories they considered to be the happiest. The results of this study cannot be generalized due to a nonrandom sample, as respondents self-selected to take the survey. Still, the results have both theoretical and practical implications. The links found between extroversion and interest in positive news add to the literature on the relationship between personality and media selection. Further, results regarding sharing behavior might benefit both content producers and their audiences in both countries.
The Effect of Instant Media Commentary on Perceptions of Political Speakers: A Conventional Case Study • Dylan McLemore, University of Alabama • This study employs an experimental design to measure the effects of post-speech instant media commentary in the context of a single-speaker speech at a party nominating convention. It also seeks to explore differences in effects between favorable and unfavorable commentary to update the area of research for the age of differentiated cable news. It observed benefits of exposure for the political speaker, though instant media commentary did not significantly affect perceptions.
Are Young People Abandoning Local Television News? • Jacob Nelson, Northwestern University • When it comes to news, more people turn to local television than anywhere else, including network and online news sources. Almost half of Americans surveyed by Pew Research Center in 2012 report watching local television news regularly. When people turn on their televisions to watch the news, 60% flip to local television news programs. Eight in 10 adults who follow local news closely do so using television weekly. But younger people are increasingly turning away from local television news. What’s more, younger people appear to be turning away from watching television in general. Are younger people abandoning local television news more than older media consumers? If so, are they replacing the news they are not getting from television with news consumption elsewhere? Or, in a media environment with seemingly endless options, are younger people consuming less news? Using regression analysis, this paper will an attempt to answer these questions by comparing American local television news media consumption habits based on results from two Pew surveys taken ten years apart in hopes of determining whether or not a younger generation that grew up using the internet will maintain the television news watching habits of the generation that came before it.
Small-Market MMJs: Hoping for Change that May Not Come • Simon Perez, Newhouse School, Syracuse University; Michael Cremedas • The Multi-Media Journalist (hereafter MMJ) newsgathering model requires one person to fill the roles of reporter, videographer and video editor as well as social media and web content producer. This study focuses on the effect the model has on how MMJs view the quality of their work and their future career expectations. The results suggest many small-market reporters are not satisfied with their jobs and are reconsidering whether to continue their careers in television news.
Diversity without Inclusion: A Comparative Analysis of Co-owned Spanish and English-language Television Network News • Seaira Christian-Daniels, Ohio University; Mary Rogus, Ohio University • This study is a comparative content analysis of the two Comcast-owned network news programs, Noticiero Telemundo and NBC Nightly News. The study explores whether the news programs cover different stories, and how they cover the same story. It also explores the diversity of talent and sources used by both news programs. It finds that, although the networks are owned by the same company, they share few content characteristics, except a lack of diversity among sources and on-air talent.
Differences among News Websites in their Use of Interactive Features • Natalie Stroud; Josh Scacco; Alex Curry • While interactive features, such as comment sections, used to be rare on news websites, they are now the norm. This content analysis of 155 news websites examines the use of social media buttons, lists of hyperlinks, polls, comment sections, and mobile sites. Television news and newspaper websites are compared, as are local and more broadly-targeted news sites. Results reveal many differences in the use of interactive features based on medium and target.
Towards a Mission to Inform, Educate, and Entertain: Influences on Story Selection at the British Broadcasting Corporation • Joe Watson, Baker University • This paper explores the influences on story selection at the British Broadcasting Corporation. Through interviews with personnel and observation of routines at BBC News world headquarters in London, the author identifies three themes that contribute to our understanding of how stories are selected and shaped for coverage at the BBC: respect and appreciation of the audience, the needs of individual networks and programs, and awareness of the Royal Charter.
Critically Analyzing Media System Structure: A Comparison of the Origins of U.S. and British Broadcasting, 1927-1935 • Seth Ashley, Boise State University • Media systems require democratic structures in order to serve self-governing citizens. With a goal of explaining divergent policy outcomes that continue to affect media content today, this article takes a comparative historical institutional approach to examining the origins of broadcasting policy structures in the United States and Great Britain. A mix of secondary sources and primary documents is used to explore the capacity of media system structures to serve the needs of democratic life.
The Vaporings of Half-Baked Lazy Documentarians: Art, Critical Pedagogy, and Non-Fiction Literacy • Ralph Beliveau, University of Oklahoma • This argument offers three contexts for discussing art and documentary; 1) a historical context concerned mainly with an art exhibit, to see the historical roots of anti-intellectualism; 2) documentary literacy, to counter the kinds of reactions that are discussed in reference to the art exhibition; 3) the work of Banksy, to integrate history and rhetoric to raise suspicion over both the regime of value in art and the rhetoric of truth exhibited in documentary conventions.
The Era of the Pseudo-Intellectual: Think tanks, market logic, and ideological rationalism • Jesse Benn • This paper’s main effort is to describe a new era of anti-intellectualism, as it relates to the rise of advocacy-oriented think tanks over the last several decades. Pseudo-intellectuals and knowledge production that stems from a predetermined ideology and the unrelenting logic of the free market characterize this new era of anti-intellectualism. Building off the traditional strains of anti-intellectualism: anti-rationalism, anti-elitism, and unreflective instrumentalism, two new terms are proposed and expounded upon.
Miley, CNN and The Onion: When Fake News Becomes Realer Than Real • Dan Berkowitz, University of Iowa; David Schwartz, University of Iowa • Following a twerk-heavy performance by Miley Cyrus on the Video Music Awards program, CNN featured this story on the top of its web site. The Onion – a fake news organization – then ran a satirical column purporting to be by CNN’s web editor explaining this decision. Through textual analysis, this paper demonstrates how a Fifth Estate comprised of bloggers, columnists and fake news organizations worked to relocate mainstream journalism back to within its professional boundaries.
Decolonizing Mediated Pro-Native-Mascot Messages at the University of Illinois and Florida State University • Jason Edward Black, The University of Alabama; Vernon Ray Harrison, Central Alabama Community College • This essay considers the overarching ideologies from which pro-Native-mascot discourses work in citizen-media. These ideologies are mostly nineteenth century constructs that involved U.S. colonialism regarding Native American nations. The argument, herein, is that pro-Native-mascot discourses homologically reflect the U.S. government’s ideologies of expansion, territoriality, paternalism, and benevolence enacted during this century. These nineteenth century historical milieus maintained colonization through land grabbing and spatial control over Native Americans; now they can be extended to the mascot controversy as a sort of neocolonialism. This includes, then, the mediated construction, control and use of Native cultures through symbol use – like mascotting. The essay proceeds first by exploring briefly the nineteenth century ideologies, noted above, through the primary discourses of U.S. governmental leaders who helped craft U.S. Indian policies. Next, the essay analyzes pro-Native-mascot rhetoric from the University of Illinois and Florida State University – through mediated university documents, and mediated student and alumni responses – for the ways that they re/enact neo-colonial ideologies. The analysis reveals numerous stark homologies between the bodies of nineteenth century and pro-Native-mascot discourses.
Materializing Photographs: Negotiating the Materiality of Photographs in The Editor & Publisher, 1901-1910 • Jonathan Brennen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This historical textual analysis of The Editor & Publisher explores how news workers discussed the materiality of early news photographs between 1901-1910. The analysis finds that the increasing differentiation of photographs from illustrations was grounded in shifting ideas about photography’s special connection to or place in the real world. This study suggests the value in investigating the materialization of journalistic objects and practices, through which they are endowed with specific, historically contingent material characteristics.
Real Men Wear Baby Carriers: An Analysis of Media Portrayals of Stay at Home Fathers • Mary Brooks, Texas Tech University • There is a rise in stay at home fathers due to the recession as well as more women seeking to work outside the home or return to school (Petroski & Edley, 2006). Although this shift for a man from a traditional role to a non-traditional role is growing, more research is still required in order to gain an understanding of males as primary caregivers to their children. Through this study, a series of interviews were conducted with stay at home fathers (SAHF) in order to gain more knowledge concerning the role of a stay at home dad along with how media play a part in their daily lives and how media portray fathers. A variety of themes were uncovered including the stigma attached to being a SAHF, the media’s representation of fathers, and the fathers’ desire to see more SAHFs featured in the media.
“The King Stay[s] the King:” The Multiple Masculinities of The Wire • Rick Brown, Marquette University • This qualitative study examines the televised police procedural The Wire (2002-2008) through the lens of Connell’s theory of hegemonic masculinity. Employing Fisher’s narrative paradigm, this narrative critique answers the question of how multiple masculinities are constructed in the program. Focusing on The Wire’s first season, the study finds that the program presents a counterhegemonic vision of police procedurals’ traditional hegemonic masculinity, positing it as a corrosive hierarchy that destroys marginalized and subordinated males.
Redefining the Advertising-Editorial Divide: Native Advertising Norm Construction and the Meaning of News Content • Matt Carlson • Professional journalism’s normative commitment to autonomy has long dictated the separation of editorial functions from advertising. However, the emergent practice of online native advertising complicates this division, resulting in conflicting visions of how journalistic authority should be established for online news. This paper examines reactions to a controversial Church of Scientology native advertisement on the Atlantic web site to assess how competing processes of norm-making and boundary work shape normative understandings of online journalism.
Manliness, Motherhood, and Mêlée: (Re)Articulating Gender in the Balkan Wars Rationale • Christian Vukasovich, Oregon Tech; Catherine Cassara, Bowling Green State University; Tamara Dejanovic-Vukasovich • News and propaganda images were ubiquitous statements in support of the conflicts that tore apart the former Yugoslavia; they rearticulated traditional gender roles that constituted “Balkan patriarchy.” This study explores the gendered nature of war, how a heterogamous nation embraced ethno-nationalist propaganda, and how the re-articulation of the sexual division of labor viewed through the lens of ethno-nationalism creates an inescapable pull toward violence. A post-modern feminist position informs the analysis via grounded theory methodology
Measuring the Impact of Globalization on German and U.S. University Students’ Attitudes and News Judgments • Sue Ellen Christian, Western MIchigan University; Robert McNutt, Western Michigan University; Yuanyuan Shao, Western Michigan University • This study explores whether or not journalism and mass communication students at a U.S. university and a German university have adopted their respective national attitudes and whether those attitudes are evident in students’ decisions about the newsworthiness of events. Analyses showed that students generally held the same attitudes as the general adult population of their country and often showed even stronger support for many attitudes. However, student attitudes were not significantly associated with decisions on the newsworthiness of hypothetical scenarios structured to elicit those attitudes. Most notably, German and U.S. students dramatically differed in their estimations of newsworthiness in 28 of 34 news stories. The results have relevance for global journalism curriculum development.
The docu-soap formula: multi-layered backstage, performed liminoid and therapeutics of the self • Xi Cui, Dixie State University • This paper assumes a ritual perspective to explicate the generic structure of docu-soaps through textual analysis of the popular reality show Duck Dynasty. The author argues that the claim of reality by this genre lies in its multi-layered backstage and the performed liminoid manifested in production and plot arrangements. The sense of authenticity conveyed through this structure contributes to media’s power to represent and reinforce certain social values such as the sacred and unapologetic self.
Communication strategies of post-soviet civic activists • Nino Danelia, University of South Carolina • Internet is essential at the start-up phase of the civic action in Georgia, one of the former Soviet republics. It retains its function as an effective communication and planning tool among civic activists throughout the protest. However, in order to mobilize large amount of public in the countries with low Internet penetration, the traditional media should be used.
Employee Gripe Sites and Everyday Life: Macro and Micro Perspectives • Maxine Gesualdi, Temple University • Organizations use websites to promote their brands and interact with customers. Disgruntled parties use websites to disparage companies for perceived ills. Previous research has examined anti-brand websites largely related to consumer interaction. However, equally important information is shared on sites populated by employees as outlets for gripes. This paper applies diverse theories from cultural studies, public relations, organizational systems, and sociology to conceptualize the employee gripe site and analyze sites about Wal-Mart and United Airlines.
Professionalism under the threat of violence: journalism, self-reflexivity, and the potential for collective professional autonomy • Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante, University of Arizona; Jeannine Relly, The University of Arizona • Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, as more than 100 journalists have been murdered between 2000 and 2014, with most of those killed in the northern states. Through an analysis of in-depth interviews with journalists in northern Mexico, this essay examines how violence has influenced journalists’ self-perceptions about professionalism. Utilizing the concepts of self-reflexivity and collective professional autonomy, the authors explain the complexities and contradictions of professional identity.
Alternative Spaces for Feminist Voices: Social Media’s Influence on CNN’s Steubenville Rape Coverage • Josh Grimm, Louisiana State University; Jaime Loke, University of Oklahoma; Dustin Harp, The University of Texas at Arlington • In this discourse analysis, we examined CNN coverage of the Steubenville rape case in the spring of 2013. Examination of 56 video news segments reflected a hegemonic struggle for meaning through negotiations of traditional and feminist conceptions of rape. After CNN started moving toward replicating traditional rape myths, the station’s coverage suddenly shifted to supporting (rather than blaming) the victim, which coincided with a social media backlash against the station’s handling of the case.
Who lost what?: An analysis of myth, loss, and proximity in news coverage of the Steubenville rape • Erica Salkin, Whitworth University; Robert Gutsche Jr, Florida International University • This paper extends previous research on the application of mythical news narratives in times of great community loss, death, or destruction by taking into account the role of perceived dominant news audiences. This paper analyzes six months of coverage surrounding the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl by two teenage boys in Steubenville, Ohio. The paper argues audience proximity to news events contributes to the mythical archetypes used to explain everyday life.
Extra Chromosomes and Mama Grizzlies: Sarah Palin Negotiating Down Syndrome as a Political Mother • Kirsten Isgro, State University of New York at Plattsburgh • In 2008, when Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin was introduced to the U.S political scene, there was emphasis on her position as a mother of a child with Down syndrome. Palin received both criticism and praise for bringing her youngest child out into the public arena, making visible his developmental differences. She became a contentious spokesperson for families with special needs, aligning her in uneasy ways with bioethicists, disability rights activists, feminists, and conservative anti-abortionists.
The Governmental Discourse on Food and Its Articulation of Koreanness • Jaehyeon Jeong • Drawing on the anthropological notion of food as deep play, this research examined the Korean government’s discourses on Korean food and their articulation of the Koreanness, with which people identify themselves as Korean. Through the visual analysis of the organizational magazine of Korean Food Foundation, this study found that national cuisine, as invented tradition, contributes to the (re) construction and perpetuation of the nation-ness, strengthening a boundary between “we” and “they.”
K-pop Idol Girl Groups: Cultural Genre of Neoliberalism in Confucian Korea • Gooyong Kim, Temple University; Kyun Soo Kim, Chonnam National University • By deploying Raymond Williams’s notion of cultural genre, this paper investigates how post-IMF neoliberal, Confucian Korea as historical specificity has rendered a proliferation of K-pop idol girl groups, which commodify highly sexualized young female bodies, as a formal universality. As a critical reaction to the existing K-pop scholarship, this paper analyzes how the music genre should be examined within the continuum of Korea’s Confucianism and state-developmentalism, and contributes to enriching scholarly examination on the sociocultural phenomenon.
Illusion vs. Disillusion: How Chinese Viewers Articulate the Meaning of “House of Cards” • Zhaoxi Liu, Trinity University • Using Stuart Hall’s articulation concept, this paper examines comments posted on the website of “House of Cards” on Sohu Video, a Chinese online streaming service, to see how viewers in mainland China articulate the meaning of the show. The analysis reveals three themes. Some viewers extoll the show as a demonstration of a superb, much better political system featuring democracy, others regard it as proof that American political system is just as dark and evil as the one in China. A third theme expresses people’s discontent over the lack of freedom of speech in China as the show offers a great example of how a dicey and outspoken show like it is not possible to be created in China. The study argues that through examination of articulation, researchers can gain more insight into the tension and struggle in a fast changing Chinese society.
U.S. Presidential Discourse about Immigration in an Era of Neoliberalism: Where the Golden Door Leads • Carolyn Nielsen, Western Washington University • In the past 30 years, the U.S. has seen its largest influx of immigrants at the same time it has experienced the growth of neoliberal politics. This study found that neoliberal thought has increasingly dominated presidential discourse about immigration. Presidents from both parties have primarily discussed immigration reform in terms of market solutions and economic growth. These discourses facilitate the creation of a permanent underclass rather than a “golden door” to the American Dream.
Orientalism and Objectification in the Evolution of the Singapore Girl, 1972-2013 • Fernando Paragas, Nanyang Technological University; Joshua Hong; Eugene Lee; Rachael Lim; Mai Yun Wong • The Singapore Girl, an icon that personifies Singapore Airlines, has been a locus of discussion on female imagery in branding. This study explores the depiction of the Singapore Girl in four decades of print advertisements that feature her. Using textual analysis, the study finds the limited use of the male gaze and the savvy moderation of orientalism and objectification to harness and downplay the sexualization of the Singapore Girl. The paper shows how advertising depicts the complex paradoxes and tensions in the life of the Singapore Girl and the Asian woman.
Psy-zing Up the Mainstreaming of “Gangnam Style”: Embracing Asian Masculinity as Neo-Minstrelsy? • Michael Park, University of Idaho • Through the media mania of “Gangnam Style,” this paper examines the ideological implications of the meme’s appeal and its celebrated reception on mainstream television programs. A critical reading addresses whether the popular reception of “Gangnam Style” offer alternative discourses or reinforce ideological constructions of Asian masculinity. An analysis of Psy’s music video and his mediated public appearances identifies the ideological implications that reflect and reinforce the emasculation discourse that situates Asian masculinity as neo-minstrelsy.
Scarlet Letters: Digital Sexual Subjugation of Revenge Pornography • Caitlin PenzeyMoog, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee • Revenge porn is the distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent. Most revenge adds a twist worthy of the Facebook age: personal information is included, so anyone with an internet connection can view sexually explicit images posted without consent next to the victim’s full name and, depending on the site, home address, phone number, and link to Facebook profile. I analyze revenge porn by first placing it in contextual history of pornography and prostitution. I argue that revenge porn can be viewed as a contemporary phenomenon that is part of a long line of practices used to repress women. Next, I place revenge porn in the context of the industrial capitalist system that allows it to flourish. I then turn to analyzing revenge porn itself, tracingthe life of the images that become revenge porn, highlighting the narrative arcs these images come to represent and their transformation from private sexual representations to public sexual commodities. I analyze the images themselves to understand the value of the “authentic” revenge porn image. The processes of feminization and masculinization of the participants involved. The act of posting revenge porn complements a hegemonic-masculine paradigm, wherein men assert or re-assert a hegemonic masculinity by posting revenge porn images. These images also act as capital, both economically and socially: economically for the owners of the websites, who gain monetary profits through advertising on popular revenge porn sites, and socially, as revenge porn images and stories act as cultural capital for those who post them.
Speaking Truth to Sorkin: Interpretive Community and the Critical Response to The Newsroom • Rachel Powers, California State University, Fullerton • This study examines the reactions of 35 television critics to season one of The Newsroom, a drama created and written by Aaron Sorkin and airing on HBO during the summer of 2012. A content analysis of season one reviews from June 2012 and corresponding critic Twitter postings was conducted. Regardless of a critic’s overall rating or assessment of The Newsroom, the critics approach the show as members of an interpretive community by structuring reviews around certain show elements, using a specific language to talk about the show, and relying on the intertextual elements inherent to both their profession and the television drama in order to shape audience opinion. Because of the critics’ unique relationship to the plot and setting of the show, and ability to share opinions through the media, reviews demonstrated a range of personal reactions and continued the larger national dialogue about politics, government, journalism and cable news that the show triggered.
Othering in Twenty-First Century Town Meetings: Critically Examining the Dialogic Role of Public Deliberation in AmericaSpeaks’ Kansas City Mental Health Forum • Corey Reutlinger, Kansas State University • This study examines the Kansas City Mental Health Forum for underlying Othering of the Mentally-Ill, exploring Bakhtin’s dialogic “sense-making” discourse between participants in AmericaSpeaks’ 21st Century Town Meetings. Using survey responses, ethnographic notes, and transcribed facilitator interviews from the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy, the study finds reinforced cultural stigmatization and dissuasion from continued civic participation in public deliberation. This study’s contributions lie in mathematical and critical solutions to improve deliberative theory and practice.
Properly Preggers: Media Representations of Celebrity Mommies and the Social Capital of the Ideal Pregnant Body • Chelsea Reynolds, University of Minnesota • This critical essay uses discourse analysis and historical analysis to understand media constructions of the ideal celebrity pregnancy. It positions coverage of Kim Kardashian’s and Kate Middleton’s pregnancies against mid-20th century coverage of celebrity pregnancies. Analysis shows the ideal pregnant body is guarded by a man, is fashionably accessorized, and is carefully restricted in size and shape. Applying Foucauldian principles of surveillance and examination, I suggest pregnancy coverage constructs pregnant women as ultimate “docile bodies.”
All is Wells with My Soul: Analysis of community and conditioned agency via The Defender’s coverage of the construction and opening of the Ida B. Wells Homes • Loren Saxton, Bowie State University; Elli Lester Roushanzamir, University of Georgia • This critical textual analysis explores how people exercise spatial and communicative agency through media, such as the Chicago Defender, and in social and physical space, such as the Wells Homes. The research suggests that the Defender’s coverage of the Wells Homes’ construction is an exemplar of how media practices reinforced restricting structures of race, class and space, while simultaneously providing opportunities for residents and community members to collectively produce sites of social resistance and transformation.
Bridging the Neoliberal Capitalist Divide • Nathan Senge, University of Colorado at Boulder • In the spirit of Richard Hoggart’s iconic tripartite scale for assessing public literacy rates, as articulated in The Uses of Literacy, this paper is an examination of the inherent conflict between ‘mass society,’ as defined by C. Wright Mills and which corresponds to Hoggart’s “basic literacy” level, and ‘culture,’ as used in the British Culturalist sense and which corresponds to the “critical” and “cultivated” literacy levels that Hoggart believed were required of a functioning democracy.
The Top Executive on “Undercover Boss”: The Embodied Corporate Persona and the Valorization of Self-Management • Burton St. John, Old Dominion University • Reality television has customarily been studied as an arena where individuals perform who they are within episodic and often highly-dramatic contexts. This work, however, finds that the program “Undercover Boss” offers a different approach: the corporate persona, embodied through the “undercover” top executive, interacts with front-line workers and, in the process, 1) elicits from employees their own self-managing observations, 2) focuses on employees who appear to be significant role models (for good or ill) and 3) provides rewards to employees who exhibited positive self-governing and/or role modeling. With this approach, “Undercover Boss” offers up the image of a beneficent corporate persona whose vision is consonant with American values and norms.
“I Kill Czervenians”: Adolescent Video Game Users as a Commodity Audience for War • Margot Susca, Ph.D., American University • Little research exists about audience interaction with the U.S. Army’s military recruitment video game, America’s Army. Using a political economic lens, this paper hopes to add to the literature about military video games through a critical review of nearly 10,000 comments posted to America’s Army message boards. Jenkins (2006) suggested that gamers are active parts of the online audience and that they can and do negotiate meanings from that participation. The further study of America’s Army audiences can help to broaden our understanding of the moral and political consequences of allowing the U.S. Army to produce a game targeted at youth that has military recruitment as its primary goal. This paper seeks to better understand a heterogeneous audience and how it makes meaning from the game’s messages of violence, war, and U.S. military service. Evidence in these online comments must be understood as a product of structural realities of the corporate systems and government doctrine that make the media possible in the first place. Analysis reveals themes of militarism, violence, recruitment, and sanitized and unrealistic feelings about dying in combat; each related to the U.S. Army’s need to exploit and commodify its adolescent audience during a time of war.
Framing “Big Jim”: The CIA, US News Media, and Press Coverage of Jim Garrison’s JFK Assassination Investigation • James Tracy, Florida Atlantic University • Framing research and method are applied to historically situate and analyze US press coverage addressing New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s independent investigation of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination (1967-69). A sample of articles from major newsweeklies taken over the inquiry’s two-year span suggests a concerted effort to present the case in negative terms. Three overarching frames are evident in reportage focusing on Garrison’s alleged physical characteristics and personal and professional behavior, alongside the backdrop of New Orleans’ exoticized milieu. Documentation further suggests a working relationship between the Central Intelligence Agency and major news media indicated in coverage of what Agency personnel recognized as a potentially momentous probe. At this juncture the term “conspiracy theory/theorist” emerges in journalistic faire and is imbued with certain aberrant connotations, making it a powerful device that is routinely wielded to direct and shape public discourse and opinion.
A Re-conceptualization of Lumpenproletariats: The Collective Organization of Poverty for Social Change via Participatory Media • Cindy Vincent • This paper contributes to critical media theory by challenging Marx’s conception of the lumpenproletariat and analyzing the activist-oriented participatory media processes of those who would be classified as contemporary lumpenproletariats in San Francisco, CA. Based on ethnographic research conducted at POOR Magazine, this paper argues that despite obstacles of disenfranchisement and disindividuation, people living in poverty and homelessness are able to collectively organize for social change via participatory media processes.
Obama hands out condoms, hires half-naked people: Individualized and personalized discourse in Echo Chamber 2.0 • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University • This paper expands on Jamieson and Cappella’s (2008) “echo chamber” of right-wing opinion media by expanding it to traditional-styled news as well as a range of opinion and social media sites. It analyzes a discourse of personalization focused on Barack Obama and his associates that resembles the Manichean furor of Hofstadter’s (2008/1964) “paranoid style” of American politics. Though a personalized style of political communication has advantages for candidates and audiences alike, an extreme personalization tilts the scales toward delegitimization and misrepresentation.
Reporting Jim Crow Abroad: Press Images and Words for African-American Deployments in World War II • Pamela Walck, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University • “Prior to the civil rights movement, African Americans rarely appeared in mainstream newspapers unless they were glamorous entertainers, tremendous athletes or frightening criminals. Growing scholarship argues that America’s march into World War II marked a turning point toward racial equality in the United States. This paper utilizes semiotics to evaluate images and words used by the mainstream and black press to tell the war story of “others” in Great Britain.
A Way of Life at Risk: Taxes, Borders and the Myth of the Country Store • Richard Watts, University of Vermont; Cheryl Morse, University of Vermont • This study explores the relationship between public policy and myth by examining the ritualistic responses to three tax policy proposals in the news discourse. In each proposal, similar arguments are raised immediately—arguments that draw from mythologies of pastoral arcadia and archetypical figures of independent, hard-working country-store owners, a key element in the state’s cultural landscape. The ritualistic display of the “cross-border” narrative obscures the opportunity for more detailed policy analysis.
An Analysis of Black and Mainstream Newspaper Coverage of Benjamin Jefferson Davis Junior 1945 -1955 • Prince White, Howard University • This research explores the media frames present in Black and mainstream newspapers’ portrayals of Black, Communist Party leader and New York City Councilmen Benjamin Jefferson Davis Junior from 1945 to 1955. The results indicate that the newspapers portray Davis with a variety of media frames prior to his indictment under the Smith Act and the portrayals of coalesce in portraying him as an outsider, an agitator and a puppet of a foreign totalitarian dictatorship.
Newsmagazines’ Coverage of the David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell Affair: Textual Analysis of Differences in Portrayals and Descriptions • Tetyana Lokot, University of Maryland; Antonio Prado, University of Maryland; Boya Xu, University of Maryland, College Park • Drawing on a media bias perspective, this study examines the Petraeus/Broadwell scandal coverage in three newsmagazines. It attempts to identify main story themes, agency assigned, and stereotypical content. Results showed considerable discrepancy in journalistic descriptions toward David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell. It is concluded that interpretations of the female party in sex scandal coverage involving men in power remain on a similar level of constructed news frame as coverage of scandals of similar contexts.
Open Call Competition
How Media Literacy and Personality Predict Skepticism toward Alcohol Advertising • Erica Austin, Washington State University; Adrienne Muldrow, Washington State University Department of Marketing and International Business • To examine media literacy in the context of personality factors, a survey of 472 young adults showed that Need for Cognition and Need for Affect both predicted critical thinking about media sources but explained little variance. Critical thinking about sources mediated effects of personality on critical thinking about messages. The results suggest that media literacy can be taught and that media literacy about media sources is an important precursor to critical thinking about messages.
Digital Media and the Perception of Public Opinion: Evidence from Colombia • Matthew Barnidge, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Perceptions of public opinion can influence political expression and behavior. But digital media may have implications for theories of perceived public opinion. Using a representative survey of Colombian adults in urban areas, this paper examines whether and how digital media use is associated with projection and pluralistic ignorance. Results show (a) a consistent relationship between Internet use and perceptions of the public and (b) that self-reference processes interact with network characteristics and information seeking behaviors.
Online News Sharing: Examining Opinion Leadership’s Discrete Functions in General and Specific Contexts • Peter Bobkowski, University of Kansas • This study explicated the five functions of generalized opinion leadership (gatekeeping, legitimizing, harmonizing, influencing, advice giving), and assessed these functions’ independent associations with online news sharing. Online users (N = 198) evaluated their visit to a new news-oriented website. The gatekeeping and legitimizing functions were related to news sharing in general and news sharing about the website. The study contributes to the theoretical development of online information sharing and opinion leadership.
Presumptions and Predispositions: Integrating Self-Monitoring into the Influence of Presumed Influence Model • D. Jasun Carr, Susquehanna University • The conjoined theories of Third Person Effect and the Influence of Presumed Influence have become firmly established within the realm of persuasive literature. However, little research has explored the personal predispositions that may influence the social aspect of these processes. Using the practice of product placement, the practice of embedding of goods and services within media, this experiment expands the understanding of these theories by incorporating individual levels of self-monitoring. The changes in purchase desire engendered by the product placement stimuli were found to be moderated by our perceptions of our close social group, with individual levels of self-monitoring mediating the influence of the presumed exposure and attitude shifts. By moving the analysis of effects beyond simple persuasion and incorporating theories addressing the role others play in the persuasive process this manuscript provides a more fully described model for understanding the observed effects and explores the wide-ranging implications for researchers and practitioners.
The Absence of Women in Media Representations: The Psychological Effects of Symbolic Annihilation of Gender • Charisse L’Pree Corsbie-Massay, Syracuse University; Stephen Read, University of Southern California • Drawing on psychological theories including social exclusion, discrimination, and identity conflict, the current research investigates the effects of gender annihilation from a potential group, Digital Heroes. When watching a video for Digital Heroes featuring all men, women who self-categorize as Digital Heroes provided fewer thoughts, whereas women who did not categorize as Digital Heroes reported more positive thoughts, less negative mood, and better self-concepts. Implications for media effects research and career-based interventions are discussed.
Modeling Longitudinal Communication Data with Time Series ARIMA • hanlong fu, Salem State University • Although it is a truism that communication is a process, communication researchers, for years, grappled with analyzing longitudinal data. In recent years, linear models such as multilevel models greatly expand the analytic “toolbox” of communication researchers in dealing with longitudinal observations. However, these models are often limited because they usually assume a linear trend in longitudinal change and simple error structures. When such is the case, time series ARIMA models may be more suitable for the job, because ARIMA models are better at handling data with many time points and complex serial dependency. This article demonstrates how to model longitudinal data with time series ARIMA models. Using a Monte Carlo simulation, we first illustrate the properties of ARIMA models with different sample sizes and coefficients. Then we apply the techniques to analyzing a real dataset. We conclude the article by discussing the implications and caveats of using ARIMA models.
Disentangling the Impact of Centering on Collinearity in OLS Regression • hanlong fu, Salem State University; David Atkin • This article investigates the impact of centering on collinearity in regression models. Extant literature in social sciences suggests that centering can reduce collinearity in linear models by suppressing correlation between variables. Using both simulated and actual datasets, this article shows that centering could both increase and decrease some collinearity diagnostics in multiplicative models. The impact of centering on collinearity is more cosmetic than commonly thought because point estimates, standard errors, and variance explained stay the same after the centering. This implies that correlation-based diagnostics such as VIF and tolerance are insufficient for identifying collinearity. Therefore, researchers should consult a range of diagnostics to identify the problem. Most importantly, only valid research design and measurement could solve the problem of collinearity.
Culture, Power and Political Opinion: A New Model of Media Effects • Matt Guardino • I construct a new conceptual model of how mass media coverage shapes public policy opinions that synthesizes social scientific theories of framing and the survey response, on the one hand, and critical-cultural theories of hegemony, on the other. John Zaller and Stanley Feldman’s psychologically based “question-answering model” is rooted in the ambivalent considerations about public issues that most people hold. Scholars have integrated processes of framing into this theory in order to explain how considerations are activated through communication. I extend these ideas by defining considerations as individual-level manifestations of fragmented popular common sense, as Stuart Hall has developed this concept in his theory of cultural articulation based on the work of Antonio Gramsci. By linking psychological mechanisms of opinion formation to processes of ideological contestation as manifested in media coverage, my framework marries systematic analysis of news content and survey data to theoretically rich critiques of the power relations that shape political communication. I illustrate my model with evidence on U.S. media coverage and public opinion on economic and social welfare issues, and I sketch potential methodological strategies that relax some of the tensions between the divergent approaches to communication and belief formation that my model draws on. My framework speaks to questions that are central to democracy by taking account of how media coverage can enable both elite influence and popular resistance to dominant political understandings.
How Television Viewers Use the Second Screens to Engage with Programming: Development and Validation of the Social Engagement Scale • miao guo • This study investigated second-screen television viewing behavior by introducing the social engagement construct and validating its measurement scale. Two online consumer panels of 1,052 second screen users were sampled to complete the three-stage research strategy. Through conceptualization and operationalization of social engagement, this study identified five underlying dimensions in social engagement, i.e., utility, control, interaction, influence, and attention. These five dimensions demonstrate different functionalities delivered by mobile devices such as laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. The theoretical and practical implications of the social engagement construct are also discussed.
Uses & Grats 2.1: Considering Ecosystem In User-Generated Content Gratifications • Michael Humphrey, Colorado State University • Uses & Gratifications has long asked a useful question: “What do people do with media?” (Katz, 1959). Numerous critics, however, have called for a substantive response to digital media’s radical change in the way users consume and create content. A new question is in order: “What do mediated people do with their experience?” For the purposes of studying User-Generated Content, this paper builds off Sundar & Limperos “Uses & Grats 2.0” (2013), adding Ecosystem to the MAIN model and concludes with a case for online ethnography.
Social Dominance as a Gateway to Racism in Homicide News Processing • Erika Johnson, University of Missouri • This study was a 3 (race: white, black, control) x 3 (role: victim, perpetrator, control) x 3 (multiple messages) mixed factorial design. The study examined whether news stories about violent shooting homicides would impact implicit (measured by the IAT) and explicit attitudes about race and empathy. Social dominance orientation was an additional independent grouping variable explored. The study found that high SDO individuals expressed more overall explicitly reported empathy than low SDO individuals and that high SDO individuals expressed most reported empathy toward Black perpetrators in news stories. However, for high SDO individuals, perpetrator primes led to more explicit negative Black stereotyping than victim stories. These findings indicate that aversive racism may occur in processing of news stories as primes. This has practical implications for journalists in that while news consumers may be capable of understanding crime as a social problem, bias in news coverage may reinforce implicit aversive racism.
Strengthening the Core: Examining Interactivity, Credibility, and Reliance as Measures of Media Use • Barb Kaye, University of Tennessee Knoxville; Tom Johnson • This study investigated uses and gratifications of social network sites, blogs, and Twitter for political information, and compared the influence of reliance, credibility, and interactivity on motivations. Reliance and credibility strongly influence motivations for using SNS. Blog motivations are most heavily affected by credibility, and reasons for using Twitter are most heavily influenced by interactivity. This study supports reliance as a measure of media use and suggests that credibility and interactivity are also effective measures.
The Allure of Aphrodite: How Gender-Congruent Media Portrayals Impact Adult Women’s Possible Future Selves • Ashley Kennard; Laura Willis; Melissa Kaminski, The Ohio State University; Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University • Over five days, a prolonged exposure experiment presented non-college women with magazine portrayals of females in gender-congruent or gender-incongruent social roles. Responses revealed that 3 days after media exposure, only gender-congruent roles remained salient. Exposure to gender-congruent portrayals induced more concerns about possible future selves and produced more positive affective valence compared to gender-incongruent portrayals. Exposure impacts were mediated by the extent to which women linked the magazine portrayals to their own possible future selves.
The Effect of Message Framing Intertemporal Choices • kenneth kim, oklahoma state • The current study explores the effect of message framing on intertemporal choices in the context of promoting retirement plans. A plethora of research has reported that people prefer sooner but smaller rewards over later but larger options. Few studies have examined the impact of framing on investment decisions that differ in timing. Experiment 1 examines the framing effect on immediate but small amount of investment vs. delayed but larger amount of investment when the amount of saving outcome is fixed. Experiment 2 explores the framing effect on the same intertemporal choices when the amount of monthly contribution is fixed.
Actual or perceived?: Comparing two dimensions of scientific knowledge in the United States and South Korea • Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina; Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina; Jeong-Heon JC Chang, Korea University; Ju-Yong Ha, Inha University • This study examines predictors of two key dimensions of scientific knowledge: perceived and factual knowledge about generically modified organisms (GMO) and nuclear energy in the U.S. and South Korea. The findings show that perceived and factual scientific knowledge are conceptually unique across two countries’ samples and not significantly correlated. Most of indicators were not associated with factual knowledge, and attention in newspapers and on the Internet and elaborative processing were related to perceived knowledge.
Communicating with key publics in crisis communication: The synthetic approach to the public segmentation in CAPS (Communicative Action in Problem Solving) • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Andrea Miller, Louisiana State University; myounggi chon • The purpose of this study is to identify and understand key publics (active and aware publics) and their communication behaviors in crisis communication using the public segmentation framework which has been rarely used in crisis communication. In doing so, the study quantitatively tests a new theoretical framework of Communicative Action in Problem Solving (CAPS) classifying eight types of aware and active publics. Through the new framework of public segmentation, the survey results from 1,113 participants substantiate eight types of active and aware publics as well as their communicative characteristics in a crisis situation. The study methodologically and theoretically not only extends the public segmentation research to crisis communication but also creates better understanding of aware or active publics in CAPS by intertwining cross-situational and dynamic or situational approaches. Findings will contribute to practical and theoretical development in crisis communication by helping crisis managers effectively communicate with the key publics.
The Role of Fear Appeals in the Tailored Health Messages • Nam Young Kim, Sam Houston State University • When a message is tailored to individuals’ interests, can the message be persuasive regardless of other message attributes, and if not, what media content can differentiate the tailored message effectiveness and how? In the context of an anti-binge drinking health campaign, this study particularly tested how the emotional content (i.e., fear appeals) in tailored messages influences people’s messages processing and their attitudinal/behavioral changes. Using a 2 (regulatory focus: promotion vs. prevention) X 2 (message framing: gain vs. loss) X 2 (level of fear appeals: low vs. high) experimental design, the findings indicate that the influence of tailored messages should be discussed cautiously, because the message’s effectiveness is reduced when combined with a high fear appeal. The findings have theoretical and practical implications on the use of emotional appeals in tailored communication.
The Augmented Cognitive Mediation Model: Examining Antecedents of Factual and Structural Breast Cancer Knowledge Among Singaporean Women • Edmund Lee; Min-Cheol Shin; Ariffin Kawaja; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • The focus on knowledge acquisition is an important component of health communication. This study tests the Cognitive Mediation Model (CMM) in the breast cancer context in Singapore, where a nationally representative survey data was collected from 802 women between the ages of 30 and 70 through random digit dialing. Results supported the augmented CMM model, which proposed structural knowledge as an added dimension of knowledge. Attention to media was found to have indirect influence on factual and structural knowledge through interpersonal communication and elaboration. Interpersonal communication and elaboration were significantly related to both forms of knowledge and they mediate the influence of attention to media and two forms of knowledge. Risk perception is positively related to attention to media; it also has indirect influence on interpersonal communication and elaboration mediated by media attention. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.
Cues about cues in politicians’ social media profiles: Effects of commenters’ attractiveness and claims of cognitive effort • Jayeon Lee, Lehigh University; Ray Pingree, Louisiana State University • Based on the heuristic-systematic model, we argue that consideration of cue applicability and reliability can facilitates effective heuristic processing. Using an experiment, this present study examines how commenters’ attractiveness and their claims of cognitive effort influence the comments effects. The results indicate that vote intention is significantly influenced by the cognitive effort cue whereas attitude is significantly influenced only when the viewer is interested in politics. The attractiveness cue did have a significant influence.
Lost in Translation: Social Capital in Communication Research • Chul-joo Lee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Dongyoung Sohn, Hanyang University • To examine how communication scholars have imported the concept of social capital from other disciplines, we first analyzed the citation patterns among social capital-related journal articles, book chapters, and books. Moreover, we investigated whether and how communication scholars have cited three pioneering scholars in this area, i.e., Robert Putnam, Pierre Bourdieu, and James Coleman, thereby revealing which aspect of social capital has been emphasized whereas which aspect has been ignored. Based on the analyses of 171 journal articles, books, and book chapters extracted from the Communication Abstracts, we found that the translation of social capital concept into communication research has been driven and dominated by a small group of scholars, Wisconsin political communication scientists. The content analysis results demonstrate that the prominent players certainly favored the work of Putnam over those of Bourdieu and Coleman. The implications of these findings for communication research were discussed.
The spiral of media addiction in the age of social media • Edmund Lee • The study of pathological media use or media addiction is one topic in the field of communication that has drawn much attention. With the prevalence of social networking sites, scholars in recent years have proposed a case of social media addiction. This paper will review some of the existing paradigms of media addiction research, and argue for a case of social media addiction by looking at the problem of addiction through LaRose’s (2010) social cognitive model. This paper will propose a theoretical synthesis of social cognitive model and Noelle-Neumann’s (1974) spiral of silence—the spiral of media addiction which will take into account how the normalization of the surveillance culture can explain high social media usage.
A Quarter-century of Reliability in Communication Content Analyses: Simple Agreement and Chance-corrected Reliability in Three Top Journals • Jennette Lovejoy, University of Portland; Brendan Watson, University of Minnesota; Stephen Lacy, Michigan State University; Daniel Riffe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Study examines reliability reporting in representative samples of content analysis articles (N=581) in three major communication journals—including level and type of reliability assessment. Data from 1985-2010 show increasing reporting of chance-corrected reliability coefficients and reporting reliability for all variables. Results varied with the percentage of articles reporting both simple agreement and a reliability coefficient. Overall, 9% of articles reported at least one variable with reliability coefficient below the .70 “minimum standard.”
Observing the ‘Spiral’ in the Spiral of Silence: A Latent Growth Modeling Approach • Joerg Matthes • Time is of the utmost importance when designing studies to test spiral of silence theory. The theory posits that individuals who feel they are in the majority become more dominant and louder over time while the minority camp becomes increasingly silent. However, few studies have tested the dynamic nature of the theory. Therefore, the aims of this paper are to revisit the role of time in spiral of silence research and to demonstrate how dynamic processes can be modeled with three-wave panel data. Using survey data on the topic of unemployment, the relationship between change in the opinion climate and change in opinion expression is estimated with a latent growth model. Findings confirm the dynamic processes predicted by the theory.
Don’t Call It Polarization: Rethinking the Problem in American Politics • Bryan McLaughlin, University of Wisconsin-Madison • By most accounts, polarization is the biggest problem in American politics today. I argue polarization is not the problem, but a symptom of the problem. Using a social identity framework, I propose that “political conflict” more accurately encompasses the range of problems typically mislabeled as polarization. Further, I offer an alternative account of polarization; ideological polarization has increased because political conflict motivates partisans to adopt policy positions that are more distinct from the political outgroup.
Testing Multi-Group Measurement Invariance of Public Relations Leadership • Juan Meng, University of Georgia • Multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis has been suggested as a reliable approach to assess measurement invariance in advancing theory construction in communication research. In this study, the author applied this approach to a public relations setting: to test the measurement equivalence of scales for public relations leadership across multiple samples. Three sample groups (senior public relations executives, mid-level public relations practitioners, and college students majoring in public relations) were surveyed to test the invariance of the measurement instruments. Findings indicate that the measures of public relations leadership can be equivalent across different groups, although partial measurement invariance has been demonstrated in certain dimensions. Implications of using this method for international and multiple-group sample in communication research are discussed.
Better Communications in Crisis Communication • Husain Murad, Howard university • Crisis communication plans were established after the 9/11 attacks and Katrina disaster to help minimize risk factors that come when a disaster occurs. The need of disseminating information accurately and quickly to the public is essential during crisis. The goal of the study is to develop an effective formula for information dissemination to the public during crisis communication. The study develops a crisis communication formula based on the earlier theories of diffusion of information and diffusion of innovation in establishing better communication plans during natural or manmade crisis. The study suggests that a better dissemination of information during crisis can occur when the right innovation or technology is being used toward the right medium choice such as opinion leaders to relay information to the public who vitally depends on the given information. The study proposed a formula aiming toward simplicity. The simpler the message is the more dissemination it gets. The study suggests that natural crisis and man-made crisis create different challenges in dissemination of information.
Theorizing the ‘Risks Sphere’: Cultural Theory of Risk, Communication and Public Policy • S. Senyo Ofori-Parku, University of Oregon • Researchers in the multidisciplinary field of risk perception and communication work from different epistemological and methodological frameworks, often seen as incompatible. One of these perspectives is the cultural theory. This paper examines the foundations of the CT and argues that despite the conceptual differences between the cultural theory and psychometric paradigm, both approaches can benefit from a mutually reinforcing alliance. And the SARF offers the framework for this union. Public policy implications are discussed.
Emotional and Cognitive Dimensions of Perceived Risk Characteristics, Genre-Specific Media Effects, and Risk Perceptions • SANG-HWA OH; Hye-Jin Paek, Hanyang University; Thomas Hove, Hanyang University • This study examined how cognitive and emotional dimensions of risk characteristics, drawn from the psychometric paradigm of risk, affect the relationship between risk perceptions and either news or entertainment media. Survey data among Korean adults about H1N1 indicated that the emotional but not the cognitive dimension of risk characteristics is positively related to risk perceptions. Exposure to entertainment media affects personal-level risk perceptions—not directly but indirectly through the emotional dimension of risk characteristics.
Parody Humor: The Roles of Sympathy and Attribution of Control in Shaping Perceptions of Credibility • Jason Peifer, The Ohio State University • This study explores how impersonation-based parody narratives can generate sympathy for political figures targeted by such humor. It also investigates the implications of feeling sympathy for political figures—as generated by parody humor—pertaining to subsequent impressions of credibility. It is demonstrated that a sympathetic predisposition is positively related to the elicitation of sympathy upon exposure to a parody message. Moreover, attribution of control is shown to interact with sympathy to predict perceptions of goodwill.
The Impact of Information about What Majority Scientists Believe in a Dual-Processing World • Yilang Peng; Patrice Kohl; Soo Yun Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Heather Akin, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Eun Jeong Koh, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Allison Howell, University of Wisconsin; Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Scholars have long questioned the journalistic practice of “false balance,” which gives disproportionate coverage to perspectives that are often less valid than other claims within the scientific community, and proposed that reporters should provide information about the extent of scientific agreement – where the majority of scientists and evidence lie on the truth claim – when covering contested scientific issues. A field experiment implies that false balance and information about scientific agreement have heterogeneous effects on readers’ perceptions of scientific controversies across different levels of elaboration likelihood. For unmotivated readers who have low interest in science news or low need for cognition, false balance increases their perceived support of the minority view within the scientific community and information that presents a majority scientific agreement acts reversely. For motivated readers, however, a majority agreement within the scientific community drives them to carefully scrutinize the arguments presented by the minority side. Thus, they will support the minority perspective most in the presence of false balance but least when a story does not “balance” contested viewpoints. The pattern surfaces both for perceived scientific opinion as well as personal belief.
News as Judge or Stenographer: Partisan Differences in Effects of Adjudicating Factual Disputes • Mingxiao Sui, Louisiana State University; Ray Pingree, Louisiana State University; Newly Paul, Louisiana State University; Isabelle Ding, Louisiana State University • An experiment tested effects of whether a news story adjudicated a factual dispute and whether this adjudication supported factual claims by Democrats or Republicans. Unlike past findings that corrections of partisan beliefs can backfire (Nyhan & Reifler, 2010), factual beliefs moved in the direction of the adjudication regardless of partisanship. Among Democrats but not Republicans, adjudication also increased epistemic political efficacy (EPE), or confidence in one’s own ability to decide which political claims are accurate.
Measuring Perceptions of Stewardship Strategies: A Valid and Reliable Instrument • Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University • Through a survey of nonprofit stakeholders, this research builds on previous studies that have explored the construct of stewardship and advances a valid and reliable scale. Findings provide a new conceptualization of the construct with five dimensions, rather than the previously theorized four-dimension solution. Theoretical, measurement and practical applications are discussed.
The Word Outside and the Pictures in our Heads: Contingent Effects of Implicit Frames by Political Ideology • Sungjong Roh, Cornell University; Jeff Niederdeppe • Using data from systematic web image search results and two randomized survey experiments, we analyze how seemingly innocuous alternative word choices (implicit frames) commonly used in public debates about health issues affect public support for health policy reforms. In Study 1, analyses of Bing (N=1,719), Google (N=1,872), and Yahoo Images (N=1,657) search results suggest that the images returned from the search query “sugar-sweetened beverage” are more likely to evoke health-related concepts than images returned from a search query about “soda.” In contrast, “soda” search queries were far more likely to incorporate brand-related concepts than “sugar-sweetened beverage” search queries. In Study 2, participants (N=206) in a controlled web experiment rated their support for policies to reduce consumption of these drinks. As expected, strong liberals had more support for policies designed to reduce the consumption of these drinks when the policies referenced “soda” compared to “sugar-sweetened beverage.” To the contrary, items describing these drinks as “soda” produced lower policy support than items describing them as “sugar-sweetened beverage” among strong conservatives. In Study 3, participants (N=1,000) in a national telephone survey experiment rated their support for a similar set of policies. Results conceptually replicated the previous web-based experiment, such that strong liberals reported greater support for a penny-per-ounce taxation when labeled “soda” versus “sugar-sweetened beverages.” In both Study 2 and 3, more respondents referred to brand-related concepts in response to questions about “sugar-sweetened beverages” compared to “soda.” We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and methodological implications for studying implicit framing effects.
Who’s afraid of spoilers: Need for cognition, need for affect, and narrative selection and enjoyment • Judith Rosenbaum, Albany State University; Benjamin Johnson, The Ohio State University • In spite of people’s supposed tendency to avoid spoilers, previous experimental studies into the impact spoilers have on enjoyment have produced contradictory findings. The present study investigates whether personality traits moderate this relationship. An experiment (N = 368) found that those low on need for cognition preferred spoiled stories, while individuals with a high need for affect enjoyed unspoiled stories more. In addition, fiction reading frequency was positively related to the enjoyment of unspoiled stories.
Uniformity in Framing: An Incomplete Model of Quantitative Equality • Jeremy Saks, Ohio University • The following paper attempts to propose a new way of thinking about framing research. Numerous scholars have highlighted the need for agreement within framing research but little change has been made since those papers were published. This paper highlights relevant research and uses it as the basis for a hypothetical model. That model distinguishes between two concepts: quantitative and qualitative framing. Ultimately, some suggestions are made in an effort to increase dialogue on different ways to increase uniformity within the realm of framing research.
Explicit Silence: The Effect of Obviating Media Censorship on the Spiral of Silence • Brett Sherrick, The Pennsylvania State University; Jennifer Hoewe, The Pennsylvania State University • Spiral of silence theory argues that people evaluate whether or not their opinions should be self-censored based on perceptions of public opinion; the current study investigates the effect of a more explicit form of censorship – of online comments at the end of a news site editorial –on spiral of silence variables. This study also advances methodological understanding of spiral of silence research by comparing the traditional willingness-to-share variable to more direct measurements of personal attitude.
Combining Modernization and Participation: diffusing innovations through participatory dialogue • Siobahn Stiles, Temple University • Utilizing data gathered from participant observation and in-depth interviews collected from a development project in the southeastern United States, this paper seeks to demonstrate the need to combine modernization theories with participation theories for successful development work. Despite the often binary understandings of the two paradigms, this case study indicates that the two schools of thought within development communication work best in conjunction and may even call for a “better practices” formula as a combined model. The paper uses the theories of Jurgen Habermas and Paulo Freire to inform the practical application of development communication in a program focused on individual recovery for female addicts and former prostitutes. In the months spent as both a participant observer and interviewer, the author found that participatory dialogue was structured through the diffusion of innovations, the latter of which was the foundation of the program. Both modernization and participation as they were infused and combined throughout this program points to the likeliness that the program’s high success rate is contingent upon the practical application of both theories. Participatory dialogue informed the change agents on how to improve the diffusion of innovations, and set innovations gave structure to participation.
Socialized into using or avoiding news: Family communication, personality, motivations and news exposure among teenagers • Sebastian Valenzuela, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; Ingrid Bachmann, Catholic University of Chile; Marcela Aguilar, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile • Adolescence is a key period in the development of individuals’ news habits but little is known about the processes involved in this socialization. This study proposes an integrated model in which the influence of family communication on the motivations and behaviors of adolescents in relation to news consumption occurs through the development of personality traits relating to information processing. Structural modeling of data from a representative survey of 2,273 Chilean adolescents supports the theorized model.
Social News Use, Social Talk: Facebook and the Social Mediation Model of Political Participation • Aaron Veenstra, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Benjamin Lyons, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Chang Sup Park; Narayanan Iyer, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Delwar Hossain, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Cheeyoun Kang, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • One of the primary features of social media is its facilitation of users’ expression within their networks via status updates and shared information, which form the core of the content within social network sites. The lack of any barriers to entry and their functional ease of use have made social media technologies invaluable in fostering community participation and discussion by presenting new sources of information and new pathways to political involvement. This study extends the framework of the communication mediation model by investigating the role of Facebook in each stage of the model, resulting in a set of add-on phenomena we call the social mediation model. The study uses general population survey data to test this new model, with results indicating that the use of Facebook for news plays a major indirect role in promoting both expressive and traditional forms of political participation, in part by driving users to traditional news sources. Findings also show that political talk on Facebook provides direct benefits for expressive participation above and beyond the effects of political talk in general. These findings are discussed in the context of the growing use of Facebook as a primary news source, and particularly as one that is socially curated by one’s own friend network.
Informal Media Literacy Training and the Processing of Unbiased and Partisan Political Information • Emily Vraga, George Mason University; Melissa Tully, University of Iowa • Partisans are poor judges of news content, rating neutral content as biased against their views and forgiving biased content when it favors their side. This study tests whether a short news media literacy public service announcement appearing before political programming can influence credibility and hostility ratings. Our findings suggest a media literacy PSA can be effective, but its impact depends on the position of the news program and on the political ideology of the audience.
An Emotional Opinion Page: Editorial Mood and the Dynamics of Public Opinion • Mike Wagner; Michael Gruszczynski, Austin Peay State University • In this paper, we develop a new measure of editorial mood – defined here as the average emotional tone of the editorial page when discussing a specific issue—across three issues: abortion, taxes, and energy policy. We then examine the factors that influence whether editorial mood becomes more positive or negative over time. In general, we find that general editorial tone is affected by the public mood
Persuasive Storytelling in the Interactive Age: A Theoretical Model Explaining Interactivity Effects in Narrative Persuasion • Amanda J. Weed; Alexandra Beauchamp, Ohio University • The authors propose a Narrative Persuasion Interactivity (NPI) model, which posits that interactive narratives will heighten the symbiotic relationship between character and audience member through promotion of character identification and experience taking to “become the character.” By integrating the existing literature with paradigms that include interactivity, we may expand the knowledge of narrative persuasion and its cognitive processes including character identification, experience taking, spiraling reinforcement, and, ultimately, attitude change.
Perceived Source Similarity and Processing of Social Media Health Messages: Extending Construal Level Theory to Message Sources • Rachel Young, University of Iowa • Social media and other participatory web platforms provide avenues for mediated interpersonal health communication among members of a social network. This experimental study uses construal level theory of psychological distance to predict how health messages from socially proximal online sources influence health-related cognition and behavioral intention. The study represents an extension of construal level theory to testing how source social distance effects whether messages result in concrete vs. abstract thoughts about a health topic. As predicted by construal level theory, participants who perceived sources of social media health messages as highly similar listed a greater proportion of beliefs about the feasibility of health behaviors, while participants who perceived sources as more dissimilar listed a greater proportion of beliefs about the desirability of health behaviors. Practically, results of the study could be useful in determining how health messages from socially proximal others are likely to be processed and thus how messages from these sources might best be employed in health education and promotion, particularly in encouraging individuals to reach health goals.
Content Analysis and Computational Social Science: Rethinking a Method • Rodrigo Zamith; Seth Lewis, University of Minnesota • This article focuses on what the turn toward computational social science means for traditional forms of content analysis. In particular, we consider the traditional way of conducting content analysis in light of the algorithmic coder, assess what is gained and lost in turning to algorithmic solutions, and discuss an alternative approach that leverages traditional and computational approaches in tandem. This approach, we argue, helps keep content analysis relevant in a changing research environment.
Decoding “The Code”: Reception Theory and Moral Judgment of Dexter • Jason Zenor, SUNY-Oswego; Steve Granelli, Ohio University • Dexter has been a popular television show on the Showtime Network since 2006. It is successful because it uses the narrative devices of classic cop shows, while adding the twist of having the protagonist as an anti-hero who kills people. Consequently, this show requires the audience to question concepts inherent to the genre: justice, morality, and good versus evil. Accordingly, this study examines how moral processes and audience engagement are connected in audience reception of morally ambiguous characters. Using Q-Methodology, this study found four dominant audience perspectives: Vigilante Justice, Psychological Puzzle, Gratuitous Violence and Deviant Escapism. Each perspective coincides with both a mode of audience engagement and a theory of moral reasoning. Consequently, this paper argues that there may be a strong relationship between the audience’s mode of engagement and its moral reasoning of anti-heroes that should be further tested in future studies.
Multiple uses. Diverse effects? The impact of mobile phone usage on social capital and subjective well-being • Michael Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong • The number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide has reached almost 7 billion in 2013. Therefore, the social and psychological consequences of the technology are of great interest to new media scholars and policy makers. Adopting an affordance-based approach, this study examines how different uses of the mobile phone are related to individuals’ subjective well-being and social capital. Findings from a national survey showed that both voice and online communication with the mobile phone is positively related to various indicators of subjective well-being and bonding and bridging capital. Moreover, both bonding and bridging capital mediated the relationship between mobile phone use and subjective well-being. On the other hand, non-communicative uses such as information seeking activities were negatively related to positive affect and passing time activities were positively related to negative affect. Implications of the findings are discussed.
The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology During Cognitive Tasks • Russell Clayton, University of Missouri; Glenn Leshner, University of Missouri • This study uniquely examined the impacts on self, cognition, anxiety, and physiology when iPhone users are unable to answer their iPhone while performing cognitive tasks. A 2 x 2 within-subjects experiment was conducted. Participants (N = 40 iPhone users) completed two word search puzzles. Among the key findings from this study were that when iPhone users were unable to answer their ringing iPhone during a word search puzzle, heart rate and blood pressure increased, self-reported feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness increased, and self-reported extended self and cognition decreased. These findings suggest that negative psychological and physiological outcomes are associated with iPhone separation and the inability to answer one’s ringing iPhone during cognitive tasks. Implications of findings are discussed.
Navigating through the Bulls and Bears on the Web: Balancing Information Literacy Skills and Self-Efficacy • Bo Ren Ang; Zhao Yao Lam; Jion Chun Teo; Pamela Ting Jun Chan; Debbie Goh, Nanyang Technological University • Young investors increasingly turn to the Internet for financial information. Through a cross-sectional study of young investors in Singapore, the empirical components of information literacy skills and self-efficacy in information use were analysed and compared on using quality financial information online. The components were examined across demographics, financial literacy, digital skills, and investing experience. This study fills the literature gap by proposing a balance of high information literacy skills with a strong sense of self-efficacy.
Building Brand-Consumer Relationships on Facebook: Effects of Socialness in Brand Communication and The Control on Consumer Feedback • Jin Hammick, Flagler College • Grounded in relationship marketing theory and social response theory, this study investigates the potential of Facebook as a brand-consumer relationship channel in two ways: socialness in brand communication and brand’s control on consumer feedback. A 2×2 experimental study revealed that socialness and feedback control are essential predictors for consumers’ perception on brand trustworthiness, relationship commitment and brand attitude. Interaction effects were found on commitment and brand trust.
News Informatics: Engaging Individuals with Data-Rich News Content through Interactivity in Source, Medium, and Message • S. Shyam Sundar, The Pennsylvania State University; Haiyan Jia, The Pennsylvania State University; Saraswathi Bellur; Jeeyun Oh, Robert Morris University; Hyang-Sook Kim, St. Norbert College • This paper introduces the concept of “news informatics” to refer to journalistic presentation of big data in online sites. It argues that for users to be engaged with data-driven public information, sites ought to incorporate interactive tools so that users can extract personally relevant information. Three different kinds of interactivity proposed by Sundar (2007) are empirically tested in a 2 (modality) × 3 (source) × 2 (message) field experiment (N =166) with a data-rich site.
Senior Citizens on Facebook: How do they Interact and Why? • Eun-Hwa Jung, The Pennsylvania State University; S. Shyam Sundar, The Pennsylvania State University • This study investigated why senior citizens use Facebook and how they participate in specific activities on Facebook in order to gratify their needs. A survey of 440 seniors revealed four primary motivations: social bonding, social bridging, curiosity, and responding to family-member requests. Regression analyses indicate that social bonding is a major motivation, which leads to more activities on Facebook, greater Facebook use and higher satisfaction with using Facebook. Message-interactivity features lead to greater Facebook use.
Mobile Communication for Human Needs: A Comparison of Smartphone Use between the US and Korea • Seok Kang, University of Texas at San Antonio; Jaemin Jung • This study deals with two studies that develop and compare a measure and model of hierarchical needs of smartphone use from U.S. and Korean users. The first study examines the dimensionality of measure by conducting an exploratory factor analysis on 398 U.S. and 331 Korean college students. Results identified five constructs of the smartphone basic needs (SBN) scale from the two samples: physiological, safety, belongingness, self-esteem, and self-actualization. The second study examines the relationships between the SBN and use behavior, which leads to life satisfaction. The relationship of the constructs was theoretically synthesized and tested. Results indicate that both samples believe that the smartphone fulfills the needs of safety and self-actualization that predict smartphone use and life satisfaction. Theoretical and cross-cultural implications are discussed.
Look, Where I am! Examining the Relationship between Motivations of Mobile Check-ins and User Privacy Concerns • Hyang-Sook Kim, St. Norbert College; Nichole Wierzba • Given the popularity of checking in at a location via mobile phone, little research has examined germane motivations tied to check-in as a form of in-group electronic word-of-mouth, and related concern of privacy. A survey with 174 college students found mixed relationships between motivations of location check-in and students’ privacy concerns online. Students’ competence and involvement with mobile phone showed mixed relationships with check-in motivations as well. Details of the findings and implications were discussed.
Predicting Retweet Behavior in Breast Cancer Social Networks: Network and Content Characteristics • Eunkyung Kim, University of Georgia; Jiran Hou; Jeong-Yeob Han, University of Georgia; Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia • The study explores how social media, especially Twitter, serves as a viable place for communicating about cancer on Twitter cancer community. Using a two-step analytic method that combines social network analysis and computer-aided content analysis, this study investigates 1) how different types of network structure explain a retweeting behavior, and 2) what type of tweet is retweeted and why some messages attract more interactions among users. The analysis has revealed that messages written by users who have a higher number of followers, a higher level of personal influence over the interaction, and closer relationships and similarities with other users were retweeted. In addition, a tweet message with higher level of positive emotion was retweeted, while a tweet message with higher level of tentative words was not retweeted.
When Scientists Talk to the ‘Rest of Us’: Using the Technology Acceptance Model to Explain Scientists’ Use of New Media to Communicate with the Public • Anthony Dudo, University of Texas at Austin; Allison Lazard, University of Texas at Austin; Lee Ann Kahlor, UT Austin; Niveen AbiGhannam, University of Texas at Austin; Ming-Ching Liang • This study provides an examination of scientists’ adoption of new media for public communication. Using a sample of research scientists and the Technology Acceptance Model to specify a structural model that explicates scientists’ online public communication behavior, we found support for 30% of the variance in our dependent variable. Our analysis fills a gap in the science communication literature and provides actionable insights for practitioners seeking to improve scientists’ public communication abilities.
Who Put Their Best Face Forward on Facebook? : Positive Self-Presentation in Online Social Networking and the Role of Self-Consciousness, Actual-to-Total Friends Ratio, and Culture • Jong-Eun Roselyn Lee, Ohio State University; Minsun Shim, Inha University; Yeon Kyoung Joo, Stanford University; Sung Gwan Park, Department of Communication, Seoul National University • This study investigated the roles of self-consciousness, actual-to-total Friends ratio, and culture on positive self-presentation on Facebook. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with Facebook users in the U.S. (n = 183) and South Korea (n = 137). The results showed that U.S. participants, compared with South Koreans, engaged in positive self-presentation to a greater extent. The data further demonstrated that culture significantly moderated the effects of public self-consciousness and actual-to-total Friends ratio on positive self-presentation.
Internet Alternative Media Usage and Oppositional Knowledge • Francis L. F. Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong • The Internet has been regarded as an important platform through which citizens can get informed about politics and public affairs. Different types of websites or content, however, may convey different types of political knowledge. This study focuses on the impact of Internet alternative media on audience’s levels of oppositional knowledge, defined as knowledge about facts and concepts that are instrumental in the formation critical attitudes toward dominant power and generating support or participation in oppositional actions. The empirical analysis examines three types of oppositional knowledge: factual information about oppositional groups and figures, negatively valenced cognitions about dominant power, and understanding of the concept of civil disobedience. Analysis of survey data from Hong Kong shows that Internet alternative media usage relates positively to factual information about movement groups and activists and understanding of civil disobedience, while it has only very limited relationship with traditional and non-oppositional forms of political knowledge. Oppositional knowledge also mediates the impact of Internet alternative media on support for a planned civil disobedience campaign and general protest participation.
Participatory Expressions in Blogs and Microblogs: A content analysis of bloggers’ posts in two Chinese news portals • Xigen Li; Jing Xia • Informed by adaptive structuration theory, this study examines to what degree bloggers in China adapt to the new communication structure, and use blog and microblog for participatory expression on public welfare, and social and political issues. The results offer insights into the changes brought by communication technology and the adaptive structuration process of bloggers in their transfer from blog to microblog. The findings highlight the stronger function of microblog in participatory expression compared to blog.
Media Doxxing as Invasion of Privacy: An analysis of online comments • Jasmine McNealy • Doxxing is the revelation of personally identifiable information on the Internet. And it is not solely nefarious Internet hackers who disclose information; news organizations, too, have engaged in doxxing. This case study examines the reaction to a media doxxing by conducting a qualitative content analysis of the comments left on the online article. In particular, this study explores whether the comments thought the doxxing was an invasion of privacy.
Gaming social capital: Finding civic value in multiplayer video games • Logan Molyneux, University of Texas; Krishnan Vasudevan, The University of Texas at Austin; Homero Gil de Zuniga, University of Vienna • Previous research suggests that social interactions in video games may lead to the development of community bonding and pro-social attitudes. Results from a national survey of U.S. adults finds that gamers who develop ties with a community of fellow gamers possess gaming social capital, a new gaming-related community construct that is shown to be a positive antecedent in predicting both face-to-face social capital and civic participation.
Diffusion of Social Media Campaign Effects: Moderating Roles of Social Capital in Anti-Smoking Campaign Communications • Kang Namkoong, University of Kentucky; Seungahn Nah, University of Kentucky; Stephanie Van Stee, University of Missouri – St. Louis; Rachael Record, University of Kentucky • This study examined the effects of a social media campaign on persuasive intentions to encourage others to stop smoking and comply with anti-smoking policy as well as the roles of social trust and community life satisfaction. Our 201 subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental condition: ‘campaign message reception only’ or ‘message reception and expression.’ Social trust and community life satisfaction interacted with treatment condition to positively affect persuasive intentions, but in different ways.
The possibilities of proximity: Mobile effects on a traditional news factor • Brett Oppegaard; Michael Rabby, Washington State University • Proximity, or geographical nearness, of the audience to the news event has been a fundamental factor for determining localized media content for generations. Practitioners and scholars generally understand that the closer a person is to the place of the news happening, the more interested that person might be in the information. Mobile technologies, with location- / spatial- / contextual-awareness capabilities, have raised many related issues about the potential for journalism to make better connections to contemporary audiences through the customization of content based on issues of place. In terms of such tailoring, mobile devices allow novel kinds of news connections, based on the nearness to a physical stimulus. To examine these phenomena, an app was developed around The Old Apple Tree, the matriarch of Washington state’s apple industry. The mobile content – providing service-journalism context to connect the tree, the industry, the annual festivities, and the place – then was shared with people in the presence of The Old Apple Tree during the festival, as well as at a holiday festival a half-mile away and a couple of months later. The results show a significant difference in the responses by the audiences, based on proximity. Proximity therefore could be a key consideration in the generation of new forms of mobile news.
Explicating Net Diversity in Longitudinal Assessment • Yong Jin Park, Howard University • This study tracks the increasing supply of Internet access and the diversity of Internet use by analyzing data from the three waves of a survey conducted in the U.K. in 2005, 2007, and 2009. Data on Internet access and three dimensions of online use (civic/governmental, economic, and news/information) reveal that Internet offers a promise of diversity, but also presents systematic divides in which the increase in benefits (of Internet capacities and actual consumed) does not uniformly occur, while the impacts of social disparities remain constant over time. Our discussion addresses how characteristics of social backgrounds are salient in harnessing types of Internet use.
Online vs. Face-to-Face Self-Disclosure among AA Members • Stephen Perry, Illinois State University; David Jackiewicz, Kellogg Community College • Self-disclosure is an important part of the recovery process articulated in the Alcoholics Anonymous literature. Some studies of online support groups have shown greater social support and propensity for self-disclosure through attendance in online meetings than in face-to-face meetings, a concept that seemed to be supported by hyperpersonal communication theory. This study chose to investigate whether self-disclosure is enacted and perceived differently for AA members based on their predominant type of meeting attendance. Survey findings indicate that participants are more willing to disclose during face-to-face meetings than they are online in both the honesty and depth self-disclosure dimensions. Only reciprocity was statistically unchanged across the meeting types.
News Recommendations from Social Media Opinion Leaders: Effects on Media Trust and Information Seeking • Jason Turcotte; Chance York, Louisiana State University; Jacob M. Irving, LSU; Rosanne Scholl, LSU; Ray Pingree, Louisiana State University • In today’s polarized news environment, social media offers a forum for both diverse viewpoints and an exchange of opinions. This experiment found that a recommendation for a news article made by a real-life Facebook friend increased trust of and reliance on the news outlet where the article appeared, but only if the friend was perceived as an opinion leader. The reverse was true for recommendations from poor opinion leaders. Implications for democracy and the news business are discussed.
Applying the Theory of Reasoned Action to Student-Teacher Relationships on Facebook • Pavica Sheldon, University of Alabama – Huntsville • The purpose of this study was to investigate professors’ and students’ intentions to add each other as friends on Facebook. Participants were 160 college professors and 249 students from different American universities. Consistent with theory of reasoned action, intention was the strongest predictor of them adding each other as Facebook friends. However, among faculty members, a personal attitude was the most significant predictor of the intention to add students as friends. For students, subjective norm was the most significant predictor of the intention to friend professors. Overall, students had positive beliefs about other people’s approval of their Facebook friendships with professors – while faculty had slightly negative beliefs about what others would think of them being Facebook friends with students.
Cyberbullying YouTube videos: What makes them different and what makes them viral? • Karen Smreker, Michigan State University; Tegan Smischney, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • The phenomenon of cyberbullying is ever growing with the increasing sophistication of information communication technologies. Victims and aggressors have used social media platforms to discuss this issue. The current study analyzed 315 YouTube videos dealing with cyberbullying and explored differences among source attributes and content attributes. Additionally, the study explored how source and content attributes predict the virality of cyberbullying YouTube videos (views, likes, and comments). Findings showed that the number of views, likes, and dislikes differed significantly as a function of the type of source featured in the YouTube videos. Findings are discussed within the framework of advancing our understanding of cyberbullying and in relation to creating more effective campaigns to curb the prevalence and effects of cyberbullying.
Is a “sticker” worth a thousand words? The effect of Line character sticker use on relational intimacy • Shaojung Sharon Wang, National Sun Yat-sen University; Cai-Wei Peng, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan • This study investigated how Line character sticker use may contribute to the perception of intimate experience and ultimately enhance relationship satisfaction in both positive and negative emotion situations. A 2 (situation valance: positive emotion, negative emotion)×3 (response style: text, sticker, text, & sticker) ×3(scenario: career, romance, education) factorial experiment was employed. The results revealed significant main effects of situation valance and response type on intimate experience. Specifically, a partner’s supportive response during positive event disclosure can better predict the sense of intimate experience. Findings here suggest that the intimacy model in the FtF situation can still effectively explain how intimacy is fostered in the mobile communication environment. The hyperpersonal model is further extended to the effect of nonverbal cues in creating intimacy.
Why do we Pin? New Gratifications explain Unique Activities in Pinterest • Ruoxu Wang, The Pennsylvania State University; Fan Yang; Saijing Zheng; S. Shyam Sundar, The Pennsylvania State University • Pinterest is now the third most popular SNS after Facebook and LinkedIn. An online survey (N=113) was conducted to explore the relationships between 23 affordance-based gratifications derived from MAIN model (Sundar, 2008) and ten different Pinterest behaviors. Our study revealed that a brand new set of gratifications (specific to digital media) predicted a whole lot of user behaviors in Pinterest. As we analyzed the data, four findings were especially interesting: 1) People who felt that they had a higher degree of ownership from their curating activity were more likely to be frequent pinners; 2) Those who perceived Pinterest as being cool were likely to be more frequent browsers; 3) Those who thought that they were the source of Pinterest content were more likely to create boards frequently; and 4) Those inclined to browse freely in Pinterest were less likely to invite others to pin the boards they created. Theoretical and design implications were discussed.
Attacks by “Anons”: A Content Analysis of Status Negotiations in Aggressive Posts, Victim Responses, and Bystander Interventions on a Social Media Site • Rachel Young, University of Iowa; Stephanie Miles, University of Iowa • Though the incidence of cyberbullying is far outpaced by incidence of bullying face-to-face, the experience of perceived online victimization is relatively common among adolescents. The affordances of social media sites, such as anonymity and asynchronicity, inform status negotiations among online aggressors, victims, and supportive bystanders. This quantitative content analysis investigates more than 1,000 question-answer dyads from 78 social media profiles to determine which rhetorical strategies are used most frequently and how strategies vary by roles within an online encounter. We found that victims and bystanders as well as aggressors used the anonymity affordance to demonstrate social strength. In addition, most profile owners received at least one supportive comment, and certain responses from victims determined the nature of subsequent comments, be they neutral, supportive, or aggressive. This exploratory research suggests many areas for future study that will inform interventions to encourage effective victim and bystander responses in cyberbullying.
Understanding Generational Differences in the Relationship Between Online Banking and Online Security • Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Shelia Cotten, Michigan State University; Hsin-yi Tsai; Nora Rifon, Michigan State University; Robert LaRose, Michigan State University • Age differences in the use of communication technologies are often noted as barriers to adoption. However, age in itself is not necessarily a barrier when the communication technology in question offers benefits to older adult users and when the associated risks are manageable. The present research integrates online safety and online banking research to examine generational differences in the acceptance of communication technology in the presence of financial risk to the user. Diverse Mechanical Turk samples of Millennial, Baby Boomer, and older (Silent and GI) generation adults were surveyed. Multiple regression analyses of online banking adoption intentions showed that trust in online banking providers and coping self-efficacy were variables that distinguished the generations.
I thought you would like to know: Exploring motivations for sharing sports news on Twitter • Jan Boehmer, Michigan State University; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University • The present study explores motivations of content sharing on Twitter in the context of sports news employing a two-step text-based analysis combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. First, a grounded theory approach is used to create a typology of motivations from open ended survey-questions. Categories are then used to classify all responses and compute a regression model predicting individuals’ intentions to share. Main motivations include the informativeness of the tweet and considerations about the perceived audience.
Revisiting the Contact Hypothesis in Computer-Mediated Communication: Effects of Different CMC modes and Attitude Strengths on Intergroup Relationships • Bolin CAO; Wan-Ying Lin • This study applies the contact hypothesis in the computer-mediated communication (CMC) situation and examines whether intergroup contacts would facilitate intergroup relationships. The effectiveness of different CMC modes, particularly text-based and video-based, was investigated. Participants (N=60) interacted with a confederate from the conflicting outgroup via either text-based CMC or video-based CMC. The results revealed that video-based CMC exerted more influence in improving participants’ attitudes towards the targeted outgroup member than did text-based CMC. Nevertheless, neither text-based nor video-based CMC helped promote positive attitudes towards the outgroup as a whole. On the other hand, prior attitude strengths significantly predicted individuals’ attitude change towards the outgroup. The role of social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE) in intergroup contacts was discussed.
Factors Affecting Internet Diffusion in China: A Multivariate Time Series Analysis • Guangchao Feng, Jinan University • Based on previous studies and theories, a framework called EPIC (Economy-Policy-Infrastructure-Content) was proposed and a multivariate time series analysis was performed to examine the relationships between Internet diffusion and these factors. The growth of Internet penetration was found to be mainly driven by Internet access cost and content, and yet GDP per capita and telecommunications infrastructure failed to play roles. The implications were discussed at last.
Entertain me now, later and when I want: The Uses and Gratifications of College Students’ Consumption of Current Events on Social Media • Jack Karlis, Buffalo State College • Social media is a dominant news source among the college students. This study examines the “what” or different dimensions of news and the “why” or uses and gratifications that college students use current events on social media. This study adds to the existing body of uses and gratification literature. This study found five gratifications (information seeking, surveillance/guidance, voyeurism and social interaction), including one unique to current events on social media, perpetual entertainment. This study also looked at the predictors of recall and general use from current events on social media by college students.
TV takes in Social: Psychological predictors of social TV viewing motivations and audience activity on SNSs • Hongjin Shim; Yeonkyung Lee, University of S. Korea; Hyunjin Song • This paper investigates the relationships between motivations, audience activity, and psychological traits of 442 social TV drama viewers. Audience activity on SNSs were identified as dissemination and reception and, during such activities, the respondents’ motivations for Social TV use were driven by co-viewing, engagement, and passing time. While co-viewing and engagement were relevant to either reception or engagement, passing time was related to both activities. Psychological traits also predicted the motivations: innovativeness and BAS were significantly associated with all motivations but BIS. Results suggest that social TV viewers would attempt to transform conventional ways of audience activity into new practices on new media influenced by their psychological traits reflecting motivations.
Old Programs, New Channels: A Uses and Gratifications Approach To Internet Television • Nai-Se Li, Mindshare; Jay Newell, Iowa State University • Television shows once available only on conventional TV in homes on specific days and times are now available via Internet TV in nearly any location, 24 hours a day. While some shows may be the same on conventional TV and Internet TV, the motivations for viewing may be different for each platform. This study employs a uses and gratification approach to compare audience rationales for watching program-length content on conventional TV to watching the same content type on Internet TV.
Revisiting group size effects: group size and member participation in an online community • TAE JOON MOON, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Ming-Yuan Chih, University of Kentucky; Dhavan Shah, University of Wisconsin – Madison; David Gustafson, University of Wisconsin – Madison • This study investigates how group size influences the patterns of member participation and attachment in an online community. Reconciling competing views on group size effects, this study suggests that the effects of group size can be understood as a non-linear fashion and adopts a two-step analysis (i.e., multiple-curve estimation procedure and confirmatory hierarchical regression analysis) to determine the optimal models which best explains the relationships between group size and member participation/attachment. By analyzing 236 members’ use behavior in an online support community during 48-month period, the present study found a negative logarithmic relationship between group size and participation; member participation sharply decreased at the initial stage as group size increased, yet the rate of decrease kept decelerating. The relationship between group size and member attachment was best explained by a quadratic curve model; member attachment decreased at the earlier stage until group size reached a certain threshold (around 250 in this study) but turned to increase thereafter as the group grew. Given the observed curvilinear relationships, a desirable group size to alleviate negative effects and increase positive effects of group size is further discussed.
Impression formation on social media from the viewer perspectives • Yi Mou; Mike Miller • The question of how impression is formed online – especially on social media – has triggered a lot of research interest. While traditional impression formation literature mainly looks at this issue from the source perspective, little attention is paid from the viewer or audience perspective. As anecdotal evidence and scientific inquiry accumulated, viewer’s identity is called into the question of how and why a certain impression is formed. Under the guideline of self-categorization theory, this study aims to provide some insights on impression formation from a viewer perspective. An online experiment was conducted based on a 2 (microblog post topic: personal vs. professional) X 2 (fans count: few vs. many) between-subjects factorial design. Under each condition, a mock-up microblog page of a fictitious college professor was presented to respondents before they were asked to evaluate this “professor”. The results indicate that teacher respondents and student respondents rate the likability and credibility of this professor differently. Theoretical implications are discussed.
Who said that? A persuasion knowledge perspective for understanding the effect of social distance and source expertise on social networking sites (SNS) • Yoon Hi Sung; Chang-Hoan Cho; Young Woong Shin • This study explored the effect of social distance and source expertise on the effectiveness of brand message on social networking sites (SNS) based on persuasion knowledge model. A 2 (social distance: close vs. distant) x 2 (source expertise: expert vs. non-expert) x 2 (product types; search goods vs. experience goods) experimental study was conducted. The structural equation modeling was used.
Break it to me gently: Twitter bypasses traditional media for breaking news, but where does it lead people next? • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Erika Johnson, University of Missouri • This study sought to determine the news consumption pattern of college students by asking where respondents get breaking news and where this source leads them next. Guided by the framework of niche theory and theory of relative constancy, we predicted that social media, particularly Twitter, is displacing traditional news media at least for the gratification of learning about the news first. The findings based on an online survey (N=224) supported this general assumption.
Issue-Specific Engagement: How Facebook Contributes to Opinion Leadership and Efficacy on Energy and Climate Issues • Emily Vraga, George Mason University; Ashley Anderson, Department of Journalism & Technical Communication; John Kotcher, George Mason University; Edward Maibach, George Mason University • While social media are increasingly studied for their political impact, not enough is known about how distinct forms of Facebook activity – such as general news consumption and expression vs. issue-specific activism – explain attitudes towards a particular issue. Using a Republican sample, we demonstrate that only issue-specific advocacy on Facebook is associated with a greater sense of personal influence on the issue of climate change, suggesting distinguishing between types of Facebook activity is important.
Can You See Me? Teenagers’ Self-Disclosure on Social Network Site, Regret of Posting, and Social Capital • Wenjing Xie; Cheeyoun Kang, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • Self-disclosure is popular on social networking site. Using survey data from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, this study tries to provide an overall picture of teenagers’ self-disclosure on SNS. We further examine how demographic variables, SNS use, different types of friends, trust, and privacy control behavior influence self-disclosure, regret of posting on SNS, and social capital. We find that though teenagers reveal moderately high level of personal information on SNS, they don’t disclose all types of personal information equally. Hierarchical regression analysis shows that demographic variables and anecdotal factors such as SNS use frequency, network size, SNS friend type, trust, and privacy control behavior are related to self-disclosure on SNS and regret of posting. Self-disclosure and privacy control behavior also predict teenagers’ social capital.
How Public Relations Practitioners Perceive Social Media Platforms? A Media Richness Perspective • Ana Isabel Gonzalez Michel, Albertus Magnus College; Thomas E. Ruggiero, The University of Texas at El Paso; Kenneth “C.C.” Yang, The University of Texas at El Paso • Prior studies on the use of social media by public relations professionals lacked the theoretical framework to fully evaluate the richness of this emerging communication platform. On the basis of Media Richness Theory, the researchers assessed the perceptions of 162 PR professionals from a national sample to identify emerging media richness dimensions that are not the same as those in the previous media richness theory. This study suggests that social media not simply be compared to traditional media, but demonstrates a unique medium characteristics. Both theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Take a break: Examining College Students’ Multitasking Activities During a Study- or Work-Related Task • Shupei Yuan, Michigan State University; Anastasia Kononova, Michigan State University • The survey explored how frequently college students engage in multitasking with social media, texting/instant messaging (IM), and music while studying/working and what motivates them to multitask. Checking Facebook, texting/IM, and listening to music were the most popular activities. Five media differed by strongest multitasking motivations. Habit was the dominant motivation predicting frequency of using media during a work- or study-related task. Passing time, escape, socialization, and efficiency predicted the extent of multitasking on different instances.
A Review of the Scholarly Literature on the Role of Social Media in Social Capital • Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University; Alan Abitbol • This paper attempts to provide a critical review of the growing empirical literature on the influence of social network sites on social capital (2004-2014). It summarizes the major findings, identifies the thematic patterns of influences of SNSs on social capital in such diverse areas as trust, civic and political participation, bridging and bonding social capital, campaigns and mobilizing and negative outcomes, locates gaps in the current literature, and provides suggestions for future studies.
Nature and Effectiveness of Online Social Support for Intercultural Adaptation of Mainland Chinese Overseas Students • Liang Chen, Nanyang Technological University; Xiaodong Yang, Nanyang Technological University • Mainland Chinese students have been flocking to universities or colleges in Singapore. Inevitably, these students have encountered difficulty in adapting to their new life. An online social support group called Living in Singapore Group (LSg), a sub-forum of the most popular forum on Chinese overseas study created in April 2000, provides various types of social support messages for Mainland Chinese students in Singapore. This research explores the nature and effectiveness of these messages. A directed qualitative content analysis was applied in Study 1 to analyze 1,736 posted messages collected from July 6, 2012 to February 6, 2013.The results suggest that social support messages can be categorized into subcategories of the three existing main categories, namely, informational, instrumental, and emotional, as well as the new category called network support. In-depth interviews were conducted with 21 LSg members in Study 2. The results demonstrate that social support messages provided by this group have effectively helped Mainland Chinese overseas students in intercultural adaptation, especially in the early cross-cultural adaptive phase.
The displacement effect between competing social network services: Examining uses-and-gratifications of WeChat and Weibo in China • Di Cui; Guangsheng Huang • The worldwide proliferation of social network services necessitates a move beyond studying the adoption of any single social network service. However, little research has discussed the competition between different social network services. Taking the uses-and-gratification perspective, this study explores the potential displacement effect between two most popular social network services in China: WeChat and Weibo. Adopting both the media-centric and user-centric approaches, we attempted to explain the displacement effect by examining gratification-opportunities of and gratifications-obtained from WeChat and Weibo respectively. Based on an online survey (N = 395), we found that WeChat was displacing Weibo among young users. The growing preference on WeChat was driven by its instant messaging as gratification opportunity and sociability, entertainment and peer approval as gratifications obtained. Our analysis meanwhile reveals that the user-centered approach is more effective in explaining the displacement between similar social network services in competition.
Understanding the Behavior of Abstaining from Contributing to Product Reviews on the Web: Motivational and Attitudinal Approaches • Youngsun Kwak, University at Buffalo; Amanda Damiano, University at Buffalo; Ji Hye Choi, University at Buffalo • There are endless reviews one can read online about products. While many studies have examined a contributor’s side of product reviews, research is limited because only a small number of people write comments about products. This study evaluates those who abstain from contributing to product-reviewing on the web; specifically by employing motivational theories as well as attitudinal theories. Focus group interviews were undertaken as a way to gauge thoughts, opinions, and feelings of non-contributors. It was determined that there may be several reasons why people do not contribute to online product reviews, including lack of autonomy, feelings of having less competence, a weak sense of belonging, as well as a negative attitude toward product reviews in general. These findings serve as an important step in developing a questionnaire for future research. Furthermore, this information serves a practical use in providing the creators of these products with insightful consumer thoughts.
How Does the Audience Respond to Cancer Videos? A Content Analysis of YouTube Comments • Jingjing Han, Indiana University • This exploratory study examined how YouTube users respond to cancer knowledge-based videos. Language analysis was applied to understand the audience’s emotions, the way to process information and their most concerned themes. There are 3,453 comments on YouTube were analyzed in sentiment analysis and Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count Analysis (LIWC), while 200 comments were manually categorized into the fourteen themes. Results show that there are four top themes that are salient among the comments, i.e. giving cancer medical/treatment information, giving basic cancer knowledge, asking intelligent support about cancer, and appreciation for others’ support /video content. Furthermore, the audience processes the videos more emotionally than cognitively, and there are more negative responses to the videos. Interestingly, the positive valence of the message is positively correlated with the negative valence. Interpretations and implications were discussed.
Who use more emoticons? Who anthropomorphize more?: Cultural and Gender Differences in Emoticons Use on IM • Soyoung Jung, Syracuse University; Joon Kyung Kim, Syracuse University; Li Chen, Syracuse University • An online survey (N=110) examined how IM users use emotions when they are chatting through IM based on cultural and gender differences. Drawing on culture dimension theory and high- versus low-context culture theory, two independent variables were examined; the tendency to individualism/collectivism, and masculinity/femininity. Based on two popular platforms (Facebook Messenger and KakaoTalk), the results showed that there is a correlation between cultural/gender difference and emoticons use satisfaction, especially anthropomorphism tendency toward the emotions. The results showed that there is a correlation between cultural/gender difference and emoticons use satisfaction, especially Anthropomorphism. People who have the tendency towards collectivism showed greater satisfaction than those who have the tendency towards individualism. In addition, people who have the tendency towards femininity exhibited more satisfaction with emoticon use than those who have the tendency towards masculinity. As a result, the findings of this study suggest that individuals’ tendency to individualism/collectivism and masculinity/femininity has the correlation with their satisfaction with emoticon use in IM.
Examination of Perception and Evaluation for Smartphone Addiction during a Communication Blackout • Chang Sup Park • The smartphone, through its small size, ease of use, proliferation of free or cheap apps, and constant connectivity, changes our life in a way that goes well beyond what we experienced with previous media. This study examined smartphone users’ self-perception and evaluation for their addictive behaviors during a communication blackout that lasted six hours in recent South Korea. Based on the interview of 20 smartphone users, this study distinguished heavy smartphone users into two groups – people who depend on their smartphone emotionally and people who depend on it functionally. The current study found that the former group was more reluctant in acknowledge negative aspects of the smartphone than the latter group. In addition, functionally-dependent users were more willing to change their addictive behaviors than emotionally-dependent people. Heavy smartphone users, regardless of their type of overdependence, denied that they were addicted to the smartphone. Implications of the study are discussed.
Who Sets the News Agenda on Twitter? Journalists’ Posts During the 2013 Government Shutdown • Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri/Missouri School of Journalism; Marina Hendricks; Heesook Choi; Elizabeth Conner Stephens • This study examines how journalists use Twitter, specifically whether any difference exists in linking and attribution behavior between journalists for traditional and online news organizations. An analysis was conducted of 40 journalists’ tweets during the 2013 government shutdown. When they were not linking to their own news organizations, journalists were more likely to link to traditional than online news sites. They also were found to prefer a politics frame over an impact frame.
Predictors of Male Players’ Harassment Behavior in Online Video Games • Wai Yen Tang, Ohio State University; Jesse Fox, Ohio State University • Online video game play affords connectivity and social interaction among players from around the world. This connectivity also brings undesirable behaviors, however, and online harassment is becoming a pervasive issue in the gaming community. In this study, we sought to determine what personality traits and game-related variables predicted harassment behaviors in online video games. Male players of online video games (N = 439) were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey. Similar to previous research on harassment in other domains, social dominance orientation and hostile sexism predicted higher levels of both sexual harassment and general harassment in online games. Game involvement and weekly play time were additional predictors for general harassment. Implications for the social gaming environment are discussed.
Journalists and Bloggers. Social media interpretive community in Nicaragua • Emilia Yang • This paper is an analysis of how journalists and bloggers of Nicaragua—a country where independent journalists are constantly harassed for trying to do their work—use social media to develop an interpretive community online. Debates and discussions within the community of journalists and bloggers created a virtual public sphere, and were analyzed through online observation, interviews, and a survey. The key findings are that social media have replaced analog forms of interaction among this community and are gradually creating cohesion among journalists and bloggers in Nicaragua. Respondents cited Twitter as the most useful social media platform for conversations about journalistic practices, common struggles, and other subjects related to the national news agenda. Social media are especially useful for discussing current political topics, most importantly, cases of governmental repression against journalists. The research infers that the online discourse among journalists and bloggers has created a sense of community and solidarity within the group, even creating feelings of a shared responsibility to add content and engage in online debates about current events.
The Implications of Social Capital for SNS Use: A New Trend with Moderating Effect of Communication Anxiety • Pei Zheng, University of Texas at Austin; Xiaoqian Li, University of Texas, Austin • This study suggests a new trend of how social capital would actually affect use of social networking sites (SNSs). Using the data from 568 college students in China, regression results show that both bridging and bonding social capital are positively associated with intensity of SNS use after controlling for key demographic factors. Moreover, communication anxiety is found to moderate the effect of social capital (bridging and bonding) on intensity of SNS use. Specifically, for students with lower communication anxiety, the relationships between bonding and bridging social capital and intensity of SNS use are stronger than do those with higher communication anxiety. Taken together, this study contributes to the literature of social capital and SNS use by examining the possible impact of social capital on SNS use. Also, the moderation effect of communication anxiety on the association between social capital and SNS use may be better explained when taking into account the collectivism cultural context of China. Connection and relationship is a central idea in Chinese society, therefore people regard social capital as interdependence even in the online environment. As a consequence, people who are more anxious in communication would be more concerned and careful in managing their online relationship than people who are less communication anxious, which lead to a weakened interaction between social capital and SNS use.
Expectancies and Motivations to Attend an Informal Lecture Series • Niveen AbiGhannam, University of Texas at Austin; Ming-Ching Liang; Lee Ann Kahlor, UT Austin; Anthony Dudo, University of Texas at Austin • We interviewed the audience of an informal science lecture series at a college campus. We used self-determination theory to understand what motivates audiences to attend the talks and social cognitive theory to determine the outcome expectancies that people hope to get out of attending those talks. Intrinsic motivations were found to be the main drivers for attending the talks. Audiences, however, were also found to also hold outcome and efficacy expectations to attend the talks.
“Drunk in Love”: The Portrayal of Risk Behavior in Music Lyrics • Christina Anderson, Coastal Carolina University; Kyle J. Holody, Coastal Carolina University; Mark Flynn, Coastal Carolina University; Clay Craig, Coastal Carolina University • The current study investigates the portrayal of risk behavior in Rap, R&B/Hip Hop, Adult Contemporary, Rock, Country, and Pop lyrics by conducting a content analysis of top 20 Billboard songs from each category from 2009-2013. Using the theoretical framework of the Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 2009), this study discusses normative behaviors of music genres, as well as the potential implications of vicarious learning and modeling for consumers of music lyrics. Findings suggest alcohol consumption and sexual behaviors are the most frequently mentioned risk behaviors in lyrics, particularly within Rap and R&B/Hip-Hop lyrics. Results also suggest risk behavior is often associated with positive emotions and a disregard for consequences. Media literacy for adolescents and young adults, who are the greatest consumers of music, is emphasized as a possible solution. Further investigation into the impact of exposure to risk behavior in music lyrics upon consumers is warranted.
Integrating Self-Affirmation into Health-Risk Messages: Effects on Message Response and Behavioral Intent • Laura Arpan, Florida State University; Young Sun Lee, Florida State University; Zihan Wang, Florida State University • The current study tested a new method of using Self-Affirmation Theory to increase adaptive responses to health-risk messages. Participants’ self-concepts were affirmed via text incorporated into messages rather than by more cumbersome, less practical methods used in previous studies. College students (N=342) who reported high or low level of personal relevance of three behaviors (wearing flip-flops, drinking bottled water, or drinking caffeinated beverages) were exposed to either affirming or non-affirming Public Service Announcements about the risky behavior and its health outcomes. Affirmed participants reported more positive attitudes toward the message, greater self-efficacy, and increased behavioral intent to reduce risky behavior than non-affirmed participants, and this effect was stable for participants in both high- and low- relevance groups. However, affirmed participants rated the risk-associated threat as less severe than non-affirmed participants. Perceptions of threat susceptibility were not influenced by affirming vs. non-affirming messages.
Predicting employee responses to an energy-saving intervention and descriptive versus moral norms framing of educational messages • Laura Arpan, Florida State University; Prabir Barooah, University of Florida, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Rahul Subramany, Lutron Electronics • This study examined energy savings, air-quality changes, and employee responses associated with an energy-efficiency pilot program in a university building. Effects of two educational message frames (descriptive vs. moral norms cues) were also tested. Employees’ personal moral norm to conserve energy most consistently predicted positive responses. The two message frames had roughly equivalent effects on behavioral responses, although employees who received the descriptive-norms message were somewhat more likely to say they might complain about the program.
Resonance of a Media-Based Social Norms Health Campaign to Students in a College Greek System • Erica Austin, Washington State University; Stacey J.T. Hust, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University; Bruce Pinkleton, Washington State University Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion; Jason Wheeler, Washington State University; Anna Wheatley, Washington State University • A posttest-only field experiment with randomized assignment to control and treatment groups tested the role of resonance in a media-based campaign for alcohol abuse and risk prevention within a college Greek community. Gender-targeted, descriptive and injunctive norms-based e-zine messages especially resonated among higher-risk students. Resonance predicted efficacy for safer behavior and smaller collective norms misperceptions. The results indicated the intervention strategies successfully reached high-risk students and that beneficial effects depended on receptivity, not just exposure.
Stay Active: The Effect of a Social Media Community on Exercise Adherence Motivation • Justin Barnes, University of Idaho; Yong-Chae Rhee, Washington State University • The purpose of this study was to provide information regarding a venue for exercise adherence motivation toward physical activity via social media support. The five themes identified that positively affected participants’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to adhere to exercise through a social media fitness application were: accountability matters; support is crucial for a sedentary population beginning exercise; recognition of gains positively affects motivation; social media creates positive fitness competition; and fitness is a lifestyle.
Functions of Family Support in Elderly Chinese Singaporean Women’s Health Behavior • Iccha Basnyat; Leanne Chang, National University of Singapore • This study sought to investigate how family support functions in the lives of elderly Chinese Singaporean woman and how it guides elderly women’s management of day-to-day health and well-being. Thirty-eight semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore elderly women’s understanding of family support in their lives and its influence on their health behavior. Results of thematic analysis show that family support was carried out through intergenerational communication of health information from the past and provision of physical assistance in the present. Together, the intangible information support and the tangible physical support serve a function of encouraging elderly women to engage in positive health behavior rooted in both traditional practices and Western medical treatments. Findings from this study provide insights into how health behavior is communicated, and supported in a local cultural context.
Commercial Sex Worker’s Articulations of Agency and Survival: Implications for Health Intervention Strategies • Iccha Basnyat • Lived experiences of female commercial sex workers illustrate that sex work is a manifestation of limited access to education, resources, and jobs due to violence, oppression, and patriarchy. However, Nepalese female commercial sex workers reconstitute sex work as a viable form of work that provides food and shelter for their families and allows fulfillment of their duties as mothers. Through a culture-centered approach to research, which emphasis voices of the marginalized and their own articulations of how marginalized spaces are negotiated, this article offers an entry point to locating commercial sex workers as active participants in their day-to-day living. Thirty-five in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with street-based female commercial sex workers. Thematic analysis revealed the following three themes: (a) surviving through sex work; (b) financial security in sex work; and (c) surviving sex work stigma. These findings have implications for health promotion targeted to this population. Lived experiences illustrate the need to move away from traditional, top-down, linear behavior-change health campaigns to reconstitute health interventions with a participatory bottom-up approach that includes the voices of the cultural participants and are situated within their own needs and context.
Predictors of Perceptions of Scientists: Comparing 2001 and 2012 • John Besley, Michigan State University • The 2001 and 2012 National Science Foundation surveys of public attitudes and knowledge about science were used to model perceptions of scientists and explore whether the predictors of such perceptions have changed over time. The available data indicate that the relative impact of the available predictors changed somewhat between the two time periods. Key predictors of views about scientists include age, gender, and scientific knowledge, regardless of time period. Science museum attendance and primary source of science news were also sometimes important. A key limitation of the modeling is that the available predictors do a relatively poor job predicting both positive and negative views about scientists. This may suggest the need for a reconsideration what questions get included in the biennial NSF science and technology survey, particularly when it comes to communication variables.
Visual Attention to and Memory for Humorous Versus Threating Advisories • Hannah Sikora; Mary Brooks, Texas Tech University; Zijian Gong, Texas Tech University; Glenn Cummins, Texas Tech University • Based on the looming threat of threat-inducing graphic advisories in cigarette advertising and packaging, advertising researchers have begun to explore the impact of graphic images incorporated in advisory labels as a means of eliciting attention and improving memory. However, some research has shown that such messages can also lead to selective avoidance among smokers. This study used the tenets of the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) and eye tracking to test the utility of humorous appeals within graphic advisory labels for both smokers and nonsmokers. Compared to threat-inducing graphic advisories, humorous appeals garnered greater attention and unaided recall. However, advisory type had no impact on attitudes toward cigarette advertisements, and these effects were uniform for both smokers and non-smokers.
Expert Interviews with Science Communicators: Identifying News Values and Perceptions of Audience Values • Paige Brown, Louisiana State University • Science communicators are a key link between scientists and lay readers, navigating both the values of science and the values of audiences, using professionally shared news factors and ideas about the role of science communication in society to select and produce stories. And yet we know little about the motivations and assumptions of audience values that underlie professionally shared news factors in science communication. Interviews with 14 science communicators in various areas of communication reveal that both their personal motivations and their perceptions of audience values influence whether and how scientific research is translated into story.
Opposing ends of the spectrum: Predicting trust in scientific and religious authorities • Michael Cacciatore, University of Georgia; Nicholas Browning, University of Georgia; Dietram Scheufele; Dominique Brossard; Michael Xenos; Elizabeth Corley • Given the ethical questions that surround many emerging technologies, the present study is interested in exploring public trust in two potentially opposing institutions for information about the risks and benefits of science: scientific authorities and religious organizations. We find that Evangelicals are less trusting of scientific institutions and more trusting of religious authorities than their non-Evangelical counterparts and that they use mediated information differently in forming their trust evaluations. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Pilot Evaluation of a UV Monitoring-Enhanced Skin Cancer Prevention Among Farm Youth in Rural Virginia • Yvonnes Chen, University of Kansas; Donatus Ohanehi; Kerry Redican; Robert Grisso; John Perumpral; Steve Feldman; J. Dan Swafford; John Burton • Due to higher levels of UV exposure, rural farm youth are at higher risk for skin cancer than non-farm youth. This pilot study assessed how a UV monitoring-enhanced intervention decreased UV exposure among youth. Using a one-group pretest-posttest design, we found participants’ skin cancer knowledge, skin protection attitude and likelihood of engaging in protection practices significantly increased. Participants were satisfied with the functions of the monitoring device. This tailored intervention was effective for rural youth.
Sources of information influencing the state-of-the-science gap in hormone therapy usage • Fiona Chew, Syracuse University • “Medical reviews and research comprise a key information source for news media stories on medical therapies and innovations as well as for physicians in updating their practice. The present study examines medical review journal articles, physician surveys and news media coverage of HT to assess the relationship between the three information sources and whether/if they contributed to a state-of-the-science gap (a condition when the evaluation of a medical condition or therapy ascertained by the highest standards of investigation is incongruent with the science-in-practice such as physician recommendations and patient actions). We meta-analyzed 156 randomly sampled medical reviews on hormone therapy (HT) and all surveys of US physicians’ HT recommendations between 2002 and 2009. Next, we content analyzed HT news valence in three major TV networks, newspapers and magazines/internet sites in 2002 and 2009. Medical reviews yielded a mixed picture about HT while most physicians were pro-HT. Newspaper and television coverage reflected a pro and con balance while magazine stories were more positive in 2009. Implications are discussed. Implications are discussed.”
One Does Not Fit All: Health Audience Segmentation and Prediction of Health Behaviors • myounggi chon; Hyojung Park, Louisiana State University • This study sought to propose a Health Belief Model-based (HBM) approach to segmenting health audiences in order to improve targeting of cancer prevention efforts. The segmentation variables included HBM variables (perceived susceptibility and self-efficacy), information trust, health literacy, perceived determinants of health, and other modifying variables, such as demographics. This study also examined how the identified health segments would differ in cancer prevention behaviors, including diet and exercise. Data from the 3,630 respondents in the mail portion of the 2013 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) were used for health audience segmentation. A cluster analysis resulted in three distinct health audience groups: (a) Health Aware, (b) Health At Risk, and (c) Health In Confidence. MANOVA tests indicate that these segments significantly differ regarding healthy diet and exercise. The findings from this study can help health practitioners to design more effective cancer prevention campaigns and to promote health behaviors among various audiences.
Linking Evidentiary Balance, Uncertainty, and Health Attitudes in the Context of Vaccine Risk • Christopher Clarke, George Mason University; Brooke McKeever; Avery Holton, University of Utah; Graham Dixon, Cornell University • This article extends research on using ‘evidentiary balance’ to communicate risk-related uncertainty. Participants (n=181) read news articles with/without evidentiary balance rejecting an autism-vaccine link. The impact of such information on post-exposure certainty that vaccines are safe, effective, and not connected to autism was not contingent on pre-exposure certainty. However, it was associated with positive vaccine attitudes indirectly, via a perceived divide among scientists regarding a link and post-exposure certainty. We discuss theoretical and practical implications.
Immersion in Video Games, Creative Self-Efficacy, and Political Participation • Francis Dalisay, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Matthew Kushin, Shepherd University; Jinhee Kim; Clarissa David, University of the Philippines-Diliman; Lilnabeth Somera, University of Guam; Amy Forbes, James Cook University • A survey (N = 801) was conducted in Australia, Guam, the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.S. to explore the relationships between the discovery, role-play, and customization motivations of video game play (Yee, 2006), creative self-efficacy, and political participation. Findings reveal role-play and creative self-efficacy are positively associated with political participation; discovery and role-play are positively associated with creative self-efficacy. Discovery and role-play had small indirect effects on political participation via creative self-efficacy.
Representations of the Environment on Television, and Their Effects • James Shanahan; Katherine McComas, Cornell University; Mary Beth Deline, Cornell University • This study revisits research begun in the 1990s, examining representations of the environment on American entertainment television. We collected new data to assess change between 2012 and the 1990s. Using a cultural indicators and cultivation approach, the study finds that: 1) the environment is still rarely represented; and 2) heavier TV viewers are likelier to sublimate their environmental beliefs. These findings have implications for better understanding the social and policy environment where environmental decisions occur.”
Affective arousal as a mechanism of exemplification effects: An experiment on two-sided message recall and risk perception • Graham Dixon, Cornell University • To test the effect of emotional visuals in two-sided message recall and risk perception, participants (n=516) were randomly assigned to an article presenting conflicting risk arguments with either an image exemplifying an action-risk argument, an image exemplifying an inaction-risk argument, or no image. Significant main effects on recall and risk perception were observed for readers in the action-risk exemplar condition. Negative affect mediated these effects, lending support to the affect heuristic.
Scientists’ prioritization of goals for online public communication • Anthony Dudo, University of Texas at Austin; John Besley, Michigan State University • This study examines scientists’ strategic communication sensibilities, specifically in terms of their valuation of five goals for online public communication. These goals include informing the public about science, exciting the public about science, strengthening the public’s trust in science, tailoring messages about science, and defending science from misinformation. We use insights from extant research, the Theory of Planned Behavior, and procedural justice theory to identify likely predictors of scientists’ views about these communication goals. Results show that scientists most value communication designed to defend science from misinformation. Regression analyses reveal factors associated with valuing each of these specific communication goals.
The Threat, Self- External- and Response- Efficacy Model: Examining Climate Change Coverage in Leading U.S. Newspapers • Lauren Feldman, Rutgers University; P. Sol Hart, University of Michigan; Tijana Milosevic, American University • Drawing from the Extended Parallel Processing Model and political science concepts of efficacy, this study proposes the Threat, Self-, External-, and Response- (TSER) efficacy model for communicating about risks, such as climate change, that have a political component. We applied this model to a content analysis of news and opinion stories about climate change in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today between 2006-2011. The results indicate that U.S. newspapers represent the threat of climate change and efficacy for actions to address climate change in ways that are suboptimal for public engagement, and this is particularly true in The Wall Street Journal. Implications for public engagement and ideological polarization are discussed.
“It’s natural and healthy, but I don’t want to see it” The impact of entertainment television on breastfeeding attitudes • Katie Foss, Middle Tennessee State University; Ken Blake • This study examined entertainment television’s effect on breastfeeding attitudes. Based on results of a randomized-group experiment involving 364 students, this study finds that while participants generally held positive attitudes, exposing them to clips of prime-time fictional television depictions of breastfeeding negatively affected their attitudes, particularly after viewing an older child breastfeeding. Furthermore, watching a clip in which a breastfeeding woman is harassed in a restaurant seemed to improve comfort with viewing breastfeeding. Qualitative responses indicated that many participants held mixed feelings about the clips ranging from positive reactions to describing the breastfeeding videos as awkward, amusing, or irrelevant to their lives. The study concludes that entertainment television can affect attitudes toward breastfeeding, even in a population with few parents. It also speculates that pro-breastfeeding images in media could help normalize breastfeeding, creating a climate conducive to breastfeeding success.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Health Immersion Conference and Its Effects on Diet and Health Behavior Change: An Extension of the Health Belief Model • Desiree Markham, Texas Tech University; Liz Gardner, Texas Tech University • Surveys were conducted with attendees of a Health Immersion Conference to assess effectiveness of this diet-focused intervention and examine Health Belief Model tenets. Surveys assessed how likelihood to change diet practices following the conference, types of intended diet changes, and perceived obstacles to change. Findings illustrate the effectiveness of this health intervention and also consider the influence of benefits promoted via a cue to action and perceived susceptibility in predicting intentions to change health behavior.
On Pins and Needles: How Vaccines Are Portrayed on Pinterest • Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University • Vaccination is an effective public health measure that has been instrumental in greatly reducing the morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases. However, increasing numbers of parents question the safety of vaccines or refuse to vaccinate their children outright. The Internet is playing a significant role in this burgeoning anti-vaccination movement, since a growing number of people use the Internet to obtain health information, including information about vaccines. Given the role the Internet and specifically social media play in providing vaccination-related communication, and the fact that limited research that has been done to address this area, this study focused on the social media platform Pinterest and analyzed a total of 800 vaccine-related pins through a quantitative content analysis. The majority of the pins were anti-vaccine, and most were original posts as opposed to repins. Concerns about vaccine safety and side effects were an oft-repeated theme, as was the concept of conspiracy theory. Pro-vaccine pins elicited consistently more engagement than anti-vaccine pins. Health educators and public health organizations should be aware of these dynamics, since a successful health communication campaign should start with an understanding of what and how others communicate about the topic at hand.
Framing Climate Change: A Content Analysis of Chinese Mainstream Media from 2005 to 2012 • Jingjing Han, Indiana University; Shaojing Sun, Fudan University • As the largest greenhouse gas emitter and the second-largest economy, China is of great importance in global climate change mitigation. This study investigated the state of affairs of Chinese media coverage on climate change. Focusing on the period from 2005 to 2012, we analyzed a total of 874 news articles from five mainstream Chinese newspapers such as People’ s Daily, Xinhua Daily Telegraph, and Southern Metropolis Daily. In reference to media framing analysis, we identified six major frames that are prominent in reports regarding climate change, including conflict, collaboration, human interest, attribution of responsibility, science, and leadership. Results showed that the frequencies of frame usage varied significantly across the Chinese newspapers. Furthermore, the use of certain frames (e.g. conflict, collaboration) is associated with the employment of different information sources, among which government officials are the most frequently cited. This study also suggested that the Chinese media are more likely to frame climate change from a political perspective, rather than a scientific and environmental one.
Extending the impacts of hostile media perceptions: Influences on discussion and opinion polarization. • P. Sol Hart, University of Michigan; Lauren Feldman, Rutgers University; Connie Roser-Renouf, George Mason University; Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale University; Edward Maibach, George Mason University • Researchers recently have begun to examine how hostile media perceptions (HMP) may promote discursive activities aimed at correcting the media’s perceived negative influence. Extending this line of research, we examine how discussion, promoted by HMP, influences ideological polarization on the issue of climate change. Using nationally representative survey data , we test a moderated-mediation model which finds that HMP significantly impact support for climate mitigation policies through the mediator of discussion, and that the link between discussion and policy support is moderated in a three-way interaction with network heterogeneity and political ideology. Specifically, discussion in homogeneous networks increases opinion polarization by intensifying conservatives’ opinions, whereas discussion in heterogeneous networks decreases polarization by moderating liberals’ opinions. HMP also directly influences polarization.
The Role of Mass Media Related Risk Factors in Predicting Adolescents’ Risky Sexual Behaviors • Madhurima Sarkar, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital; Gary Heald, Florida State University • Numerous studies have documented the importance of risk factors in predicting adolescents’ sexual behaviors. This study examines the utility of mass media-related risk factors, as well as traditional risk factors, in predicting these behaviors. The integrated model in this study details the role of mass media exposure and perceptions of media messages when predicting both adolescents’ intentions to engage in sexual behaviors and their actual risky sexual behaviors.
The Cognitive Mediation Model: Communication, Information Processing, and Public Knowledge about Climate Change • Xianghong Peh, Nanyang Technological University; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • This study advances the cognitive mediation model by examining the factors influencing Singaporeans’ knowledge about climate change. Based on a nationwide RDD telephone survey of adult Singaporeans (N = 1,083), results showed that attention to newspapers was positively associated with elaboration but not selective scanning, attention to Internet news was positively associated with elaboration and selective scanning, and attention to television news was not associated with the two information processing strategies. Elaboration, in turn, was positively associated with knowledge but not selective scanning. Interpersonal discussion had a direct negative relationship with knowledge but an indirect positive relationship with knowledge via elaboration. Overall, our results support the model and offer a more nuanced understanding of the learning process in the context of climate change.
First-Person Effects of Emotional and Informational Messages in Strategic Environmental Communications Campaigns • Jennifer Hoewe, The Pennsylvania State University; Lee Ahern, Penn State • This study examined the first- and third-person effects of emotional and informational messages, particularly relating to the critical issue areas of energy, the environment, and global warming. Due to intense political polarization on such issues, it also explored the role of political party identification. The results of an experiment indicate that informational messages about the environment produce third-person effects, while environmental advertisements meant to evoke emotion caused first-person effects. Moreover, emotional environmental advertisements appealed more to Republicans and those who did not support a political party. As such, indirect, emotional messages appear to represent an opportunity for strategic environmental communicators to design campaigns that resonate with potentially unreceptive audiences.
Developing Effective Alcohol Abuse Prevention Campaign Messages for Fraternity Men and Sorority Women: Gender Differences in the Descriptive and Injunctive Norms Used in Media-Based Health Campaigns • Stacey J.T. Hust, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University; Erica Austin, Washington State University; Bruce Pinkleton, Washington State University Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion; Anna Wheatley, Washington State University; Jason Wheeler, Washington State University • An important risk factor for heavy drinking and its consequences within college student populations is involvement in a fraternity or sorority (Bartholow et al., 2003). Fraternity and sorority members drink more frequently, more heavily, and experience more alcohol-related problems during college than their non-Greek peers (e.g. Borsari & Carey, 1999). The current study used a survey to explore fraternity men’s and sorority women’s behaviors and beliefs about alcohol consumption, to help develop appeals used in health-promotion campaigns. It further identifies the degree to which estimations of an in-group reference group is associated with members’ personal behaviors and beliefs associated with alcohol use. Our findings indicate fraternity men and sorority women similarly engage in negative behaviors related to alcohol use, and they are influenced by their perceptions of their peers’ behaviors and beliefs. Given this population is at great risk for alcohol abuse, there is significant need to develop prevention programs that are effective with this community.
The impacts of message framing and risk type in skin cancer prevention messages • Moon Lee; Hannah Kang, University of Florida • We explored how the effects of message framing and risk type interact with individuals’ prior experience and compared how these effects are different based on different types of advocated behaviors (i.e. avoiding tanning beds/sunbathing or using sunscreen). Through two experiments, we found three-way interactions among framing, risk type, and prior experience. The effects of message framing and risk type were different based on types of advocated behaviors.
The Corporate Medicine Show • Hyosun Kim, University of North Carolina -CH • Pharmaceutical advertising is everywhere and Direct-to-Consumer advertising of prescription drugs perceived as controversial issue in pharmaceutical market, for policy makers and for communication scholars. However, DTC advertising of pharmaceuticals is not a new phenomenon. Drug manufacturers have directly advertised their medications to consumers since the beginning of medicine. The FDA began to regulate drug advertising to protect consumers from misleading promotions, and their role has been expanded with the growth of pharmaceutical market. This study traces the history of pharmaceutical advertising in the 1930s when the 1938 Act expanded the scope of federal regulations and chaos still existed in the market. Benefit claims that drug manufacturers made were puffery and medications were portrayed as breakthrough in the ads. Also, none of the ads analyzed were not present risk information. The pharmaceutical advertisements in 1930 represent the FDA’s concerns in 1930.
Factors influencing risk perceptions of science issues: Comparing college students in the U.S. and South Korea • Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina; Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina; Jeong-Heon JC Chang, Korea University; Ju-Yong Ha, Inha University • This study examines the role of the media, interpersonal communication, and elaborative processing in shaping participants’ risk perception of nuclear and genetically modified organisms (GMO) technology in the United States and South Korea. The findings indicate that attentions to science television news and elaborative processing are positively related to risk perception of science issues. The effect of newspaper readership on risk perception about scientific issues was moderated by elaborative processing.
Attributions of Obesity Stigmas and News Source in Two Leading Newspapers in the United States and South Korea • Hyang-Sook Kim, St. Norbert College; Emily Gear, St. Norbert College; Mun-Young Chung; Hyunjin Kang, Penn State University • The worldwide increase in obesity rates calls for research about a potential contagion of obesity stigmas via newspapers. A content analysis of two leading newspapers in the United States and South Korea found more stories with obesity stigma in the American newspaper than in Korean. Obesity-stigma news included attributions of obesity for both societal and personal levels in both newspapers. Health expert sources cancelled out obesity stigma in news stories in the Korean newspaper only.
Barriers to Clinical Trial Participation: Comparing Perceptions and Knowledge of African American and White South Carolinians • Sei-Hill Kim; Andrea Tanner, University of South Carolina; Daniela Friedman; Caroline Foster, College of Charleston; Caroline Bergeron • Analyzing data from a survey of South Carolinians, this study examines how to better promote clinical trial participation specifically among African Americans. Findings revealed that African Americans were significantly less willing than whites to participate in a clinical trial. African Americans also had lower subjective and factual knowledge about clinical trials and perceived greater risk of participating in a clinical trial. Lack of subjective knowledge and perceived risk were significant predictors of African Americans’ willingness to participate.
Need for Affect and Cognition as Precursors to Risk Perception, Information Processing, and Behavioral Intent on the Use of Sunscreen with Nanoparticles • Se-Jin Kim, Colorado State University • The use of sunscreen with nanoparticles involves risks that are not yet fully known or verified. More importantly, behavioral attitude/intention of this behavior has not been investigated in the context of any theoretical model that includes personality attributes such as need for affect and need for cognition. This paper introduces and develops a hybrid theoretical model of risk-based behavioral attitude/intention based on the Theory of Reasoned Action, Dual Process Risk Perception, the Heuristic Systematic Model, and need for affect/need for cognition. The hybrid model proposes that personality attributes (need for affect/need for cognition), the Heuristic Systematic Model, Dual Processing Risk Perception (Affective- and Cognitive-Risk Perception) are antecedents to dependent variables from the Theory of Reasoned Action (attitude and behavioral intention towards sunscreen use). This study suggests a series of hypotheses and research questions using the topic of sunscreen with nanoparticles. The findings of the study indicate that the proposed model is adequately fit to what was suggested in the hypotheses and research questions.
Social Media, Risk Perception, and the Third Person Effect: The Case of Fukushima Radiation • Ji Won Kim, Syracuse University; Makana Chock, Syracuse University; Myojung Chung; Soyoung Jung, Syracuse University • This study examined the effects of social media context on perceptions of risk message. We investigated how reading news stories of the radioactive risk of Japanese fishes in the social media site would affect risk perception and third-person effect. A 2 (Facebook vs. news site) x 2 (narrative vs. factual) between-subjects experiment (N= 90) was conducted. Results showed that social media context increased personal risk perception and reduced 3PE.
Medialization of Science as a Predictor for Scientists’ Participation in Public Engagement • Eun Jeong Koh, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Linda Pfeiffer, Mass Communication and Environmental Resources, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dominique Brossard; Hans Peter Peters • An international mail survey of biomedical scientists shows that factors previously found to influence scientists’ participation in mediated science communication also are predictors of participation in direct public engagement activities. We analyze perceptions of “medialization of science,” which refers to the increasing orientation towards (and adaptation to) media criteria by scientists (Weingart, 1998). The effect of medialization on scientists’ participation in direct public engagement was significantly greater than on scientists’ participation in mediated communication.
Testing an Alternative to False Balance in Media Coverage of Controversial Science • Patrice Kohl; Soo Yun Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Yilang Peng; Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Eun Jeong Koh, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Controversy in science news accounts attracts audiences and draws public attention to important science issues. But when competing truth claims are given equal space in a news story despite the likelihood that one claim is more valid than others, this can result in a narrative structure known as “false balance.” Falsely balanced stories may unnecessarily heighten audience perceptions of uncertainty. In this study, we look at whether highlighting the preponderance of evidence bolstering one truth claim over others—a strategy we identify as “weight-of-evidence reporting”—might attenuate this effect. In comparing the impact of a weight-of-evidence narrative with the false balance story, our results suggest weight of evidence can play a role in reducing some of the uncertainty audiences may perceive, while false balance is linked with greater perceived scientific uncertainty.
The Perceived Familiarity Gap Hypothesis: Examining How Media Attention and Reflective Integration Relate to Perceived Familiarity of Nanotechnology in Singapore • Edmund Lee; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • The original knowledge gap hypothesis posits differential knowledge gains between people in the higher and lower socioeconomic status (SES) groups. This study put forth the notion of “perceived familiarity” as another dimension of knowledge and proposes a complementary model—the “perceived familiarity gap hypothesis”—that examines how media attention and reflective integration are associated with gaps in familiarity between the higher and lower SES groups in the context of nanotechnology in Singapore. Significant three way-and two-way interactions between education, attention to media and reflective integration were found—higher television usage closed the perceived familiarity gap between the higher and lower SES groups and for individuals who engaged in higher elaborative processing and more interpersonal discussion. Newspaper attention on the other hand widened the perceived familiarity gap between the higher and lower SES groups among those who engaged more in elaborative processing. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.
Social Influence on Soda Consumption Behaviors among International Students Residing in the United States • Xuan Zhu, University of minnesota; Lauren Gray, University of Minnesota; Jiyoon Lee, University of Minnesota • Despite media propagation of the deleterious health effects of soda consumption, the U.S. still has one of the world’s highest soda consumption rates. Peer modeling and normative behavior theories are used to examine the relationship between soda consumption and student status (U.S. or U.S.-residing international). Our survey-based research reveals differences between the two groups in actual and perceived soda consumption. Perceived norms are shown to contribute to the increase in soda consumption.
The Influence of Socio-Cultural Factors on Social Stigma of Suicide • HANNAH LEE, Ewha Womans University • The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of socio-cultural characteristics on stigma of suicide. The results indicated that exposure to suicide prevention information was associated with low level of stigma, while exposure to news coverage of suicidal events was associated with high level of stigma. In particular, cultural characteristics were closely connected to the stigma of suicide. These findings have important implications for suicide prevention and also for developing culturally appropriate interventions.
Seeking and Learning: Examining Selective Exposure to Media Coverage of A Controversial Scientific Issue • Xuan Liang; Heather Akin, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study explores the causal relationship between information seeking and knowledge about nanotechnology. Using a two-wave dataset from a nationwide online panel survey, we find reciprocal relationships between information seeking behavior and knowledge. Specifically, we find that seeking counter-attitudinal information conducive to knowledge gain but seeking information consistent with pre-existing attitudes suppresses knowledge levels. Participants with lower levels of knowledge about nanotechnology tend to be more engaged in information seeking. Different media, including the use of television, social media and other online websites, also impact factual knowledge and information seeking behavior.
From Education to Communication: Influences on Health • Ming-Ching Liang • Using the 2009 Annenberg National Health Communication Survey (ANHCS 2009) data, the roles of social network, print media use, and health information seeking behavior (HISB) in predicting health were examined. Controlling for education, social network and HISB exhibit positive associations with health status, but negative associations with diet and perceived quality of care (PQC). Print media use is a positive contributor to PQC and health, but has an insignificant relationship with dietary practices.
Beyond Gory or Happy Sensation on Facebook: Effects of Emotionality in Anti-drunk Driving PSAs on College Students’ Drunk-driving Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions • Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • Driving under the influence of alcohol presents a growing public health concern. With increasing investment in alcohol marketing via social media, the current study uses a 3 (emotional tone: positive vs. negative vs. coactive) x 3 (message repetition) within-subject factorial design to investigate the effects of exposure to anti-drunk driving messages shared via Facebook on drunk driving attitudes and behavioral intentions. More specifically the study investigated how emotional tone affects attitudes toward the PSAs, the issue of drunk driving, and intentions to drive while tipsy and while drunk. Furthermore, the study explored how attitudes (toward the PSA and drunk driving), descriptive and injunctive norms, and past drinking behaviors predict intentions to drive while tipsy and drunk. Results showed that PSAs with negative tone was most effective in eliciting unfavorable attitude toward PSAs and drunk driving, and lowest likelihood to drive while feeling tipsy or drunk in near future. Findings are discussed in relation to behavioral change models in light of anti-drunk-driving social media interventions.
Traversing Psychological Distance: Climate Change Framing, Emotions and Support for Policies • Hang Lu, Cornell University • The climate-change-as-distant issue has been of concern for many communicators and policy makers. This study applied the Construal Level Theory of Psychological Distance to examining what types of messages might be more effective in augmenting intentions to adopt pro-environmental behaviors and support climate change mitigation policies. A 2 (Temporal: Distant vs. Proximal) x 2 (Spatial: Distant vs. Proximal) x 2 (Social: Distant vs. Proximal) quasi-experiment was conducted among 483 participants. The results indicate significant interaction effects between temporal and social dimensions on pro-environmental behaviors and significant main effects of temporal dimension on support for mitigation policies. In addition, three discrete emotions, worry, sympathy and anxiety, were found to fully mediate some of these relationships. Limitations and future implications are also discussed.
Framing Climate Change in Psychological Distance Terms: A Content Analysis of National and Local U.S. Newspapers • Hang Lu, Cornell University; Naa Amponsah Dodoo, University of Florida • The concern around many Americans’ perception that climate change is a distant issue has been soaring in recent years. Although research on media coverage of climate change has been well-documented and varied in a wide range of topics, few studies have tried to look at media coverage of climate change from the perspective of psychological distance. This study employed content analysis as the primary technique to examine the portrayal of climate change in relation to psychological distance dimensions in two national and thirty-six local newspapers over a 13-month period. The results indicate that climate change is most likely to be presented as to pose impacts in a very distant or unspecified future, at the globe-level or unspecified locations, and with high certainty. Temporal, spatial and social dimensions of climate change frames were positively correlated. There was a negative association between changes in climate change frames and changes in public perceptions of climate change. Implications and limitations are also discussed.
Evaluating Food Labels and Food Messages: An Experimental Study of the Impact of Message Format and Product Type on Evaluations of Magazine Food Advertisements • Yongick Jeong, Louisiana State University; Lisa Lundy • Using a 2 (gain vs. loss frame) X 3 (organic, non-GMO, and antibiotics free products) mixed-repeated-measures design, this study examines how message format and product type influenced the effectiveness of food labels in magazine food advertisements. Results indicate that product type and food labels were more influential than message format (gain/loss frame). Overall, participants viewed organic foods more favorably than non-GMO or antibiotics free foods. Theoretical and marketing implications are discussed.
Tracking a healthy lifestyle: College students’ attitudes toward the adoption of health and fitness mobile applications • Paige Madsen, University of Iowa; Melissa Kampa; Melissa Zimdars • To encourage the development and maintenance of healthy among college students, Student Health Services at a large Midwestern university implemented a health and wellness program that was poorly utilized by students. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the viability and student interest in a health-related mobile phone app that could be used in conjunction with a university Student Health Services program to give students easy access to track their health and fitness goals using their cell phones. This study used intercept interviews to explore current mobile app use, attitudes toward the use and functions of health and fitness apps, perceived barriers to their use, and perceptions a health app sponsored by the university. Results indicated that 80% of the sample used a smart device, and nearly half were using some type of health app. Participants indicated that they were interested in app functions that would allow them to connect directly to the recreation center on campus – to either see fitness class schedules or gym equipment availability. Participants were less interested in apps that would connect them to others via social media or apps intended to help manage mental health. Student concerns included privacy and the cost of apps. This exploratory study suggests that apps are a good option for universities to encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles among students, and for students to efficiently manage their own health and fitness goals.
Setting The Nutritional Agenda: An Analysis of Nutrition Blog Sourcing • Shana Meganck • This research study analyzed the sources of nutrition blog information in order to increase understanding of how our nutritional agenda is set by bloggers. Focusing on 20 nutrition blogs, the study content analyzed 3,156 posts, and conducted in-depth interviews with the bloggers. The findings showed that nutrition bloggers are sourcing half of the time, citing a variety of sources, and finding and choosing sources in various ways.
Understanding the Effect of Affective Priming on Health News Processing and Health Information Seeking Intention Over Time • Alexandra Merceron, University of Connecticut; Yi Wang, University of Connecticut; Dana Rogers; Christina DeVoss • This quantitative experiment (N=236) builds on recent research on media priming effects to explore the impact of primed affective responses on reader’s assessments of the credibility of health journalism, and subsequent health information seeking intentions and behavior. Potential mediating and moderating factors, such as type of affect elicited from priming (positive or negative), content evaluation (topic interest, prior knowledge, news discussion), and health self-efficacy were also measured to further explain the relationship between affective priming and health information seeking related attitudes and behavior.
Framing Climate Change: An Examination of Environmental Agency Websites in Costa Rica, Norway, the United States and China • Jill Capotosto, Elon University; Barbara Miller, Elon University • This study examined the framing of climate change on the environmental agency websites of countries with vastly different environmental performance scores—Costa Rica, Norway, the U.S., and China. The depth with which the sites covered climate change sources varied greatly, as did the level of action (individual, national or international) emphasized to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. This study sheds light on communication that reflects and/or encourages environmentally progressive agendas.
Marketplace advocacy by the fossil fuel industries: Issues of identity and influence in environmental policy • Barbara Miller, Elon University; T. Kenn Gaither, Elon University • Through the lens of the cultural-economic model of public relations, this study used a semiological approach to examine strategic communication by the industry trade groups representing the energy industries of coal (American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity) and petroleum (American Petroleum Institute). The study identified four prominent identities created by mass media advertisements from the ACCCE and API to enhance public support while reducing concern for climate change initiatives.
The effects of survivors’ social support on psycho-social adjustment of newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients in an online social support group • TAE JOON MOON, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Woohyun Yoo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Ming-Yuan Chih, University of Kentucky; Dhavan Shah, University of Wisconsin – Madison; David Gustafson, University of Wisconsin – Madison • This study delineates (1) which types of social support BC survivors provide to newly-diagnosed BC patients in an online social support group and (2) how the survivors’ support is different from that of newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients by using a systematic computer-aided content analysis. The present study further investigates (3) how the survivors’ support contributes to a psycho-social adjustment of newly-diagnosed patients. The results indicate that, compared to newly diagnosed patients, BC survivors provided emotional support more frequently. However, there is no difference in provision of information support between survivors and new patients. Survivors’ emotional support contributes to improvement of new patients’ psycho-social outcomes (e.g., BC related concern, perceived social support, depression), whereas both emotional and informational support provided by new patients are not associated with the psycho-social adjustment of newly-diagnosed patients.
Hope and the hyperlink: Drivers of message sharing in a Twitter cancer network • Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Avery Holton, University of Utah; Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia; Brad Love • Social networking sites (SNSs) such as Twitter have become an important part of health communication, providing a means for increased awareness and knowledge for a number of conditions. Cancer ranks among the most salient health topics on Twitter with thousands of individuals and organizations creating accounts, lists, and hashtag communities to share information and provide social support. Yet, research has thus far focused on the use of social media in public discourses and community building surrounding specific forms of cancer rather than support networks set up for cancer more broadly. This study extends such work by examining how users of a general cancer network on Twitter offer social support and link to resources. This study also analyzes how Twitter content might drive message sharing within the cancer network, a key determinant of online community stability and growth. The results indicate that cancer-focused communities on Twitter may foster information sharing and messages of hope, sadness, and encouragement while frequently linking to grassroots efforts, health professionals, news media, and advocacy resources. Social support in the form of hope and the inclusion of hyperlinks to advocacy websites were the greatest drivers of message sharing in the sample studied here. These findings help advance current theoretical considerations pertaining to health communication and social media while also providing critical insights for health and health communication practitioners.
The Partisan Brain: How Dissonant Science Messages Lead Conservatives and Liberals to (Dis)trust science • Erik Nisbet; Kathryn Cooper; R. Kelly Garrett • There has been deepening concern about political polarization in public attitudes toward the scientific community. The “intrinsic thesis” attributes this polarization to psychological deficiencies among conservatives as compared to liberals. The “contextual thesis” makes no such claims about inherent psychological differences between conservatives and liberals, but rather points to interacting institutional and psychological factors as the forces driving polarization. We evaluate the evidence for both theses in the context of developing and testing a theoretical model of audience response to dissonant science communication. Conducting a national online experiment (N=1500), we examined audience reactions to both conservative-dissonant and liberal-dissonant science messages and consequences for institutional trust in the scientific community. Our results suggest liberals and conservatives alike react negatively to dissonant science communication with resulting diminished trust in the scientific community. We discuss how our findings link to the larger debate about political polarization of science and implication for science communicators.
Causal Attribution of Health Status: Media Trust, Information Seeking, and Optimism • Hyun Jee Oh; Hyehyun Hong • This study employed 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) data to examine antecedents and consequences of causal attribution of health status. Attribution theory was used as a theoretical framework. When applied to health communication, the theory suggests people have a tendency to attribute either internal (individual) or external (social) causes to health status. The study results indicated that personal cancer history and media trust antecede internal attribution of health status. Internal attribution then positively affected optimism about cancer and information-seeking and healthy lifestyle behaviors. Structuring equation modeling showed that all three path models from media trust to attribution to three consequences of attribution (optimism, information-seeking, and healthy behavior) were significant. This shows that media can encourage internal attribution by increasing trust in health information they provide. Providing quality health information that meets public needs and wants is therefore imperative. Other practical and theoretical implications are further discussed.
How Fear-Arousing News Messages Affect Risk Perceptions and Intention to Talk about Risk • Hye-Jin Paek, Hanyang University; SANG-HWA OH; Thomas Hove, Hanyang University • Applying the impersonal/differential-impact hypotheses and fear theories, this study demonstrates how fear-arousing media messages about risk can affect personal- and societal level risk perception, as well as intention to talk with family and friends. Analysis of a survey of Korean adults indicates that fear-arousing media messages about carcinogenic hazards and mad cow disease affected both personal- and societal-level risk perceptions and interpersonal communication directly and indirectly through risk perceptions.
Informing the Publics during Health Disaster: A Crisis Management Approach to News Media Responses to Flu Pandemic • Po-Lin Pan, Arkansas State University; Juan Meng, University of Georgia • Dividing crisis management process into three macrostages, this content analysis examined how news media responded to health disaster in terms of (1) news frames, (2) mortality subjects, (3) vaccine problems, (4) evaluation approaches to risk magnitudes, and (5) news sources in three crisis management stages. Results showed that news media used various framing strategies to inform the publics in different stages. The frames of health risk, societal problems, political/legal issues, and prevention and health education were more frequently used in the pre-crisis stage, while the medical/scientific frame was regularly used in the post-crisis stage to highlight medical treatment and scientific research in dealing with the health disaster. Evaluation approaches were also employed differently in three stages. Qualitative approach was mostly used in the pre-crisis stage, while quantitative approach and statistical approach were commonly used in the post-crisis stage. Health professionals were widely used as news sources in all stages to increase the publics’ awareness of health crisis severity, while government officials and politicians could repeatedly appear to function strategically toward the achievement of public-institution effectiveness in the pre-crisis stage.
Motivating Citizens: An Assessment of Individual Motivation to Share Warning Messages through Social Networking Sites • Mimi Perreault, University of Missouri; Seoyeon Hong, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Grace Park, University of Missouri School of Journalism • The current experiment investigated how individual motivations in psychological process (Self-Determination Theory) and personality tendency (Motivation Activation Measures) predict their likelihood to broadcast warnings through social networking sites during disasters (e.g., natural disasters, or gun shooting). Not only individuals differ in responses to disasters based on their motivational reactivity but also intrinsic motivation and relativism are explaining the variance of warning intentions. Interestingly, level of defensive system activation is associated intrinsic motivation while appetitive system score is associated with extrinsic motivation. Findings of the current study provide meaningful contributions for risk communication researchers and practitioners (e.g., FEMA) who intend to develop targeted campaign messages in disasters.
Opinion toward Nuclear Energy Use and Constructions of Health and Environmental Risks in Post-Fukushima News. • David J. Park, FIU-SJMC; Juliet Pinto, FIU-SJMC; Weirui Wang, Florida International University • This paper analyzes constructions of opinion toward nuclear energy use, as well as environmental and health risk in international news coverage of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster between the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), and the U.S. New York Times. Our results indicate the German newspapers used more diverse sources including opinionated and anti-nuclear sources than the U.S. paper. In addition, our results also noted that environmental risk was rarely mentioned in either newspaper regardless of the source’s opinion. The lack of sources covering environmental risks may be influenced by journalistic routines, news values and lack of access to information by Japanese officials. Opinion toward nuclear energy made a difference if health risk was mentioned within the New York Times, while the sources’ opinion in the German sample did not influence whether health risk was mentioned. Pro-nuclear energy use sources did not mention health risk compared with sources with other opinions. The variance may also suggest the sources and the newspapers place a hierarchy on human risk versus environmental risk. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for policy outcomes.
Defining a Medical Condition: A Qualitative Framing Analysis of Magazine Coverage of Fibromyalgia, 1980-2011 • Joy Rodgers, University of Florida • Recent marketing efforts for fibromyalgia drugs have renewed the debate on the medical classification of the pain condition. Framing studies have shown media coverage of certain topics to affect public attitudes. This study breaks new ground by identifying the dominant framing of fibromyalgia in 30 years of magazine coverage. Little to no shift was found in the framing of fibromyalgia, signaling a need for media and scientists to work together in providing service to patients.
Temporal framing and motivated reasoning: Can temporal cues moderate backlash toward worldview-incongruent environmental messages? • Sungjong Roh, Cornell University; Katherine McComas, Cornell University; Laura Rickard, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Daniel Decker, Cornell University • This study investigated how temporal distance frames increase or decrease boomerang effects of value-incongruent environmental messages by changing behavioral intentions to engage in conservation. Results from two randomized experiments show that a temporally distal frame for an emerging wildlife could reduce backfire effects on conservation intentions for people low in biocentric values when exposed to messages emphasizing human attribution of responsibility—namely, value-incongruent information—whereas a temporally proximal frame exacerbated a backlash against such messages.
Exploring Health Literacy, its Measurement and Predictors among African American College Students • Judith Rosenbaum, Albany State University; Benjamin Johnson, The Ohio State University; Amber Deane, Albany State University • Health literacy is increasingly seen as a solution to health disparities and poor health outcomes, and various instruments have been developed to measure it. In an exploratory pilot study, we tested the most recent and comprehensive measure of health literacy: the HLSI-SF. The results provided interesting insight into media use as a possible predictor of health literacy, but also raised questions about the instrument and how exactly to measure and define health literacy.
Cognitive and emotional risk perceptions mediate the association between news media use and food consumption intention: Analyzing food safety outbreaks in East Asia • Minsun Shim, Inha University; Myoungsoon You, Seoul National University • Much research on risk perception and health behavior has examined cognitive dimensions of risk but not emotional dimensions. To address this gap, this study examines both cognitive risk perception (perceived risk of susceptibility and severity) and emotional risk perception (worry) in the context of food safety risks in East Asia. We investigate their roles in independently and jointly predicting intention to consume outbreak-associated food products, as well as mediating the influences of news exposure and attention on intention. Data from a nationwide survey in South Korea (N = 1,500) lent support for our hypotheses in both cases of processed food from China and seafood from Japan. Our findings indicate: (1) both perceived risk and worry were negatively associated with food consumption intention, and the relationship between perceived risk and intention was stronger among those higher in worry; (2) news attention had stronger association with risk perceptions than news exposure, and it moderated the relationship between news exposure and risk perceptions; (3) perceived risk and worry mediated the associations between news media use and food consumption intention. Implications and limitations of the findings are discussed.
The power of narratives in health blogs: Identification as an instigator of self-persuasion • Carmen Stavrositu • This study examined the extent to which narrative vs. non-narrative blogs instigate self-persuasion processes and, ultimately, behavioral intentions related to skin cancer prevention. Participants (N = 190) read one of two versions of a blog post about skin cancer that described a blogger’s journey with skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, and included specific recommendations for skin cancer prevention. The post was written in either narrative or non-narrative style. Findings indicate that narrative blog formats reduce counterarguments while increasing pro-attitudinal arguments. These effects were shown to emerge as a result of higher identification with the blogger in the narrative vs. the non-narrative blog condition. Furthermore, the decrease in counterarguments and increase in pro-attitudinal arguments were associated with a stronger behavioral intentions, lending support to the notion that narratives and identification not only inhibit counterarguments, but promote pro-attitudinal arguments, which essentially translate to self-persuasion. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as suggestions for future research, are discussed.
Buzz Agents and a Teen Public Health Social Marketing Campaign: Impact on Attitudes and Behaviors • Amy Struthers, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Ming Wang, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Researchers developed a public health campaign for teens focused on obesity prevention, based on social marketing and buzz marketing principles, to test a series of hypotheses postulating that use of these principles would result in positive attitudes toward the campaign among the most engaged members of the target audience, the buzz agents, leading to positive attitudes as well as positive self-reported behavior changes involving fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. Results largely support the hypotheses, with the exception of vegetable intake. The researchers propose that the buzz agent concept may provide a model for reaching adolescents most effectively with public health messages.
Cueing attitudes and behaviors about climate change: Heuristic processing and social norm cues on YouTube • Leona Yi-Fan Su, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; James T. Spartz, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Normative cues embedded in a new media platform such as YouTube may shape viewers’ perceived importance of the video topic and willingness to seek more information. Study results suggest that the “number of views” cue can have subtle but significant influences on participants’ attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, individuals who indicated heuristically processing the video were likely to assign greater importance to the issue and seek more information under the “high number of views” condition.
Headlining energy issues: A content analysis of ethanol headlines in the U.S. elite press • Bruno Takahashi, Michigan State University; Carol Terracina Hartman, Michigan State University; Katheryn Amann, Michigan State University; Mark Meisner, International Environmental Communication Association • Few studies examining media coverage of environmental and science issues have focused on headlines, which are considered relevance optimizers. This study examined the headlines about ethanol in the elite U.S. press. We focused on themes, issue attributes, tone, and actors. Results show a dominance of policy and economic themes, similar to other studies on biofuels. Differences with those studies are found in the presence of actors, where ethanol industry is more prevalent than governmental actors.
The Framing of the Child Computer User by Taiwanese Children’s Newspapers • Yue Tan; Ping Shaw • This paper examines the media’s framing of child computer users in Taiwan and its evolution with the Internet diffusion (2000- 2011). Using a content analysis of articles published in the most popular children’s newspaper, we found significant longitudinal changes. Specifically, the construction of children changed from “needy” and “victimized” users to “successful” and “dangerous” users, and the agents of action shifted from children to schools and government, while maintaining an emphasis on the cognitive gains.
Dodging the debate and dealing the facts: Using research and community partnerships to promote understanding of the Affordable Care Act • Andrea Tanner, University of South Carolina; Otis Owens, University of South Carolina; Diana Sisson; Vance Kornegay, University of South Carolina; Caroline Bergeron; Daniela Friedman; Megan Weis; Lee Patterson; Teresa Windham • This study reports on an innovative, community-based effort to promote awareness and understanding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, this study assesses the current knowledge, perceptions, and communication sources and needs regarding the ACA among adults in one southeastern county in an effort to determine the feasibility of establishing the public library as a trusted and non-partisan source of ACA-related information. Results of formative research are discussed and campaign development activities are chronicled.
Truth, Objectivity, and False Balance in Public Health Reporting: Michele Bachmann, HPV, and “Mental Retardation” • Ryan Thomas, Missouri School of Journalism; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Amanda Hinnant, Missouri School of Journalism • This content analysis of media coverage of Michele Bachmann’s erroneous comments that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation aims to understand the relationship between truth and objectivity in public health reporting. Of 206 articles analyzed, under half provided correction and less than 30% provided a counterpoint. We also found health reporters tended to engage in truth-telling and objectivity more than political reporters. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Why I seek information: An integrative approach to explore the impact of discrete emotion on information seeking about flood risks • JIUN-YI TSAI, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This present study investigates the relationships between cognitive appraisals and emotion and the impact of emotion (anger) on information seeking behavior with regard to flood risks. We develop and test an integrative model to explore how unique sets of cognitive appraisal patters are associated with anger and how anger relates to key cognitive predictors in the RISP model. Results indicated that cognitive appraisals of responsibility, personal control, certainty and importance significantly predicted emotional reactions of anger. Emotional responses of anger not only directly motivated information seeking behavior but also triggered more need for information. Informational subjective norms, information insufficiency and perceived information gathering capacity continued to serve as positive predictors of risk information seeking. Perceived knowledge and appraisals of importance exerted a direct relationship with effortful information seeking. The sense of being uncertain about what happened in terms of flooding associated with higher information sufficiency threshold. Implications for risk communication theory and practice are discussed.
The Influence of Attitudes, Beliefs and Involvement on Environmental Selective Exposure and Subsequent Reinforcement Effects • Melanie Sarge, Texas Tech University; Matthew VanDyke, Texas Tech University • While research suggests predispositions as predictors of selective exposure, empirical investigations utilizing environmental information as the exposure stimuli are limited. The current study collected data in three waves; during the second wave, selective exposure (time spent) with news articles discussing environmental topics was unobtrusively recorded. Results revealed attitude and involvement as significant positive predictors of environmental selective exposure. Additionally, motivations to reinforce self-related attitudes and confirm self-efficacy beliefs through environmental selective exposure are observed.
Nationalizing a global phenomenon: A study of how the press portrays climate change in four different countries • Hong Vu • This study investigates the news media coverage of climate change in four different countries. Using the framing approach, this study identifies the connection between several national socioeconomic and environmental traits and the resulting portrayals of climate change. Although global warming/climate change is a global issue, which affects every country in the world, the news coverage of it varies from country to country. Such a variation is related to each country’s level of development, climate performance index ranking, and climate severity. The findings of this research contribute to framing literature by assessing and comparing frame use in a national context, filling in the gap in the application of framing as a communication theoretical framework.
“Measles epidemic … NOT!”: A fantasy theme analysis of vaccine critics’ online responses to negative media attention • Denise Vultee, Wayne State University • Outbreaks of measles in both California and New York in March 2014 drew increased negative media attention to parents who elect not to vaccinate their children. In response to this heightened scrutiny and criticism, many of these parents and their advocates turned to a variety of online venues to reaffirm their values and defend their choice. This study uses symbolic convergence theory and its associated rhetorical approach, fantasy theme analysis, to examine this discourse for insight into the rhetorical vision shared by vaccine critics in the U.S. It is intended as a step toward providing health communicators with a better understanding of the attitudes, beliefs, and values of this audience as they work to design messages about the risks and benefits of vaccination.
News, Health Decisions and the Microwave Society: Female Consumers’ Beliefs about Coverage of Medical Overtreatment • Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida; Jordan Neil, University of Florida; Jennifer Braddock; Ginger Blackstone, University of Florida • Health news may influence consumers’ knowledge and perceptions of medical; this may be especially true for women, who pay more attention to health information and tend to play more active roles in health decision-making for themselves and their family members. This study examined female consumers’ beliefs about overtreatment and about the role of news coverage in influencing their own health decisions. Focus group interviews with 20 adult women revealed six themes: overtreatment equals over-use of drugs, tests and specialists; the role of health professionals; the role of patients; the problem of time; costs and profits; and the role of the media. The women complained that health professionals spend too little time with patients, fail to listen to patients’ concerns or adequately answer their questions, and are more concerned about avoiding lawsuits and maximizing incomes than about providing the most efficient and effective care. Patients – most often “other” patients rather than the participants themselves – were seen as contributing to overmedication due to their desire for a “quick fix” to their health problems; however, they tended to see screening tests as useful precautions that enable consumers to be “better safe than sorry.” The women regarded the entire health care system, as well as the media industry, as driven by profits. They viewed health news, in general, with great skepticism and wanted journalists to provide more complete information about medical interventions, including “balanced” information about risks, benefits, the quality of evidence supporting new interventions, and conflicts of interest among doctors and researchers.
One Step Forward, Five Steps Back: Changes in News Coverage of Medical Interventions • Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida; Jennifer Braddock; Cristina Rabaza, University of Florida College of Journalism; Gary Schwitzer • In an increasingly complicated and demanding health news environment, HealthNewsReview.org offers reviews of the stories produced by major media outlets as a measure by which journalists and the public can assess the success or failure of health coverage across 10 criteria for quality reporting. This study produced an analysis of those reviews from 2005 to 2013, indicating significant declines in key areas. On average, the stories reviewed during 2010-2013 successfully met just less than half of the criteria. Changes over time in meeting the criteria were related to outlet type and story topic, with television and newspapers showing declines on the greatest number of criteria; the largest number of criteria showing statistically significant declines over time were for reviews of stories about medical treatments other than drugs or surgery. The paper discusses possible causes for the declines and the potential implications.
Impact of Influential Sources on Their Followers: Investigating Mental Illness Discussion in Chinese Social Media • Weirui Wang, Florida International University; Yu Liu • A content analysis was conducted to examine depression-related discourses by public opinion leaders and elite media in Chinese social media, as well as the impact of these discourses on their followers. The study revealed that stereotypes presented by these influential users often triggered stigma or reduced support among their followers. Environmental and genetic attributions reduced stigma. The recovery and treatment information was found to be a double-edged factor and should be cautiously used.
Exploring Latina College Students’ Involvement with Tanning and Skin Cancer Messages • Paula L. Weissman, American University; Susan Allen • This exploratory focus group study used the situational theory of publics (STP) to examine the skin cancer-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of Latina college students. The findings reported provide insight into the motivations for tanning behaviors that put these women at risk for skin cancer; highlight how underserved Latinas are by current skin cancer prevention campaigns; identify the need for culturally specific campaigns for this audience group; and suggest numerous directions for future research.
Testing Predictors of Physical Activity Among a Sample of Hispanic Adults Using the O-S-O-R Model • John Wirtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Supathida Kulpavaropas • This paper presents a test of the O-S-O-R model (Markus & Zajonc, 1985) using data collected from a sample of Hispanic adults (N = 288). Exercise identity and ethnic identity were defined as preorientations (O1); physical activity- and health-related media use were stimuli (S); reflective integration and conversation about physical-activity related media were defined as postorientations (O2); and the outcome was physical activity (R). A path analysis revealed that exercise identity influenced both types of media use, as well as behavior. Health-related media use then predicted reflective integration and conversation, while PA-related media use only influenced conversation. Finally, reflective integration and conversation influenced levels of physical activity. Results of the study suggest that identity may act as a filter for media selection and that conversation serves as a link between media use and behavior. The results also suggest that practitioners should consider using mass media messages that encourage physical activity-related media use and conversation as potential precursors to regular physical activity when targeting Hispanic populations.
Does a Cyber Attack Motivate Action? Comparing Perceived Risks By Victims Of A Recent Attack • Ronald Yaros, University of Maryland • Applying temporal and physical distance in construal level theory (Trope & Liberman, 2003) to the risk information seeking and processing model (Griffin & Dunwoody, 2000), this study (N = 350) measured cyber risk perceptions. The “near” sample read an alert about a data breach of their personal information. The “distant” sample read news about future risks. Results suggest risk perceptions, worry, trust, and intentions to take precautionary measures were affected by construal level and age.
The Effect of “Headless Fatties” vs. Whole Beings in Obesity Health Campaign Imagery • Rachel Young, University of Iowa; Roma Subramanian, University of Missouri; Amanda Hinnant, Missouri School of Journalism • Recent campaigns with text and images depicting obesity as the effect of individual behaviors sparked concern that an emphasis on individual determinants may lead to stigmatization of overweight or obese people. In this 3 x 2 experiment (n = 252), we sought to determine whether stigmatizing images and text led to differences in antifat attitudes and health-related behavioral intentions, and whether effects were moderated by weight status. We found that stigmatizing images in particular prompted significant differences in negative attitudes toward overweight individuals and also in behavioral intentions to increase healthy behavior or to limit unhealthy behavior. Our results demonstrate that stigmatizing images might be effective at stigmatizing the behaviors that lead to obesity, but an intended consequence of these images is that they also contribute to stigma experienced by overweight people, which results in social and emotional harm.
Tweeting flu and setting agenda on Twitter network • Gi Woong Yun, Bowling Green State University; David Morin, Utah Valley University; SangHee Park; Claire Y. Joa; Brett Labbe; Jongsoo Lim; Sooyoung Lee, Sogang University; Dae-Won Hyun • This paper had two main goals. First, to accurately establish the network agenda setters regarding flu information based on the amount of replies and mentions. The twitter accounts were categorized as media, a health related individuals, organizations, government, an individual, in order to test the relationship between centrality measures of the accounts and their categories. The second goal was to examine the relationship between centrality measures and Twitter specific characteristics of each individual account, including the number of tweets and followers as well as the number of accounts followed and tweets favorited. By collecting this type of Twitter data, it is possible to obtain accurate centrality measures, through the social network analysis method, and gain a better understanding of the relationship between account characteristics and centrality measurements. Result indicated if the media and organizational Twitter accounts were present, they did set agenda on the Twitter network. Also, the novel research framework adopted in this research showed some potential.
The Efficacy of Chinese News Coverage of Tobacco Control: A Comparison between Media Agenda and Policy Agenda • Di Zhang; Baijing Hu • This study examines Chinese news coverage of tobacco control between 2010 and 2012, which is compared with the China Tobacco Control Program (2012-2015), a recent national policy initiative. The study found that the relative salience of second-level tobacco control issues on media agenda has a positive and moderate influence on policy agenda. The results suggest that media advocacy is a very useful tool for tobacco control practitioners to influence policy agenda in China, but its use has limits because of the obstruction from the tobacco industry, Chinese cultural norms and the way policymakers use media in policymaking process.
Professional Freedom & Responsibility
What’s the Score?: A Longitudinal Content Analysis of Mature Adults in Super Bowl Commercials • Mary Brooks, Texas Tech University; Shannon Bichard; Clay Craig, Coastal Carolina University • Based on the rising older adult population, the importance of advertisers recognizing this consumer group is imperative. Thus, this content analysis of 239 Super Bowl commercials applied framing theory to examine how mature audiences are represented in one of the most expensive and highly viewed advertising venues. Previous research suggests that older adults are typically underrepresented in all media and often stereotyped. The results show underrepresentation is still problematic; yet positive frames were used often.
Inoculating the Electorate: American Corporatocracy and its Influence on Health Communication • Laura Crosswell; Lance Porter • Much like Socrates’ separation of art and cookery suggested the need for a new rhetoric centuries ago, commercially driven agendas reflect a contemporary need for a moral code in the corporate healthcare industry. This research examines the profit-driven agendas, non-branded marketing strategies, and commercialized propaganda that influence public trust in pharmaceutical products. Specifically focusing on Rick Perry’s 2007 HPV vaccination mandate, we examine the role that corporate funding plays in legislation, regulation, and voter/consumer behavior. Emergent findings from in-depth field interviews with Texas residents illustrate the capitalized communications contaminating consumer trust and public health, and present an argument for regulation realignment in the healthcare industry.
Tokens in a Man’s World: A Global Analysis of Women in Advertising Creative Departments • Jean Grow, Marquette University; Tao Deng, Marquette University • Using the Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies this study quantitatively explores the underrepresentation of women in advertising creative departments across five global geographic clusters. Engaging the Hofstede and GLOBE models and considering both horizontal and vertical distribution, data demonstrate fairly consistent patterns across 41 countries indicating significant complications for women both horizontally and vertically. Data further demonstrate a global scarcity of creative women with their numbers actually declining, across time, when compared to previous data.
Ethics of the Business Case for CSR Communication: An Integrated Business and Moral Perspective on CSR • S. Senyo Ofori-Parku, University of Oregon • Is it unethical to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) to enhance business goals through public relations, advertising, branding, and marketing efforts? In attending to this question, this paper points out the duality of CSR. It places profitable business in a framework that embraces utilitarianism economics and ethical principles such as duties, rights, and obligations. Drawing on literature from philosophy, business management and ethics, and communication ethics, it proposes that CSR is inherently both economic (strategic) and social (involves morality).
Message Strategies for Ads in U.S. Children’s magazines: An Application of Taylor’s Six-Segment Strategy Wheel • Meenakshi Trichur Venkitasubramanian; Jinhee Lee; Ronald Taylor, University of Tennessee • This study explores the message strategies employed by advertisers for children’s products in U.S. children’s magazines. This study also explores the association between product category and the message strategy. The study uses Taylor’s six-segment strategy wheel as its theoretical framework. A total of 531 ads from three different children’s magazines were examined for the years 2010-12. Content analysis of the ads reveals that advertisers use more transformational approaches than informational approaches.
From Clicks to Behaviors: The mediating effect of viral behavioral intentions on the relationship between attitudes and offline behavioral intentions • Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Anna McAlister, Michigan State University; Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Amy Hagerstrom, Michigan State University • Advertisers, marketers, and other professional communicators are heavily investing in social media marketing in hopes that online engagement will ultimately lead to offline behaviors (e.g., purchase). However, the relationship between online engagement behaviors (i.e., viral behaviors) and offline behavior still remains puzzling. The current study reports results of four experiments that investigated the mediating effect of intentions to like, share, and comment on persuasive social media messages with regard to informing the relationship between attitudes and offline behavioral intentions. The results are mixed with regard to this mediating effect. Findings are discussed in relation to redefining persuasion models within the context of the new media environment and in relation to practical implications of valuing online behaviors.
The Effects of the Valence of National Events on Persuasion in Patriotic Message: Regarding the Goal Framing • Hye Jin Bang, University of Georgia; Dongwon Choi; Jinnie Jinyoung Yoo, Gachen University • This study aims to examine if the activation of national identity through different contextual cues interplays with regulatory-focus message framing on consumers’ reaction to patriotic advertising. Specifically, this study explores the effective forms of patriotic ad message (promotion-focused vs. prevention-focused) depending on different valence of national identity priming contexts (positive vs. negative). Findings from an experiment suggest that the interaction between the valence of national identity priming and regulatory framing. Specifically, it appears that promotion-focused message yielded favorable Aad, Ab and PI when the valence of contexts that activate national identity is positive. On the other hand, the prevention-focused message elicited more favorable Ab if the valence of contexts that prime national identity is negative.
Exploring the Role of Parasocial Relationships on Product Placement Effectiveness • D. Jasun Carr, Susquehanna University • The practice of product placement, the embedding of goods and services within media, has experienced a resurgence of interest in recent years both from the stand point of the practitioner seeking additional avenues by which to reach the elusive consumer, and by scholars seeking to better understand the influence that media have on the consumptive practices of the audience. Many practitioners, and some scholars, have taken the stance that the practice of product placement may currently be the most influential form of advertising and persuasion.
Product Placement in Hollywood Movies: A Longitudinal Analysis • Huan Chen, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; Ye Wang, University of Missouri – Kansas City • The study examined the nature and characteristics of product placement in the U.S. top-grossing movies from 2001 to 2012 with a historical approach. Several important findings and trends were identified from the results: First, product placements were found to be prolific in the U.S. top-grossing movies, with an average of 32 brands embedded in each movie. Second, the product categories of automobile, electronic equipment, and media and entertainment enjoyed the highest exposure in the movies. Third, brands appeared visually or verbally, but rarely demonstrated dual modality. Fourth, the majority of the placed brands seemed to fit with the movie setting regardless of visual or verbal oriented placements, and the most popular presentation mode of brand was full product. Finally, more than half of the product placements involved the interaction of characters.
Your Favorite Memory: Emotional Responses to Personal Nostalgic Advertising within Reminiscence Bump across Generations • ILYOUNG JU; Yunmi Choi, University of Florida; Jon Morris • This study examined the influence of reminiscence bump years when it comes to nostalgic advertising. Emotional responses toward nostalgic advertisements from late boomers and generation x were investigated. An online experiment was conducted to collect data from general consumer panels in their 30’s (x-gen) and 50’s (late boomers). Different emotional responses toward nostalgic advertisements were identified between the two generations. The result of this study revealed that nostalgic advertisements indicating reminiscence bump years were more likely to 1) evoke nostalgic feeling, 2) bring more positive Appeal (late boomers) and Engagement (x-gen), and 3) increase purchase intention.
Putting Things into Context: How evaluations are influenced by organic product claim and retail brand • Brenna Ellison, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign; brittany duff, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign; Xinyang Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; Jiachen Yao, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • Organic food labels have been shown to have a “health halo” whereby products that are labeled organic are judged to be healthier and worth more money. However, the majority of work on organic product claims have ignored both product type and the context in which they are seen in (retail environment). We randomly assigned people (n=900) to see either a processed (cookie) or fresh (strawberry) product that had (not) been labeled as organic and put the scenario in the context of a retail brand (Walmart, Target or other). Results showed that organic labels had many of the previously found effects but these effects were modified by product type and the retail store at which they were supposedly going to be placed in.
Country Reputation as a Moderator of Tourism Advertising Effectiveness • Jami Fullerton, Oklahoma State University; Alice Kendrick, SMU Temerlin Advertising Institute • This study examines the role that country reputation plays in moderating the effects of tourism advertising to that country as well as attitude toward its government and citizens. A pre-post online study conducted in Australia used the current Brand USA’s “Land of Dreams” television commercial as the experimental stimulus. The country reputation index was factor analyzed to reveal three dimensions – Leadership, Investment and Culture. Results indicated that Leadership moderated the main effects of the tourism ad, as well as attitude toward the US government.
Sweetening the Deal: The Impact of Using “That’s-Not-All” Techniques in Promotional Emails • Zijian Gong, Texas Tech University; Shannon Bichard • This experiment investigated the “that’s-not-all” (TNA) technique as a promotional strategy and offered suggestions for maximizing its effectiveness in email advertising. Results denote a significant TNA impact on attitudes and perceptions of offer value, and this impact was robust across various types of products. Additionally, adding a time limit to TNA offers enhanced the perceptions of offer value. The research contributes to the current literature by developing strategies to increase the effectiveness of TNA techniques.
Segmenting The U.S. Product Placement Market: On the Basis of Consumers’ Cognitive and Attitudinal Responses to Advertising in General • Chang Dae Ham; Jin Seong Park, University of Tennessee Knoxville; Sejin Park, University of Tennessee • The purpose of the present study is to examine how U.S. consumers respond to product placement according to their perceptions about advertising in general. Based on a nationally representative sample of US adults from Experian Simmons (N = 22,348), this study identified five clusters of U.S. consumers, segmented by their cognitive and attitudinal responses to advertising in general. The study further reveals that each cluster has distinct demographic and media usage profiles and exhibits varying responses to product placement across television and movie. Implications for the practice of product placement are discussed.
A Model of Consumer Response to OTC Drug Advertising: Antecedents and Influencing Factors • Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota; Denise DeLorme, University of Central Florida; Leonard Reid, University of Georgia • Given the importance of OTC drugs in the healthcare marketplace and the lack of systematic research about OTC drug advertising effects, this study proposed and tested a Consumer Over-the-Counter Drug Advertising Response (CODAR) model. SEM analysis provides support for the model, explaining the OTCA effect process from key consumer antecedents to ad involvement, from ad involvement to ad attention, from ad attention to cognitive responses, then to affective/evaluative responses, leading to the final advertising outcomes.
Where Should Brands Position their Advertisements during the Sporting Event? Spectators’ Mental Energy Perspective • Wonseok Jang, University of Florida; Yong Jae Ko, University of Florida; Jon Morris; Jungwon Chun, University of Florida • The current study proposes a novel way to understand when brands should display advertisements during sporting events to maximize effectiveness. Relying on the ego-depletion model and the self-determination theory, this study explains how sport fans use, store, or increase their mental energy in the body system during the sporting event. Subsequently, how the increase or decrease mental energy transfers to the sport fans’ evaluation process of advertisements that were positioned during the sporting event.
The Effectiveness of Ecolabels among Young Adults: Environmental Warning Messages in Differing Message Contexts • Yongick Jeong, Louisiana State University • This study determines the contextual relationships between ecolabels and message contexts. By conducting two experiments, via a two-way mixed-repeated-measures design, the impacts of contextual similarity (Study 1) and the effects of context-induced moods (Study 2) on the effectiveness of ecolabels are examined. This study found ecolabels perform differently based on context formats (ads vs. PSAs), context-induced moods (positive vs. negative) and environmental issues (energy conservation, recycling, and pollution). Interaction effects were also examined and discussed.
The Role of Personal and Societal Norms in Understanding Social Media Advertising Effects: A Study of Sponsored Stories on Facebook • Joonghwa Lee, Middle Tennessee State University; Soojung Kim, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Doyle Yoon, University of Oklahoma • This study examines the antecedents and behavioral consequences of personal and societal norms in the context of Facebook sponsored stories. The survey findings indicate that personal descriptive and injunctive norms influence consumers’ intentions to interact with sponsored stories, whereas societal descriptive and injunctive norms do not. Interpersonal influences (e.g., family) and social influences (e.g., number of ‘likes’) form personal and societal norms, respectively. Theoretical and practical implications for social media advertising effects are discussed.
Development of an Other Minds Confidence Scale for Advertising • Esther Thorson; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, University of Missouri; Eunseon Kwon, University of Missouri; Heather Shoenberger, University of Missouri • The present study develops a rationale for why the construct of “other minds confidence” is generally an important one for human communication and specifically for theory about how people respond to advertising and other intentionally persuasive messages. We develop an exploratory scale for measuring what we conceptualize as “other minds confidence,” evaluate its reliability and factor structure, test whether it is different from a closely related construct, “persuasion knowledge,” and then further assess its validity by see whether it predicts general attitude toward advertising. Finally, we discuss some potential applications of the scale.
Perceived Norms and Consumer Responses to Social Media Advertising: A Cross-Cultural Study of Facebook Sponsored Stories among Americans and Koreans • Soojung Kim, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Joonghwa Lee, Middle Tennessee State University • This study examines the differences in the relationship among three types of norms (i.e., subjective, personal descriptive, and personal injunctive norms), attitudes toward interacting with Facebook sponsored stories, and behavioral intentions between Americans and Koreans. The findings indicate that personal injunctive norms were a stronger predictor of behavioral intentions for Koreans, whereas subjective norms and personal descriptive norms were stronger predictors of behavioral intentions for Americans. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The Cognitive and Affective Effects of Brand Categorization and Evaluation on Brand Extension Purchase Intent • Jungsuk kang; Carolyn Lin • This study tested an expanded categorization model to examine how consumers evaluate and process perceived brand relationships between a parent brand, an extension product category and a brand extension. Study findings confirmed that perceived product-feature fit instead of perceived parent-brand image fit between a parent brand and its extension product category significantly enhanced the perceived similarity between the parent brand and its brand extension as well as brand-extension attitude and brand-extension purchase intent.
Uses and Gratifications that Drive Young Adults’ Smartphone Use and the Implications for Advertising Effectiveness • Kelty Logan, University of Colorado at Boulder • This quantitative study focuses on young adults in the U.S. and their use of smartphones in the belief that a thorough understanding of the gratifications sought will provide guidance to advertisers regarding the relative levels of involvement associated with each function. Specifically, the study explores the participants’ hierarchy of needs, the needs they seek to gratify through the use of various smartphone functions and applications, and their attitudes toward the advertising found in those environments. The results suggest that the heavy users of smartphone functions and apps are those who feel that “connection with friends and family,” “building relationships,” “increasing self-esteem,” and “mood elevation” are extremely important. Light users of smartphone functions and apps are those who feel that “seeking information/knowledge” or “seeking escape” are extremely important. While all light users appear to share negative attitudes toward advertising on smartphone functions and apps, not all heavy users share the same attitudes. There appears to be a distinction among heavy users based upon gratifications sought from smartphone use. Those who value connection, relationship-building, and mood elevation do not have positive attitudes toward advertising they encounter on smartphone functions and apps. Those who value increased self-esteem, however, appear to accept advertising on email and apps for information, assistance, and social media.
The Effectiveness of Cross‑media Advertising in Simultaneous Media Use: Combining TV and Web Advertisements • Shanshan Lou; Hong Cheng • Focused on cross-media advertising under simultaneous media exposure, this study explores the effectiveness of combining TV and web advertising by asking experiment participants (N = 168) to consume TV and web content simultaneously. In contrary to results from prior studies, media combination was not found to yield detrimental effects on ads attitudes and recalls. Multitasking seemed to have more negative influence on the recall of TV ads when compared with that of complex web ads simultaneously exposed to.
The “Boomerang Effect” of Disclosures: How Placement Disclosures Affect Brand Memory, Persuasion Knowledge, and Brand Attitude • Joerg Matthes; Brigitte Naderer, U of Vienna • Despite the relevance of disclosures to policy makers and consumer organisations, we have limited knowledge as to whether disclosures hinder or foster the impact of brand placements. This paper develops and tests a theoretical model of placement disclosure effects. An experimental study exposed participants to the video clip “Telephone” by Lady Gaga. Product placement frequency (zero, moderate, high) and presence of brand disclosures were experimentally varied. Results demonstrated that brand disclosures lead to an increase in brand memory for frequently depicted placements. Disclosures also affected defence motivation against persuasive influence by activating conceptual and attitudinal persuasion knowledge. However, defence motivation did not lead to more negative brand attitudes. On the contrary, findings suggest that disclosures can lead to more positive brand attitudes by activating, and therefore, strengthening already existing favourable brand evaluations. In terms of protection against covert marketing techniques, we conclude that disclosures may be a double-edge sword.
Exploring Qualifications for Senior-Level Advertising Agency Positions • Sheryl Oliver, Howard University; Rochelle Ford, Howard University • Using institutional theory to frame this study explores the qualifications talent and diversity professionals in advertising agencies perceive to be necessary to obtain senior-level positions in the advertising industry. Because African Americans and other minority groups are under-represented in mid and senior-level positions, this study explored particular characteristics desired among them. Using qualitative interviews, leadership experience within advertising agencies was the most important quality because they will be able to demonstrate a track record of success, the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, a level of toughness, and ability to generate new business. These characteristics will give credibility to candidates and help them motivate their teams. African Americans are expected to give back and mentor others. Results reinforce the need for strong retention programs to help entry-level candidates obtain mid-level managerial agency positions so they can be promoted into senior-level roles.
Beyond Exclusivity and Convenience: Real Estate Advertisements and the Singapore Story • Fernando Paragas, Nanyang Technological University; Aaron Tan, Nanyang Technological University; Dennis Kom, Nanyang Technological University; Stacey Anne Rodrigues, Nanyang Technological University; Joyce See, Nanyang Technological University • Using textual analysis, this paper explores the narrative that real estate advertisements depict and nurture in Singapore. Through the stages of identification, construction and deconstruction, the paper explores connections between and among advertising as text, culture as context and discourse as supra-text. It reveals paradoxes within the advertisements that depict not only what developers infer as the aspirational lifestyle in Singapore but also inform the tensions of life in the city-state.
The Influence Mechanism of the Advertising and National Economy：the Chinese Experience (1979-2010) • Linsen Su; Mingqian Li • The paper found that GDP and economic openness predicted the advertising positively in China, whereas the Engel coefficient and unemployment had negative effects on the advertising, but the effect of the urbanization on advertising could not be confirmed, basing on the co-integration analysis of the per capita advertising, per capita GDP, urbanization, economic openness, urban unemployment rate, and Engel coefficient.
Let’s conserve energy but you recycle! Environmental claim types and responsibility attributions in green ads • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism • This study seeks to test the effects of two elements used in green advertisements—claim type and attribution of responsibility—on ad attitude, attitude toward the company, and purchase intention. An experiment involving 869 participants found that energy and recycling claims were more effective in getting a positive ad attitude than a selling sustainable products claim. The company’s taking responsibility for saving the environment is the most effective strategy to get a positive brand attitude.
Health Buzz at School: Evaluations of a Statewide Teen Health Campaign • Ming Wang, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Amy Struthers, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Drawing upon data from the first two years of a state-wide health communication campaign that employed a peer-to-peer marketing strategy to encourage high school students to adopt healthy behavior, this paper finds that the buzz component increased campaign awareness among students in participating schools compared to those in the comparison schools, but there was no significant difference between their health attitudes. Furthermore, attitude toward the campaign mediated the effect of buzz exposure on health attitudes.
Deception by Design? Analyzing native advertising design and disclosure on news websites • Bartosz Wojdynski, University of Georgia; Nathaniel Evans • In the face of evidence that consumers selectively, or even reflexively, avoid many forms of display advertising online, content publishers have sought more subtle ways to deliver viewers’ attention to advertisers’ content. One recent emergence is an increase in the use by online publishers of advertising copy presented in the form of editorial content, often called “native advertising.” Although this practice has analogs in print and broadcast media forms, the present research identified and analyzed recent examples of such native advertising on online editorial content publishing sites (N=28), with a focus on the language, positioning, and size of information that discloses the content as advertising. The findings suggest a lack of standard practice in all three areas. Although a majority of examples offered some disclosure elements positioned before the start of the page content, very few explicitly used any form of the word “advertising” in the disclosure labels. The findings are discussed in the context of the need greater for empirical research into effects of design characteristics in disclosure labeling.
A little training goes a long way: Increasing children’s recognition of embedded advertising through education • Eilene Wollslager, Our Lady of the Lake University • This study examined the relationship between media literacy training and elementary students’ (grades 3-4) ability to recognize embedded advertising (advergaming) in a children’s online website. Children could not recognize advergames as advertising at the beginning of the study (0%). Following a brief, 10-minute training session, children’s ability to recognize an advergame as a commercial message increased to 30%. Additionally, there was no indication of a digital divide in student’s awareness of advergaming. Rural students outperformed urban counterparts in the recognition of online advertising.
Understanding Consumer Animosity in the Politicized Global Market: From the Perspective of Young Transnational Consumers • Qinghua Yang; Katy Snell; Wanhsiu Sunny Tsai, University of Miami • Contextualized in the recent territorial dispute between Japan and China, this research examines consumer animosity from the perspective of transnational Chinese consumers. This study provides a multidimensional model of animosity and tests an integrative model that links cultural identification, antecedents (i.e., patriotism, nationalism, and internationalism), and moderators of consumer animosity (i.e., perceived symbolism and perceived threat). Transnational Chinese consumers’ cultural identification was found to significantly influence the mechanisms underlying their animosity against Japan and Japanese products.
Does “green” work? The role of message framing, construal level and environmental concern • Lingling Zhang, Towson University; Hua Chang • Many firms adopt green advertising and put great emphasis on the value of green marketing strategies. However, little research has examined the effectiveness of green appeal in advertisements. Building on message framing and construal level theory, this study conducts two experiments to examine the interaction effect of construal level and gain or loss framed messages on consumers’ attitudes and purchase intention towards advertised product, as well as the moderating role of consumers’ environmental concern in this interaction. The findings demonstrate that a congruency between loss (gain) frame and low (high) level construal leads to more positive outcomes in consumers’ attitudes and purchase intention. Furthermore, this research reveals that the congruency effect is moderated by the level of consumer environmental concern, which has important theoretical and practical implications.
Special Topics Papers
Connecting Science to Advertising: How John B. Watson Laid the Foundation of Behavioral Targeting • Abigail Bartholomew, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Frauke Hachtmann, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Behaviorism as defined in 1913 by John B. Watson was a science that used repeated, observable human activity to develop hypotheses that would eventually predict and control responses. Through repeated experiments, Watson developed a thorough knowledge of what he defined as base human reactions. Stanley Resor, then president of J. Walter Thompson Agency, hired Watson to promote a partnership between advertising and science, and the subsequent 15 years of Watson’s career included some notable scientific contributions. This historical study shows that though these outcomes may not have provided many measurable positive results, they set into motion industry-wide change that continued to develop until the present. The study also argues that though behavioristic principles may not have found solid footing in a mass media environment, the current networked communication state provides much more fertile ground for analyzing message receivers and eliciting desired responses.
A Case History of Small Advertising Agency Leadership: An In-Depth Look at Knoxville’s Lavidge & Associates • Daniel Haygood, Elon University • Most of the advertising agency-related articles in the trade press and the research contained in academic journals focus on the large multi-national advertising agencies. This is unfortunate because much innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness are found in the local advertising agency communities. This case history takes an in-depth look at Lavidge & Associates, a small advertising firm located in Knoxville, Tennessee. This advertising agency is in its sixty-third year of business, a journey that has seen the firm begin as a two-person shop, rise to employ fifty to sixty individuals, and then return in the recent decade to a small firm with two full-time business partners. Throughout its long history, the agency has survived by demonstrating leadership in different areas of the business. This quality of leading appears to be the key to its success and survival. Specifically, the firm’s story reveals leadership lessons in management, client service, creative development, and production. It shows that innovation can often come from the smaller firms of the advertising community.”
Educating the Next-Generation Don Draper • Valerie Jones, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Technology and the proliferation of data have transformed the advertising industry. Those with digital and analytical skills are now more employable than those with “traditional” advertising skills. At the same time, colleges face increasing emphasis on job placement rates. Are advertising programs providing students with the skills needed to win jobs today? Today’s “next-generation Don Drapers” must not only be fluent in creativity and big ideas, but also be fluent in analysis and big data.
“Putting On Campaigns”: A History of 70 Years of Advertising Education at X University • Ronald Taylor, University of Tennessee; Joyce Wolburg, Marquette University • Two philosophies of advertising education have existed in American colleges and universities since the early 1900s. This paper traces the two philosophies—a “how to philosophy” vs. a “why philosophy” as they were sequentially implemented across 70 years at a land grant university in the Southeast.
Assessing Brand Personality on Social Media: An Analysis of External Perceptions of University Twitter Activity • Brandi Watkins, Virginia Tech; Regina Lewis, The University of Alabama • Universities market to diverse audiences and when combined with a common struggle within many universities for funding, online social media marketing possibilities become an important component of the university brand. This investigates the influence of Twitter activity on perceptions of university branding. Findings indicate that there is little difference in how universities are perceived by external audiences; the study contributes to the current body of literature by applying traditional brand personality scales to non-traditional media.
Motivating savings behavior in PSAs: The effect of social norms and the moderating role of financial responsibility • Hye Jin Yoon, Southern Methodist University • Personal savings rates in the United States are low, creating potentially negative consequences. This study conducted two experiments to test the effects of social norms and the moderating role of an individual’s financial responsibility in responses to public service advertisements promoting savings behavior. Across two studies, perception of norm and benefit information varied with financial responsibility. Implications for social norm theory and improving social marketing ad campaigns to promote saving are provided.
Blogging In The Classroom: Using WordPress Blogs With Buddy Press Plugin As A Learning Tool. • Keith Quesenberry, Johns Hopkins University; Dana Saewitz, Temple University; Sheryl Kantrowitz, Temple University • Three professors used WordPress blogs with 130 students one semester in three different advertising courses. Descriptions of how blogs were used to enhance student participation, engagement and skill building are included along with students’ quantitative and qualitative assessments. The use of course blogs led to multiple positive self-reported student learning outcomes. Based on the researchers’ self-evaluation and analysis of students’ survey feedback, this article offers insights for using blogging as a learning tool.
Teach Like They Build It: A User Experience Approach to Interactive Media in Advertising Education • Adam Wagler, UNL • The proliferation of interactive media and new technology on college campuses is blending together student academic work and online personal lives. Advertising instructors have unique opportunities to leverage interactive instructional technology to reach more students and give them various ways to engage in learning materials while modeling professional applications of emerging media. User experience (UX), a term normally associated with interactive design, provides a framework for all advertising instructors to effectively integrate interactive media into their teaching. An in-depth review of the literature is provided to bridge the research between cognition, mass communications, and web usability creating a foundation for a UX approach to using interactive media in advertising education. The purpose of this paper is to provide theory-based strategies for advertising instructors to take advantage of interactive technology for student learning while modeling professional uses of interactive media.
The Moderating Role of Brand Familiarity on Media Synergistic Effect: An Information Processing Perspective • Guanxiong Huang, Michigan State University • Cross-media advertising campaigns have become commonplace in today’s multimedia environment. Drawing from the multiple source effect theorization, this study explores the underlying mechanism of media synergistic effect from an information processing perspective. Brand familiarity is proposed as a moderator of media synergistic effect: people with different level of prior brand-related knowledge tend to process advertisements in diverse cognitive routes. An experiment found that for an unfamiliar brand media synergy outperforms repeated exposures via a solo medium in terms of raising message credibility and generating more positive thoughts, while similar effects were not seen on the familiar brand.
A New Perspective on Brand Avoidance Behaviors: Attention to Social Comparison Information matters! • Eunjin (Anna) Kim, University of Missouri; Eunseon Kwon, University of Missouri • Prior research on brand consumption behaviors, especially those that potentially affect a person’s social identity, has mainly focused on approach rather than avoidance motives. We examine brand avoidance behaviors in the context of an individual-difference construct, attention to social comparison information (ATSCI). Our overarching argument is that high ATSCI consumers, being anxious and uncertain about others’ reactions, will seek to keep a low profile in their brand choices—they will prefer to blend in rather than to stand out. In study 1, we show that although high and low ATSCI consumers identify themselves with equally prestigious brands, the former do so with less distinctive brands. In study 2, we find that high ATSCI consumers, unlike their low ATSCI counterparts, avoid conspicuous brand logos even in the case of highly prestigious brands.
Perfect Mothers: How Mothers are Presented in Images in Food Advertising • Jinhee Lee; Jimi Hong, University of Texas at Austin • The purpose of study is to explore how food advertising portrays mother images in food advertising and which advertising themes in food advertising. The study selected sample advertisements from three magazines: Parents, Family Fun, and Working Mother. For analyzing data, content analysis was conducted. The study showed that food advertising portrayed traditional mother images and highlighted the traditional meanings of mothering. Theoretical and practical implications were addressed.
Anonymous vs. Non-anonymous Online Comments: The effects of Comments’ Visual Anonymity and Valence on Consumers’ Attitude and Purchase Intention • Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Pradnya Joshi; Eunsin Joo • Using the theoretical framework of social identity model of deindividuation (SIDE) and elaboration likelihood model, this study investigated how online commenters’ visual anonymity and comments’ valence (either positive or negative) affect consumers’ attitude and purchase intention toward products sold on social commerce websites. In a 2 (commenters’ visual anonymity: anonymous vs. recognized) x 2 (comments’ valence: positive vs. negative) between-subjects factorial design, participants (n= 157) were exposed to one of the four Groupon webpage selling a printer before being asked to indicate their evaluation and purchase intention toward the printer. Results indicated that online peer comments do have persuasive effects on online users, and such effects are not limited to only anonymous users’ reviews. Also, visually recognized negative comments – compared to anonymous negative comments – seem to be more efficient in persuading users not to buy the product. Findings are discussed in the context of computer-mediated-communication with new technology change in relation to consumer behavior research and social commerce marketing.
Playing with the Brand: Exploring the Influence of Advergame Play on Company Evaluations and Recall • Matthew VanDyke, Texas Tech University; Ann Rodriguez, Texas Tech University • This experiment employed a 2 X 2 factorial design to assess the influence of advergame play on evaluations of a company and game-specific information recall. Advergame play did not influence participants’ attitude toward the company or an ambiguous company news event. Participants’ perceptions of the advergame’s interactivity predicted whether the game was perceived as informative and enjoyable. Recall data suggested that regardless of interactivity perceptions, participants tended to recall game-specific information.
Mouse Tracking as a Method to Explore Brand Personality Distinctiveness • Zongyuan Wang, University of Missouri at Columbia; Russell Clayton, University of Missouri • Brand personality is an important value for a brand to differentiate itself from other brands and to create unique brand images. This study used mouse tracking as an unobtrusive cognitive indicator measure of brand personality distinctiveness and examined how product involvement and function orientation might jointly influence brand personality distinctiveness. Results showed that brand personality distinctiveness and accessibility was higher for functional brands than for sensory brands and was the lowest for low-involvement sensory brands.
Larger, Closer, Brighter: How Advertising Design Influence Advertising Recognition • Zongyuan Wang, University of Missouri at Columbia; Mikkel Christensen, University of Missouri; Andrew Brown, University of Missouri at Columbia; Michelle Reed, University of Missouri at Columbia • Ads on media suffer from competitions of their counterparts, which can be detrimental to ad recognition. Physical properties ad design may influence ad recognition. This study examined how brand name contrast, brand name size, and distance between the brand name and the product image influenced ad recognition. Findings suggest that larger brand name, shorter distance between the brand name and the product image, and higher brand name contrast produced the highest ad recognition.
Disgust in Advertising – Social and Gender Implications • Kivy Weeks, University of Connecticut • This exploratory research increases understanding of the implications for disgust in marketing communications. It details an experiment manipulating the amount of disgust in an advertisement depicting a low involvement, brand new product. It evaluates the importance of gender, social variables, as well as state and trait disgust on product attitude. Important findings include a significant interaction between gender and disgust manipulation, such that gender moderates the relationship between disgust advertising and product attitude, with disgust having a greater negative effect on attitude for women than men.
AEJMC 2014 Conference Paper Abstracts
Montréal, Canada • August 6 to 9
The following AEJMC groups conducted research competitions for the 2014 conference. The accepted paper abstracts are listed within each section.
- Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk (ComSHER)
- Communication Technology (CTEC)
- Communication Theory and Methodology
- Cultural and Critical Studies
- Electronic News
- International Communication
- Law and Policy
- Mass Communication and Society
- Media Ethics
- Media Management and Economics
- Minorities and Communication (MAC)
- Newspaper and Online News
- Public Relations
- Scholastic Journalism
- Visual Communication (VisCom)
- Community Journalism
- Entertainment Studies
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
- Graduate Student (formerly Graduate Education)
- Internships and Careers
- Participatory Journalism
- Political Communication
- Religion and Media
- Small Programs (SPIG)
- Sports Communication (SPORTS)
CONTACT: PAULA POINDEXTER, Texas-Austin, 2013-14 President of AEJMC • May 21, 2014
The exercise of free speech is now potentially a firing offense at colleges and universities in Kansas. The Kansas Board of Regents, which governs public universities and colleges in Kansas, has adopted a policy that defines unacceptable uses of social media and allows for the suspension or dismissal of those who violate it.
This social media policy was primarily in response to University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth’s tweet about the deadly shooting in September 2013 at the U.S. Naval Yard when 12 people were killed. Guth, who was placed on administrative leave as a result of his Twitter message, tweeted: “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.” The resulting outcry from the public and state lawmakers no doubt fueled the formation of this new policy.
The Regents’ policy bars social media messages that would incite violence, disclose confidential student information or release protected data, communication that is already prohibited by existing laws. The more troubling provision of the policy, however, is the overly vague statement that restricts faculty and staff from posting anything “contrary to the best interests of the university.”
It is not difficult to imagine the chilling effect the new policy will have on freedom of expression in general and academic freedom in particular on university and college campuses in Kansas. Furthermore, social media, and Twitter specifically, have become essential tools in gathering and disseminating news. If Kansas’ journalism professors are afraid to teach students how to use these reporting tools because they may violate a vague social media policy, the future journalists they train will be unprepared for the real world of journalism in the digital age.
The Kansas Board of Regents chair, Fred Logan, defended the policy and argued that it enhances academic freedom by giving employees specific guidelines. But the very suggestion that social media expression should be subjected to guidelines conflicts with academic freedom and, more importantly, the First Amendment. Therefore the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), the largest association of journalism and communication educators in the world, calls upon the Kansas Board of Regents to reverse this social media policy that restricts academic freedom, violates First Amendment rights, interferes with the professional education of those seeking journalism careers and suppresses the intellectual discourse that universities should champion.
For more information regarding this AEJMC Presidential Statement, please contact Paula Poindexter, President of AEJMC, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AEJMC (The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication) is a nonprofit, educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media professionals. The Association’s mission is to advance education, foster scholarly research, cultivate better professional practice and promote the free flow of communication. To find out more about AEJMC, visit www.AEJMC.org.
Rewarding Good Teaching
By Karen Miller Russell
Standing Committee on Teaching
University of Georgia, Grady College
(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, March 2014 issue)
One of the best things that the AEJMC Standing Committee on Teaching offers is its Best Practices in Teaching Competition.
Becoming a good or even great teacher is a life-long process, one that is not always rewarded by educational institutions in the same way that good or great research can be.
“Currently, research universities base tenure decisions primarily on research productivity and quality,” organizational psychologist Adam Grant recently stated in an op-ed in The New York Times. “Teaching matters only after you have cleared the research bar: It is a bonus to teach well.”
Of course, not all universities overlook good teaching, and many colleges and departments of mass communication recognize teaching through annual awards. These awards are significant ways to reward good work, but they don’t go far enough.
Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Elizabeth H. Simmons points out that faculty must be strategic in how they spend their time. Therefore, she argues, “If a department or college believes that innovative teaching is important, then innovative teaching must be rewarded in decisions related to salaries, reappointment, promotion and tenure.”
The Standing Committee on Teaching tries to facilitate that process by providing a national forum to call attention to innovative teaching in journalism and mass communication. Each year the committee selects a different theme — this year it’s “Globalizing the Classroom” — and members submit their assignments, classroom activities or ideas for competitive review.
Winning faculty members will be invited to present their ideas at the national convention in Montreal, and they’ll receive a cash prize.
But the competition does more than reward faculty who are trying innovative approaches; it also allows them to share their ideas with other faculty. In addition to being presented at the meeting, the winning entries are published in an e-booklet, and I cheerfully admit to shamelessly copying at least one past winner in my own classroom.
“Teaching is the core of what we all do. Recognizing great teaching ideas helps us learn from each other and become better teachers,” said Chris Roush of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this year’s competition chair. “I’m constantly learning from my peers at UNC, and this is how I can expand that learning to the best around the country.”
If you would like to enter this year’s competition, the process is simple. Just write a two-page statement describing a new and effective approach you used to bring global ideas into your classroom. The call for entries (on p. 10) specifies that you need not be teaching a class specifically on international media. In fact, the committee would like to learn how you incorporate awareness of global communities and/or the practice of journalism and mass communication beyond national borders into any course.
I also urge you to take a few minutes to check out the downloadable booklets from past best practices competitions, on subjects ranging from writing to ethics and from information gathering to critical thinking. They can be found on the AEJMC website at http://www.aejmc.org/home/2010/09/best-practices-in-teaching-booklets/.
You might find inspiration for your own great teaching ideas.
Letting Online Students Know You’re There
By Susan Keith
Standing Committee on Teaching
(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, January 2014 issue)
At the beginning of the fall semester a few years ago, two young women stepped into my office and greeted me warmly. They spoke as if I knew them, though I couldn’t recall meeting either. Finally, they noticed my confusion and one said, “Oh, Dr. Keith, we were in your Newer Media Law and Policy course!”
They identified themselves and I realized they had, indeed, been in a summer course I had just taught as part of the Master’s in Communication and Information Studies program at Rutgers University. I failed to recognize them not because the class had been so large that I couldn’t learn students’ faces but because the course, like all the offerings in the MCIS program’s Digital Media track, which my department staffs, was fully online.
The course management system we used did not display avatars for students, so although students knew what I looked like from the headshot I had placed on the course syllabus, all I had seen of them were thumbnail images from their student IDs. In fact, I had thought throughout the summer that one of the women, who had a somewhat unusual first name, was male!
The students told me they had enjoyed the course, and I told them I had enjoyed their questions, comments and final papers. Then one of the students said something like, “I just wish the course could have been face to face.”
Ah! Had it been, I would not have volunteered to teach the course in summer. I commute an hour (by car) to two hours (subway/train) each way. Coming to campus several times a week in the summer would have seriously cut into research time.
The student’s comments, however, implied a legitimate concern over presence, a frequent issue in asynchronous online courses. Although online courses can give a voice to shy students or to international students concerned about their spoken English, other students sometimes miss the camaraderie of classmates they can see and a professor who is “right there.”
However, if you are teaching fully online courses — a topic that will be addressed in the plenary session being organized by AEJMC’s Standing Committee on Teaching for our Montreal Conference — there are things you can do to make students feel your presence in the virtual classroom:
Let students see you right away. I put a small mugshot on my syllabus and have students, before they do anything else, watch a short video of me welcoming them to the course. Although I don’t typically lecture straight to the camera in online courses, I think a video showing me explaining course expectations helps make the human connection.
Answer email more rapidly than in a face-to-face course: For students in off-campus, asynchronous online courses, email (or CMS-based message) is the only way to connect with the instructor. You ignore it at the peril of your teaching evaluation scores.
Encourage cooperative work. As an undergrad, I groaned at the prospect of group work. Now I think at least small group assignments can help alleviate a sense of isolation in online courses. Encourage students to go beyond email as they plan. If the course management system doesn’t support video chatting, have them try Google+ Hangout (http://www.google. com/hangouts/), which allows multiple people to talk and see each other.
Think critically about discussion boards: Many online instructors have students post to discussion boards as a way to simulate in-class discussions. I’m not convinced, however, that most of us use those boards well. Do students see any evidence, through your on-board responses or timely feedback, that you are reading their work? Do you work — behind the scenes, through email — with students who make erroneous assertions on the boards to help them publically convey correct information? Do you review what students discussed in the last discussion board assignment before moving on to the next unit?
Consider some synchronous chats: I offer hourlong synchronous group text- or video-based chats eight or 10 times a semester and four times in a five-week summer session. Because my online courses are advertised as asynchronous, I cannot require students to take part, but I find that many are hungry for the connection and join multiple times, especially before big assignments. (I ask students to look over my planned dates and times in the first week of the course, and I adjust if any student says he or she cannot make any of the sessions.) I plan a discussion topic, usually tied to course content in current events. The first thing I do, however, is ask whether students have questions. Sometimes they have many questions and answering them takes the full hour!
These are just a few ways to give students a sense of your presence in online courses.
What are yours? I would love to hear. Drop a note to email@example.com.