ERIC Number: ED247559
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Evaluating Dimensions of Television Program Reality: A Commonality Analysis of Perceived Superficiality, Perceived Plausibility and the Degree of Personal Utility.
Elliott, William R.; Rudd, Robert L.
To improve techniques for measuring concepts related to audience perceptions of the reality of television programing, a study established three goals: (1) to reduce the number of items currently used to measure perceived superficiality, perceived plausibility, and the degree of personal utility; (2) to determine whether a single item measure of general perceived program realism previously proven effective was useful as a fourth predictor for perceived television reality effects; and (3) to determine the relative importance of each of the new reduced-item scales for ascertaining the attitudes of viewers of "The Day After" toward nuclear issues. To accomplish these goals, subjects were randomly assigned either to watch ABC's "The Day After," NBC's "Kennedy," or a series of situational comedies on CBS, or to avoid prime time television entirely. A total of 230 questionnaires was given out and 139 were returned in usable form. In addition, program realism was measured, with four separate items--one created and three from Gallup sources--used to measure subjects' attitudes toward nuclear issues. Results of commonality analysis indicated that program realism, as an independent contribution, added little to the predictive power of the three new measures. A second level of analysis attempted to evaluate the individual importance of each of the three scales as predictors of audience attitudes toward nuclear issues. Results of this analysis indicated that the most important contributor to the variation in the nuclear attitude items was perceived superficiality. The importance of the degree of personal utility was less obvious, and it was tentatively recommended that the element of perceived plausibility be deleted from future studies. (CRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Response
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984).