ERIC Number: ED083659
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1972-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
An Experimental Analysis of Reaction to Filmed Drug Abuse Information. Drug Abuse Information Research Project.
Hanneman, Gerhard J.; McEwen, William J.
Message strategies relating to information about social problems such as drug abuse have been based on the assumption that exposure to relevant information via mass media will result in behavior modification. There is need, however, for scientific inquiry into methods of information acquisition and perceptual response to information. A two-part study in Connecticut was designed to utilize objective and subjective measurements of viewer response to public service drug abuse commercials. The first experiment provided comparative evaluations of the qualities of five television commercials according to their potency, conventionality, realistic qualities, predictability, and informational values. In the second experiment, galvanic skin response measurements were used to determine message-generated attention as subjects were looking at one of the commercials; this was followed by posttest ratings. Results indicated that "hard sell" messages against drug abuse use (threatening, emotional, or disturbing approaches) appear to be most reliable for measurement of viewer perception regardless of the amount of attention generated during the actual viewing period. Attention arousal is important as a determinant of communication-generated behavior but is not necessarily related to the receiver's perceptual response and degree of persuasion. (RN)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Connecticut Univ., Storrs. Communication Research Program.