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ERIC Number: ED440323
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Correcting Media Mis-Education: The Portrayal of Smokers and Smoking in Top Grossing Films.
Bartlett, Alyssa; Brackin, Taryn; Chubb, Jamie; Covata, Sandy; Ferguson, Liz; Hinckley, Adele; Hodges, Jilda; Liberati, Cheryl; Tornetta, Jonette; Chambliss, Catherine
Given that young people are extremely concerned with how they appear socially, beguiling and glamorous portrayals of smokers in recent films may be contributing to the continual rise in college student smoking. The pervasive positive depiction of smokers as attractive and appealing easily preys on young people who lack confidence and self esteem. It is imperative to assess whether the trend of increased smoking among youth is continuing so that steps can be taken to reverse it. This study focuses on portrayals of smokers and smoking for movies released between 1996 and 1999. A group of trained raters evaluated five movies for each year. The movies were examined for relevant characteristics, including movie genre, approximate running time, and total number of cigarettes seen during the film. Demographics, including age, gender, and smoking status, were recorded for first, second, and third leading characters. Characters were evaluated on several dimensions, including: insecure/confident, unattractive/attractive, unintelligent/intelligent, and unpopular/popular. Results show that 75% of the movies sampled depicted cigarette smoking. Approximately 20% of the leading characters, of whom 85% were male, smoked cigarettes; 26% of the second and third main characters smoked. Among secondary main characters, more males than females smoked; among tertiary main characters, smoking was equal for males and females. Comparisons of personality ratings for smoking versus nonsmoking characters showed significant differences on two variables. Nonsmoking characters were viewed as more considerate and less selfish than smoking characters; although not significant, there was also a trend for nonsmokers to be viewed as more kind and less cruel. (Contains 32 references.) (MKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A