Media Psychology Exam 2 Review - Lecture Questions

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Describe the Information Processing Model of Human Cognition

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Describe the Information Processing Model of Human Cognition

Look at Diagram! Cognitive Control - conscious part of the mind, coordinates incoming information with info in the system. Controls Attention

<p>Look at Diagram! Cognitive Control - conscious part of the mind, coordinates incoming information with info in the system. Controls Attention</p>
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Using multiple devices at the same time (phone, laptop, TV). It interrupts tasks to go to another task

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Findings of natural observations of students and office workers when paying attention beforeswitching tasks

On average students spent 6 minutes on task before switching to another task (walking around, watching tv, etc). Office workers interrupted tasks every 4-11 minutes

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HCI Research

Human Computer Interface Research

  • very interested in worker productivity

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Effect of Open Office Environments regarding self-interruptions

Open office environment had 60% higher self-interruptions Some people just self-interrupt more. getting interrupted makes you self-interrupt more

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The difference in responses in Heavy and Light media multitaskers

Heavy-media multitaskers are slower to respond to stimuli, and their reaction times are worse than Light-media multitaskers

  • The more you multitask, the worse you get at it

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Multitasking and confidence

Those who multitask a lot are more confident that they are good at it, and are actually worse at multitasking than those who don't and are less confident. Lower cognitive control seen in those who multitask a lot.

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Relationship between cellphone use during class, test, quiz, and final grades

In-class mobile phone use related to lower test & quiz scores.

  • 68% of students believe they can attend lecture and text at the same time Higher in-class texting lowers final grade Laptop use in class relates to significant multitasking during class

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Relationship between out-of-class cellphone use and GPA

Outside of class: mobile phone use is related to college GPA More mobile phone usage = lower college GPA

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Relationship between class grades and lower degrees of multitasking

Non-multitasking related to writing down 62% more information, more detailed notes, and higher grades

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Attentional blindess in class

You think you are listening and paying attention but you may not actively process what you're hearing due to multitasking

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Bottleneck Theory of Attention

You can only pay attention to one thing at a time. Even then, attentional blindness is possible

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Functions under the Purview of Cognitive Control

  • Directs attention to goal-relevant information

  • Filters out irrelevant information

  • Switches efficiently between tasks

  • Maintains information in working memory

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Switching costs and cognitive control

Switching between tasks incurs a switching cost; slower and less accurate performance on task switches than task repetitions. Switching cost as index of cognitive control processes needed to reconfigure task set, and resolving interface from previous task set.

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Idea behind Learning Styles and evidence

The idea that people have preferred modalities or styles of learning (more than 70 different learning style classification systems) Teachers are supposed to match their teaching style to multiple learning styles HOWEVER there is no evidence to support that "matching" increases learning, that students study in accordance with their "style", or students' preference for teaching methods

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Memory of information when printed vs. digitally + confidence in performance + variability

Students read more quickly and judged their performances as better when reading digitally, but their performance was worse when reading digitally -Main idea of text: no difference -Key points in text: better in print -Other relevant information: better in print

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similarities and differences for various aspects of a story when read in print and digitally + general cause

  • 50 people print a pocketbook or kindle -28 page mystery story on either medium -SAME: engagement general recall -DIFFERENT: Locating events in the text, plot reconstruction better with print -WHY? Possibly kinesthetic feedback]

Essentially, reading print may be better for details due to the kinesthetic feedback.

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A picture that combines data with design to enable learning.

  • complex information is delivered in a way that is understood more quickly and easily.

  • essentially less mental effort, and people usually want to exert less effort

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5 advantages of good Infographics

  1. Lots of Information summarized in one picture

  2. Not much text decoding necessary

  3. Lower load on working memory

  4. Humans good at remembering visual information

  5. Aesthetic pleasure

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Role of interest in processing infographics

Interest in a topic matters on how easy it is to decipher. Infographics are an easier source

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What makes infographics more memorable

  • Color

  • Recognizable objects

  • Low data to ink ratios/ high visual density

  • "Natural" looking visualizations are more memorable

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Loot boxes + importance of conveying probability information

Items in digital games you pay for to get something (mystery boxes). Examples also include Shopkins, KinderJoy Pokemon, etc. The probability that your loot box will contain something highly valuable/desirable is very low.

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Problem with people understanding probability information + how graphics can help

People in general are very bad at understanding probability information. Pictures, graphics, pictograms can help people visualize their actual probability.

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Graphical abstracts + advantages/disadvantages

They summarize the research paper into one picture - easier to understand, but leaves out too much information

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How can you describe a meme

funny, inspirational, ironic

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Suspension of Disbelief in story media engagement

Buy into something so you can understand it. Narrative entertainment requires willful suspension of disbelief. We "agree to accept" characters displayed in the medium as real human beings, and we can "share" emotions (empathize, you become the character, share their emotions)

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4 dimensions of transportation with respect to story media

  1. Narrative Understanding

  2. Attentional focus

  3. Emotional Engagement

  4. Narrative Presence - both cognitive and emotional aspects

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Relationship between transportation and enjoyment

More transportation = more enjoyment

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differences in transportation requirements in print, audiovisual and video game media

  • Print- Scaling is based on reading, and involves some "picturing" and "imagining"

  • Audiovisual stories - the images are provided (lower cognitive effort than print, better for those who are poor at mental imagery)

  • Video games - we are acting within the medium, enhancing transportation

  • Transportation was higher with print in those with higher 'need for cognition'

  • Transportation while higher while watching narrative in those with lower 'need for cognition'

  • Transportation depends on the extent to which we identify with the character

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"Need for Cognition" + how it interacts with the findings about transportation in various media

  • need for cognition is construct measuring enjoyment of thinking.

  • Need for cognition is when people need/want more stimulation (more of an active story, more detailed descriptions, when readers want/need to imagine scenarios)

  • Those who need/want more cognition in media are more transported in print/books as they need to imagine in their heads the scenarios, characters, etc.

  • Those who need/want less cognition in media are more transported in movies?/watching narratives as they prefer actors and the screen playing out scenarios

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Difference between Identification and Wishful Identification

  • Identification involves imagining ourselves as the character during narrative

  • Wishful identification involves desiring to be like the character When investigated for wishful identification in college students: -Both men and women identify more with same-sex characters who are successful and intelligent -Woman identified with those who were attractive and admired -Men identified with media males who were violent

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transportation and identification in the context of fiction result in empathy

While reading fiction people imagine and simulate what it is like to be the characters (their goals, motivation, understanding why characters behave the way they do, put themselves in others' shoes). Practice at these simulations (i.e reading lots of narratives) leads to more empathy and understanding of others. Fiction as "moral laboratory"

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What is Infinite Scroll +how does media keep people engaged

No clear stopping point - Facebook, IG, Twitter, etc. have it. It keeps your eyes on the screen and it's hard to stop

  • Essentially based on inertia: An effort is harder than no effort, it's what keeps you on the page

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Organ donation illustrating infinite scroll's way to engage people

Countries that require citizens to actively check a box to opt out have higher rates of organ donors compared to countries that need citizens to actively check a box to become a donor.

  • More effort to check a box, so they don't (more effort to leave page than just keep scrolling)

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Status of IG with respect to Infinite scroll

On IG, now they have explore, so if you get tired of one feed, there's a whole new page of new information to keep you occupied. Before, once you finished scrolling through your friends' feed, it said you're all caught up and showed suggested feed. Now, suggested feed and promotions are mixed in with your personal feed, making infinite scroll worse (cannot sort ads and suggested feef from your friends' post)

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How Streaks keep people engaged

  • Streaks require repeating the same behavior at set intervals.

  • Keeping the streak alive becomes an important goal

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How do Goals cause people to stay engaged - why is goal like "Inbox zero" a bad goal?

Goals are necessary for life. Goals can be fixation points, so a goal like "inbox zero" might make people too focused on it and prevent them from doing other tasks, they become too focused on it.

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Lead measures vs. Lag measures

Lead measure is what you have to do everyday to achieve the goal. Lag measure is the outcome of your lead measure.

  • While a lag measure tells you if you achieved the goal, a Lead measure tells you if you are likely to achieve the goal

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the Zeigarnik effect related to "cliffhangers" in narrative media

People remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed ones - tension due to unfinished tasks.

  • Media uses cliffhangers to keep people engaged and interested. It leaves people wanting more, they need closure, so they binge watch to see what happens next

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Negativity Bias + how algorithms in some media use it to keep people engaged

People's attention is drawn to negative stimuli more than positive stimuli - people generally focus on the negative longer

  • Algorithms that prioritize attention will feed you negative (upsetting, angering) information

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Principle of Positive reinforcement in Operant Conditioning

Delivering a reinforcer (positive) increases the likelihood of a behavior

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4 types of reinforcements + differences in the responses


  1. Fixed Ration - every 5 responses

  2. Variable Ratio - on average every 100 responses (maybe not)

  3. Fixed Interval - every 5 minutes

  4. Variable Ratio - on average every 5 minutes (maybe more or less)

<p>LOOK AT PICTURE!</p><ol><li><p>Fixed Ration - every 5 responses</p></li><li><p>Variable Ratio - on average every 100 responses (maybe not)</p></li><li><p>Fixed Interval - every 5 minutes</p></li><li><p>Variable Ratio - on average every 5 minutes (maybe more or less)</p></li></ol>
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2 bottom-line conclussions from fMRI study looking at reward values of juice and water administered predictably or unpredictably

  • Reward-related regions had a greater BOLD response to the unpredictable stimuli

  • Brain activity was not distinguishable between water and juice

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why are Unboxing videos rewarding? What age group watch them the most?

Toddlers were most interested in unboxing videos

  • Unboxings are similar in that they have unpredictable rewards, making it addicting to watch

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What are the two aspects of the "Like" button that was introduced by Facebook (when?) and copied by other social media platforms that make it so engaging

  • The like button was introduced in 2009 by Facebook

  • It's unpredictable reward - so you keep checking

  • Social feedback is rewarding in its own right

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Types of "little" rewards are used in games and exercise apps

  • Points

  • Coins

  • Visual effects

  • New options

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How is the speed of progress manipulated in games to make them engaging?

Early levels are lower skill, initially can level up quickly, making them engaging, later levels become difficult, but users are already engaged and invested so they don't give up.

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How is the zone of proximal development related to progress?

Giving people the challenge that's just a little bit outside their range of skills. The way to get people to learn stuff is to give them a task that is just a little harder than they can currently manage

  • Near-wins are exceedingly motivating

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What two common forms of monetization of engagement with a game (which itself is free) did we discuss in class?

Running out of lives = pay money to get more. Lootboxes for cosmetics for your game characters, items to make you stronger (i.e. a sword to make you do more damage)

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What two central needs (according to self-determination theory) are frequently met by video games?

Competency + Autonomy

  • Competency is met through progress (making earlier levels easier and upping difficulty as the game progresses),

  • zone of proximal development (giving people a challenge, in this case something like a boss fight, that is just outside their range of skills), which is extremely motivating both during the process of trying to complete the challenge as well as when you complete it.

  • Autonomy is met by not forcing gamers to stick to a linear path (pokemon -> you can choose your starter, and choose what 6 pokemon you want to use). Relatedness is met through online games and/or forums (reddit, discord, etc.)

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3 ways researchers commonly use to study the "self"

  1. Self-Concept

  2. Self-Esteem

  3. Identity

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Physical, Sill, Personality Descriptors. Who you think you are

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Self-Esteem + how you theoretically divide them into domains and subdomains

How you evaluate yourself overall (in general) and in various domains (academics, social competence, physical activities)

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Identity + how it's different from self-concept

Also "Who am I" but more in chosen domains and realms:

  • Moral values

  • Political views

  • Religious beliefs

  • Occupational identity

  • Social identity

  • More about the value systems that are important to you

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Actual Self vs. Ideal Self

Actual Self - who you really are Ideal Self - who you aspire to be

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Discrepancy between the actual self and the ideal self + it's consequences

  • the discrepancy between the two can be very motivational for change, improvement, and achievement

  • it can also cause depression

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How ads that provide information make an appeal to buy or change your attitude towards the product.

  • Some ads are very informational.

  • They try to tell you something about their product.

  • It will try to get into your Central Route

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how ads that appeal to family, fun, friends and patriotism are appealing to identity and values and how these are an appeal to buy or change your attitude towards products

Emotional Appeal, appeals to your values and who you are, or your fears, your national pride, etc

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How do ads that stress achievement, success and power result in your buying or changing your attitude towards products

It gives you the idea that you have reached a certain status, or power "something your neighbors don't have"

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How do ads that stress humor or sexuality result in your buying or changing your attitude towards products

Creates Positive consumer associations, so its memorable and people are inclined to buy it.

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What is a buying persona? How did companies used to construct a 'buying persona' (80s & 90s)?

  • Each person has their own "buying persona" with personalized algorithm that knows what they buy, want, look form etc.

  • Advertising used to be based on demographics, age, gender, marital status, household income, magazine/newspaper subscriptions,

  • Nowadays media companies build up a 'buying persona' based on what you like, search for, watch, click on, the people you follow.

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What changes in media have allowed buying personas to become so much more detailed in the 2010s and 2020s?

What you click in media like ads, amazon products, likes on tiktoks, google searches, etc.

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How do celebrity endorsements lead to positive attitudes towards brands

Popularity of celebrity is leveraged to promote positive attitudes towards brands. (Parasocial relationship) Credibility is important

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Parasocial relationships

One sided relationships (Kim K doesn't know her fans but they feel like they know her as a person)

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Source Credibility + example of celebrity

Fans need to trust celebrity to listen to them, if the celeb does something unethical, or wrong, they lose credibility (like that person faking cancer)

  • Paula Deen, celebrity cook, made her recipes extremely unhealthy, so she lost credibility as a cook people can trust for healthy recipes. She also had diabetes and tried to endorse a diabetes drug. It failed because she already had no credibility for her unhealthy recipes (which doesn't support the lifestyle of someone with diabetes), and so people wouldn't trust her endorsement of a diabetes drug to help, as people are reminded that her recipes would hurt diabetics.

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  1. Why is source attractiveness a requirement for celebrity endorsements?

  • You wouldn't trust the endorsement of a celebrity who's known for scandals, being a bad person, or not being physically attractive -(i.e. if a celebrity has been known for abusing their pets and they endorse pet food, people wouldn't trust that celebrity to know what's best for pets).

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Explain the match-up hypothesis for celebrity endorsements.

Match-up Hypothesis: to be persuasive, must have a match between product and celebrity or character the celebrity plays (must match their brand)

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Difference between Celebrities and Social Influencers (initially)

  • Celebrities did something spectacular, support people, are famous for their job.

  • Influencers can become celebrities, are famous because they are on social media, "famous for being famous"

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"Personal brand" for Social Influencers

entails capturing and promoting an individual's [influencer's] strengths and and uniqueness to audience. It is a thing that they are interested in. Their name is associated with a particular activity

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Attention Economy

  • Attention is a scarce source, and celebrities + influencers are all vying for attention online

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Social Media Influencer Market segments

For things like brand/endorsement deals. The more followers one has, the more people a sponsored brand deal can reach and potentially have more customers (a sponsored brand deal with someone who has 1 million followers is preferred over 100,000 because there are 900,000 more people who could potentially see the brand deal and purchase the products). Mega-Influencer: 1 million + followers (not a celebrity but same status) Macro-Influencer: 100k-1 million followers Micro-Influencer: 10k-100k followers Nano-Influencer: <10k followers

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Who is Belle Gibson? What problems with the social influencer phenomenon did her case highlight?

cashed in on (non-existent) cancer diagnosis

  • Showed that social influencers are nor always telling the truth, and that they are just putting on an act for your screentime, attention, and money

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4 reasons Social Media Influencers are Successful

  1. Common Interest Group

  2. Endorse products that are consistent with self-brand

  3. Foster parasocial engagement

  4. People are looking for social models to compare themselves to

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Social Comparison Theory

  • We are constantly comparing ourselves to others (Festinger 1954) 2 types of comparisons - Upward and Downward

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Upward and Downward comparison

Upward Comparison - People doing better than we are. ○ It can affect your self-esteem, It can serve as a goal Downward Comparison - People doing worse than we are. ○ It often works to make you feel better. ○ It can lead to gratitude or happiness.

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Some expressions of Fandom

  • range from watching a show religiously to collecting memorabilia, to writing letters, attending events, joining fan clubs

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How are poor crowd management policies to blame for some of the bad reputation that fans have

  • Crowds become rowdy, violent, and sometimes depict a bad image for fans.

  • Poor crowd management blamed for stampedes, crowd crush, etc.

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How common is borderline pathological celebrity worship?

3-5% of samples show borderline pathological celebrity worship

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Pathological belief in audience member that a celebrity (or other high-status individual) is in love with them (rare in itself, and only 10% turn into actual stalkers)

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Personal Identity and Social Identity

Personal Identity - I am (Hindu, asian, etc) Social Identity - I belong to a group of (athlete, student, etc)

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Working Self-Concept

Your self concept is very varied in any situation. you will interpret information relative to yourself, and your interests

  • Not all of your self-concept is "active" at the same time due to cognitive limitations

  • Immediate experience of self is working self-concept

  • Depends on the situation, people you're with, memories you retrieve, your role in the situation, etc

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Why is proper representation in the media important?

  • Accurate Representation is important because the media has a huge influence on people's beliefs and the way they view society (both passive and active).

  • Inaccurate representation is misinformation, can can cause harm to underrepresented groups in society.

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The result of media makers living in NYC and southern California, and mostly being in comfortable to very well-off financially?

The media that is then created by these makers are all representative of ONLY the well-off lifestyle they are used to. This leads to movies and TV shows taking place in SoCal/NY, and taking place of a person/family who is as financially well-off as the creators, leaving out other areas of America as well as other SES (socioeconomic status) backgrounds.

  • Innaccurate representation of all backgrounds and people in the city

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Difference between number of women and men in Prime-Time TV Shows

  • Twice as many males as females in prime-time TV shoes

  • 3 to 4 times as many males as females in children's programming

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What percentage of TV shows are gender balanced? What is the difference in presentation of men and women between 45 and 64?

  • Fewer than 20% of TV shows are gender balanced

  • 20% of people 45-64 are women

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Distribution in Screentime for women and men in movies (in the study that looked at top grossing movies in 2015) where they were co-leads.

  • Top grossing movies in 2015: female characters got 1/2 the screen time as male characters (even when co=leads)

  • If woman was the lead, she did get 50% of screen time

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What was the distribution in women and men in 'family' movies (study from 2006-2009)?

  • A content analysis of G, PG, and PG-13 movies between 2006-2009: 71% of speaking characters were male, only 29% female

  • Females are also more likely to be portrayed in sexy, tight, alluring clothes

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The difference in appearance of men and women in commercials? What is the difference in voice-overs

About 50% of characters in TV commercials were female by 2016, but 65% of voiceovers were male

  • Male voices are thought to be more authoritative

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Age-trends for the appearance of women in media

Women over 30 (and especially over 50) are heavily underrepresentated

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Weight-trends for women who appear in the media

  • Sexualized girls are presented as mature women

  • Average BMI of runway model is 16, but the BMI of the average woman is 26.5

  • Average actress in prime-time TV shows are significantly skinnier than male counterpart

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Characteristics of the ideal female body mostly portrayed in the media + actual percentage of women with this type

  • Idealized portrayal of feminine beauty (in the US) is very tall, very thin, small hipped (5% of adult females actually have this build

  • large breasts are even more rare with this body type

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Difference between women and men presented in ads

  • Women's particular body parts are shown in ads (lower back, legs, etc) and there are different requirements for men and women Female bodies relatively commonly presented as just body parts: view of model backside

  • female models more frequently passive poses, makes have active poses

  • Females presented as flawless, males as more rumpled

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Some of the effects on media consumers measured in studies looking at physical appearance of females in media?

  • Effect measurement is hard

  • More eating disorders in preadolescent & college girls who watch more TV

  • High Schoolers looking at "retouched" photos score higher on body consciousness, lower physical self-esteem

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Other 3 characteristics are women often displayed as having in media? ?

  • Homemakers, frilly, or mean

  • women are still often portrayed as homemakers and mothers

  • more wives deferring to their husbands

  • Females in children' shows frilly and wimpy (this is getting better)

  • Women often displayed as mean, socially aggressive, backstabbing, and double-crossing each other

  • men shown as emotionless

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Men's portrayal of emotionless shown in ads

  • Definitely the depiction in older TV shows and movies.

  • Men don't cry.

  • In ads men look blankly at no one (often with sunglasses), when women look at the camera

  • Men are supposed to be stern. They don't feel pain.

  • In ads, intense men often look very blatantly not act as no one.

  • Male models now have much more defined 6 packs than male models 30 years ago.

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Ideal male body

well-developed upper-body muscles for males (unattainable for teen boys unless using steroids)

  • Aging/gray hair is more acceptable in men

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What is the difference in ages of men shown in media from women?

  • Men are allowed to be old in media (gray hair is acceptable for men, but balding is not unless head is shaved).

  • Women in the media are not allowed to be old, and those that are old are held to the same standards as much younger women.

  • Underrepresentation of women older than 30.

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Trends with respect to hairloss and baldness for men in media

  • Losing hair common in 20s and 30s, but not for sympathetic leading men (shaved heads excepted)

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"Bumbling dad" concept presented in media

  • Prevalent stereotype of men as competent professionally, but ignorant and bungling with regard to housework and childcare.

  • Changing a little

  • still men as insensitive and interpersonally unskilled

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Trend of kids' gender in sitcoms

55% of children boys

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