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“Big run, or smart Gun”: How racially-based sports frames influence subsequent audience behaviors and attitudes towards athletes
 

“Big run, or smart Gun”: How racially-based sports frames influence subsequent audience behaviors and attitudes towards athletes

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Extant research has established that racially-based brawn and brain frames, are commonly incorporated into mediated sports content. Framing theory suggests that these brawn and brain frames should ...

Extant research has established that racially-based brawn and brain frames, are commonly incorporated into mediated sports content. Framing theory suggests that these brawn and brain frames should influence audience members’ attitudes and behaviors, but no empirical evidence has yet established causality. In the current pilot experiment (N = 49), exposure to news articles emphasizing the physical or mental attributes of an athlete results in subsequent observed in-game behaviors that are more physical or mental in nature, respectively. Moreover, observed behaviors are found to reify character judgments of target athletes as being more athletic or more intelligent. Post-hoc mediation analysis also found observed in-game behaviors mediated the association between frame exposure and resultant physical-type character judgments, but only for judgments of an athlete’s physical abilities. Mental-type character judgments were predicted by mere exposure to brain-type frames.

Citation: Cranmer, G., Bowman, N. D., & Goldman, Z. (2013, June).“Big run, or smart Gun”: How racially-based sports frames influence subsequent audience behaviors and attitudes of audiences towards athletes. Paper submitted to conference. Paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, London.

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“Big run, or smart Gun”: How racially-based sports frames influence subsequent audience behaviors and attitudes towards athletes “Big run, or smart Gun”: How racially-based sports frames influence subsequent audience behaviors and attitudes towards athletes Presentation Transcript

  • “BIG RUN, OR SMART GUN”:HOW RACIALLY-BASED SPORTSFRAMES INFLUENCE SUBSEQUENTAUDIENCE BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDESTOWARDS ATHLETESGregory A. CranmerNicholas D. BowmanZac W. Goldman
  • BACKGROUNDRGIII was „thenext physicalspecimen‟, nevermind his 3.67 GPAand eightconsecutive HonorRoll appointmentswhile at BaylorAndrew Luck wasoften characterizedas the “StanfordMan” –smart, leader ofmen – despite hisamazing physicaltalentsCranmer, G., Bowman, N. D., Chory, R., & Weber. K. (in press).Color-Blind: Race as anAntecedent Condition in Brawn and Brain Framing of Heisman Finalists in NewspaperCoverage. Manuscript forthcoming in Howard Journal of Communications.
  • PURPOSE• Past work (Cranmer et al, in press) shows theprevalence of the “White Brain” and “BlackBrawn” frame in print coverage• This study seeks to examine the influencethese frames on audience members‟behaviors and character judgments regardingathletes.
  • THEORETICAL LENS• framing theory (Goffman, 1974)– [Selection of] “some aspects of aperceived reality [that] make themmore salient … in such a way asto promote a particular [stance]”– Effects are explicitlysuggested, rarely tested (politicsexempt)– D‟Angelo (2002) called forexaminations of frames effects onaudience members
  • LITERATURE• Mediated sports coveragecommonly features racially biasedframes– White athletes  Smart, “Brainy”– Black athletes  Athletic,“Brawny”• Roots (at least in US) in (erroneous)discussions of slavery, genetics• Past work is content analytic– content ≠ effectThe black is a better athleteto begin with because hesbeen bred to be thatway, because of his highthighs and big thighs thatgoes up into his back, andthey can jump higher andrun faster because of theirbigger thighs and hes bredto be the better athletebecause this goes back allthe way to the Civil Warwhen during the slave trade… the slave owner wouldbreed his big black to hisbig woman so that hecould have a big black kid…
  • HYPOTHESES• H1a: Frame type will influence observedbehaviors in a video game to be morebrawn-type or brawn-type (respectively).• H1b: Athlete race will influence observedbehaviors in a video game to be morebrawn-type or brain-type.
  • HYPOTHESES• Individuals who play the video game…• H2b: with more brawn-type orientation willmake more positive character judgmentsabout the target athlete‟s physical abilities.• H2b: with a more brain-type orientation willmake more positive character judgmentsabout the targets athlete‟s mental abilities.
  • PROCEDUREConsent DemographicsArticleManipulationManipulationCheckTutorial forVideo GameGameplayCharacterJudgmentsDebriefUndergraduateStudents (n = 49; 29Female & 20 Male)IV: 2 (Athlete Race)X 2 (Brawn or Brainframe)NCAA Football „13for X-Box 360
  • DESIGN• 4 Conditions (2 x 2)– Frame (Brawn/Brain)– Athlete Race (Black/White)• Identical characters (w/ exception of race)• Identical contexts for each play(stadium, team, location on field, directionfacing, weather, distance from endzone)• Identical and balanced playbooks (70 plays[35 QB running, 35 passing], same numberof runs/pass per formation as well)
  • MEASUREMENTVARIABLES• DVs:– Behavior (10 plays in NCAA Football)• Passing bias, M = +1.63, SD = 4.08– Character Judgments (two 5-item, 7-point Likert-typescales: Brawn, M = 4.29, SD = 1.22; Brain, M = 5.99, SD =.964, r = .056)• Control Variables:– Hours spent consuming sports media (M = 9.08, SD =12.9)– Previous experience with game ~ 3:10 weekly
  • MANIPULATION CHECK• Frame salience indicatedthat audience membersaccurately perceivedthe brain/brawnmanipulation ( 2(49) =37.1, p < .001)
  • RESULTS• H1a (Frame  Behavior) supported.• H1b (Race  Behavior) not supported.Brain Frame Brawn FrameWhile athlete +4.27a (SD = 3.54) .000b (4.61)Black athlete +2.80a,b (SD = 3.43) -.857b (2.68)F(3,43) = 7.31, p < .001, η2 = .391 (adj. η2 = .287)
  • RESULTS• H2a: (Brawn  Physical) supported– (r = .33, p = .02)• H2b: (Brain  Mental) supported– (r = .46, p < .01)
  • POST-HOCFrameExposure-- (brawn)- (brain)Observed in-gameBehavior(-10 = brawn;+10 = brain)Brawncharacterjudgments (7= mostpositive)Braincharacterjudgments (7= mostpositive)4.95*Total: -.320Direct: .140Total: 1.63*Direct: 1.29*-.093*.069adj. R2 = .280*adj. R2 = .328*
  • IMPLICATIONS• Influence of frames– Frames appear to be driving the observedeffects, particular for brain coverage– These frames are apparent in „real world‟coverage of sports
  • IMPLICATIONS• Behaviors (gameplay) were more predictiveof character judgment than the manipulation(article)– Reification?– Audience building their own frame to interpretthrough (Scheufele, 1999)
  • WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?• Frame effects– Audience members‟ perceptions and behaviorsregarding minority athletes or minorities in general• Influence on Sports Culture– coaching, educationalexpectations, sponsorship, advertisements, revenue,and growth,• Larger Society– reinforce, shape/influence culture
  • FOR MORE INFORMATIONGregory A. CranmerPh.D. StudentGcranmer@mix.wvu.eduP.O. Box 6293West Virginia UniversityMorgantown WV, 26506