Effects of US-sitcoms on German Viewers’ Perception of US-Americans’ Wealth
by West Virginia University - Department of Communication Studies on Jul 28, 2013
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A presentation by my German undergraduate students as part of the 2013 SPICE Study Abroad program at the University of Erfurt. This one, from the Media Psychology and Influence course. ...
A presentation by my German undergraduate students as part of the 2013 SPICE Study Abroad program at the University of Erfurt. This one, from the Media Psychology and Influence course.
ABSTRACT: US-American television sitcoms have reached great popularity in Germany. They mostly depict their fictional US-American characters as being materialistically wealthy. The present research proposal hypothesizes that high exposure to the mentioned sitcoms results in high perception of real US-American citizens as materialistically wealthy. This effect is explained by cultivation theory. The effect only occurs if the recipients process the sitcom as portraying materialistic wealth. It is further hypothesized that intergroup contact can suppress or multiply the main cultivation effect. This depends on whether the US-American citizens, to whom the German recipient has contact with, are poor or wealthy - relative to the sitcom characters. Finally, a model is given which synthesizes the introduced constructs and identifies the mediator variable as processing the sitcom as materialistically wealthy. What is more, it identifies the moderator variable as intergroup contact.
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