College Students\' Experiences with the Media and Interpersonal Attitudes
College Students’ Experiences with the Media and Interpersonal Attitudes<br />Courtney Lynn Edgar<br />Advisor: Jeanne Brockmyer, Ph.D.<br />University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606<br />
Abstract<br />This study investigates the effects and exposure of violent media (specifically animated Disney movies and video games) on individuals’ interpersonal attitudes and individuals’ tendencies to endorse the use of relational aggression. 146 research participants completed a questionnaire with demographic questions, questions regarding favorite media, Likert Scale questions, and two short answer response scenarios. The data collected did not yield significant results that matched the planned analyses; however, it was found that males show increased sensitivity to relational aggression in video games and females show increased sensitivity to relational aggression in movies. This information can be used to assess potential effects violent media has on individuals in his/her interpersonal relationships and tolerance for attitudes toward violence.<br />
Hypotheses<br /><ul><li>There will be a significant relationship between interpersonal attitudes and experiences with violent video games and animated Disney movies.
There will be a significant relationship between exposure to violent media and participant acceptance of relational aggression.
There will be a significant relationship between an individual’s interpersonal attitudes and his/her acceptance of relational aggression.</li></li></ul><li>Method<br /><ul><li>146 college student participants,18 years of age or older
Participantswere obtained through the Sona-Systems Human Subject Research Pool.
Ignore people</li></li></ul><li>Method Cont.<br />Scenario 1<br />Matt and Sarah are good friends. In addition to that, they are both biology majors and seniors in college. They are beginning to start to look for jobs. Matt really wants to get a job with a company called MedSupplies, which manufactures and tests medications. Matt has wanted to work at MedSupplies for a very long time, and he schedules an interview for a position there. Sarah is unsure about what she wants to do, but she feels as if it is about time to start looking for a job. She hears about the position at MedSupplies from one of her professors and on a whim schedules an interview. Two weeks after Matt and Sarah have their interviews; Sarah is notified that she is being offered the position. Matt is extremely angry. He wanted that job for a long time, and he can’t believe that Sarah got it. That night, when Matt goes out, he runs into Sarah’s boyfriend, Tony. To get back at Sarah, Matt tells Tony that he saw Sarah kissing another guy. If you were Sarah, what would you do?<br />
Method Cont.<br />Scenario 2<br />Lauren and Kate have been best friends since elementary school. They are now enrolled at the same college, but Lauren is a Biology major and Kate is an Anthropology major so they don’t see each as often as they did in high school. This semester, Lauren and Kate both have the same Introduction to Biology class, and are very excited to finally have a class together. One day, Lauren and Kate are discussing last night’s homework and Jake, a Sociology major who is also taking the biology class, comes up to them starts talking about the homework as well. As the semester goes on, both Lauren and Kate begin to start to like Jake. Lauren tells Kate she likes Jake one day before class, and after class that same day Jake asks Kate out. Kate agrees to go out on a date with Jake on Friday, and Lauren is very upset with Kate. If you were Lauren, what would you do?<br />
Discussion<br /><ul><li>According to statistical analyses, the proposed hypotheses were not supported.
ANOVAS were not significant for the planned analyses.
Scenario responses were coded according to expression of relational aggression, with 0=No relational aggression presented and 1=Relational aggression presented
However, it was suggested that females are more sensitive to violence in movies and males are more sensitive to violence in video games. This may be indicative of media preference on gender. </li></li></ul><li>Limitations<br />This study has a few methodological limitations, so caution should be taken in generalizing these findings.Cronbach’s Alpha scale was low, so the questionnaire may not be as reliable as established questionnaires. Data was obtained via self report measures and was a requirement for passing the Introduction to Psychology course, so it is possible that participants provided socially desirable responses.This study also used a questionnaire that combined an established measure and questions created by the researcher.<br />
Practical Applications<br />Although our hypotheses were not supported, some findings of this study may provide practical applications to health-related fields. There is little difference between males and females using relational aggression, showing that relational aggression may not be a female issue. It also appears that females may be more sensitive to violence in movies, and males are more sensitive to violence in video games.<br />Implications of this study can be used to assess the potential effects of violent media on individuals in his/her relationships and potential tolerance for attitudes toward violence.<br />