Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Adam Kahn

Second Advisor

Dr. Jocelyn Steinke

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Freeman

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Past research in media effects suggests that the media we consume influences our daily lives. More specifically, Cultivation Theory suggests that television collectively contributes to our worldviews. In this study, cultivation was applied at both macro- and micro-levels. Macrolevel cultivation, or traditional cultivation, involves analysis of television as a collective medium and the way that it affects attitudes. Micro-level cultivation refers to the idea that certain types of programs influence specific attitudes.

Attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals were analyzed in relation to a number of variables. Few statistically significant results were found relating demographics and general television consumption to homonegative attitudes. However, results did indicate a negative relationship between consumption of television programs depicting LGB characters and attitudes toward LGB people.

Homonegative attitudes were measured not only explicitly using the Modern Homonegativity Scale (MHS), but also implicitly using the Sexuality Implicit Association Test. Results indicated a significant, positive relationship between these two measures, indicating support for these measures. Thus, the Hawthorne effects are often anticipated with explicit measures were not strongly exhibited with this sample.

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