Cultivating+the+Opinionated+Postprint.doc

Second the role of nte in crime drama cultivation

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Second, the role of NTE in crime drama cultivation suggests that the interplay between processing type (memory-based or online) and media effects merits more theoretical consideration. Previous studies have rarely addressed this issue explicitly, and if they did, their approach was fundamentally different. Kim and Vishak (2008), for example, found that viewers of an entertainment program portraying a political candidate evaluated the candidate in an online fashion, while news viewers first acquired factual information and later used it for a memory- based evaluation (see also Wyer & Shrum, 2015). The individual difference perspective of the present study is complementary to such findings, but it raises additional questions that are crucial to survey research on media effects: Does it make sense to hypothesize a relationship between media use and attitudinal judgments among people who rely on memory-based processing to construct an ad-hoc opinion? If so, how would this effect occur? And if not, are we not
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NEED TO EVALUATE MODERATES CULTIVATION EFFECTS 20 systematically underestimating effect sizes when correlating media use frequency with respondents’ attitude reports? Limitations There are several limitations to the present study. First, our use of a convenience sample may have caused issues related to self-selection and non-representativeness – the gender imbalance in our sample actually suggests this might be the case. Meltzer, Naab and Daschmann (2012, p. 260) note, nonetheless, that “convenience samples can make valuable contributions to communication research when testing the validity of a theoretical approach”, at least when there is “some assurance of internal validity” (Meltzer et al., 2012, p. 260). We attempted to preserve internal validity by ordering survey questions in a way that minimized the probability of priming effects, and by controlling for potential confounders in all analyses. Still, not all possible confounders were included in our analyses. In particular, transportability has been hypothesized to moderate media effects (Dal Cin, Zanna, & Fong, 2004) and one study found it to correlate with NTE ( r = .26: Shakarchi & Haugtvedt, 2004). Future studies should certainly look into the interrelations between NTE and transportability in more detail. Second, our results may have suffered from the suboptimal reliability of our dependent measure: low scale reliabilities reduce statistical power, thereby increasing Type-II error probability. This may have contributed to some of our null findings. Given that scale reliability in our study was also considerably lower than in Appel’s (2008) original article, it would be valuable if a future study could formally validate the scale items for uses in adolescent populations. A third limitation of our study is its reliance on a cross-sectional design. Validating hypotheses on cognitive processes ideally involves experiments. Testing moderators using survey data, as was done here, may be imprecise (Shrum, 2007). We have not shown that cultivation
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