Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Communication

Advisor

Robert Wicks

Committee Member

Ron Warren

Second Committee Member

Myria Allen

Keywords

Communication and the arts, Psychology, Interpersonal, Media effects, Priming, Schema, Television, Transference

Abstract

This study focused on whether personality traits and evaluations of television personalities are used to make inferences about new Social interaction partners. It tested the hypothesis that priming schemas of television personalities will bias inferences made about a stranger. The results were mixed. Participants in the experimental condition made more biased inferences about a stranger than did participants in the control condition. This transference was not influenced by participants' parasociability, and methodological limitations prevented conclusive study of the influence of affective evaluations in this effect. Future studies should attempt to increase methodological control and introduce a diverse set of measures to test for possible mediating and moderating variables.

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