Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Abstract

This study was done to discover whether the media platform (Facebook vs. Digital News Site) and personal distance (Personal vs. Impersonal) would affect how emotionally participants responded to a news story and how persuaded participants were by a news story appeal. Sixty five students at a small Christian Arts and Sciences College (23 men, 42 women) were randomly assigned to read one of four news stories and indicate how emotional their response was and how persuaded they were by the appeals of the stories. Participants also completed Pratto, Sidanius, Stallworth, and Malle’s (1994) Social dominance Orientation (SDO) scale to determine whether personality predicted responses to the news stories. Social Dominance Orientation effectively predicted both emotional response and persuasion; the higher participants scored on SDO the less emotional response they showed and the less persuaded they were by the appeal included in the news story, which was that the displaced homeowners should be assisted by insurance companies. While the Facebook news stories were deemed more personal and less trustworthy than the digital news stories, there were no significant differences in emotional response and persuasion ratings for either the platform or personal distance manipulations. The implications of these results for the impact of various forms of media news story presentations are discussed.

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