Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining the impact of exposure to a bipolar disorder storyline using the entertainment overcoming resistance model
by Zhao, Danyang, M.A., The Florida State University, 2014, 116; 1559587
Abstract (Summary)

The effects of entertainment-education narratives on pro-social, story-consistent beliefs and behaviors have been discussed by many. Less research has looked into the underlying mechanisms that facilitate these effects. Past research have attempted to explain the process through which persuasion occurs in narrative using a variety of theories, models and constructs. Recently, a better-integrated and structured theoretical framework — the Entertainment Overcoming Resistance Model — has been proposed to account for the persuasive effects. It clarifies the role of some similar constructs in narrative message processing. The present study examined several hypothesized relationships in the EORM by investigating the effects of exposure to a major bipolar disorder storyline embedded in a popular serial teen drama — 90210 — compared to those of exposure to a PSA addressing bipolar I disorder. The role of identification, transportation, parasocial interaction, perceived similarity, counterarguing, reactance, and perceived invulnerability in producing persuasive outcomes were re-examined in this bipolar I disorder E-E narrative. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three viewing conditions, a Stormwater Runoff Public Service Announcement plus a video of 90210 excerpts containing bipolar disorder storyline, a bipolar disorder PSA paired with a video of 90210 excerpts without bipolar disorder storyline, and the Stormwater Runoff PSA plus the video of 90210 excerpts without bipolar disorder storyline (control condition). They completed a questionnaire immediately after viewing each video and filled out another online follow-up questionnaire two weeks later to assess their responses to the program. Results of the study indicated the following: (1) Relative to the control condition, BPI E-E narrative exposure was not associated with greater overall pro-treatment behavioral intention and behaviors regarding BPI but did enhance the behavioral intention to seek help from mental health professional regarding BPI; (2) among the three resistance-related variables examined in this study, only perceived invulnerability was negatively associated with behavioral intention; (3) identification with characters was the only construct that contributed to reduced perceived invulnerability; and (4) the additional consideration of perceived invulnerability of "others" seemed helpful in understanding the effects of the bipolar I disorder narrative. Implications of findings, suggested areas of future research, and limitations of the present study are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Arpan, Laura M.
Commitee: Cortese, Juliann, Raney, Arthur A.
School: The Florida State University
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: MAI 53/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Social psychology, Mass communications
Keywords: Bipolar disorder, Entertianment-education, Mental illness, Narrative persuasion
Publication Number: 1559587
ISBN: 978-1-321-00378-9
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