Motivated cognition and resource availability during Naked News
Soyoung from IU Telecom opened today’s T600 discussing her dissertation research on the online news program Naked News. Using Annie Lang’s cognitive processing model, LC4MP, and evolutionary psychology as related to gender, Soyoung investigated how the sexual content in Naked News influenced people’s processing of news information. Using secondary task reaction time (STRT) and cued recall measures, she found that people were generally more aroused and positively valenced toward naked news anchors. Additionally, people better remembered positive news stories due to the emotional congruence (i.e., appetitive activation toward both the anchor and the news content).
Better to be “Boring”
Experimental Findings on the Effectiveness of Branded Mobile Phone Apps
Presenting in the final slot before Spring Break, IU Telecom’s Rob Potter shared with us the research he conducted while on sabbatical in Fremantle WA, a suburb within Perth Australia. There, he worked with the faculty and students in the Interactive Television Institute at Murdoch University. Using the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion, he investigated the effectiveness of branded mobile phone apps that emphasized either functionality (e.g., Food Network’s recipe app) or experimentation (e.g., BMW’s Expression of Joy app; see the video below). He found that using any type of app increased your interest in the product category altogether but functional apps engendered central processing.
Dimensional underpinnings of responses to blood, brutality, and politics
Today, Bridget Rubenking of IU Telecom presented the preliminary findings from her dissertation research on disgust. As a topic, disgust is somewhat paradoxical–it’s an emotional response of repulsion toward noxious stimuli. Despite this, people often purposely select disgusting material as entertainment (e.g., gory movies such as Saw).
To further understand what disgusts people from a dynamic perspective, Bridget presented messages that emphasized either core disgusts (e.g., body envelope violations) or socio-moral disgust (e.g., racism). Self-reported responses indicate that socio-moral disgust is more negative and that political affiliation predicts numerous responses within this category.
Her future work will analyze the physiological responses to these messages as another indicator of disgust as an emotion.
Social norms as a game mechanic?
Travis Ross, also a student from IU Telecom, gave the second talk at today’s T600. Like Bridget, he presented preliminary data on his dissertation research. Essentially, Travis investigated how social norms could act as a game mechanic. Using a custom-made game environment, he tested descritptive and injunctive norms with and without sanctions using either a selfish or cooperative prime. One star finding was that sanctioning forced groups to act cooperatively, even when that group was primed to act selfishly.
While all norms helped guide behavior, injunctive norms were stronger than descriptive and sanctions were better than no sanctions. In sum, it appears that norms can guide people toward a specific outcome.
Bae’s research investigated how people select news in online environments, as these markets are typified by increased selectivity. Her driving questions asked how news content and the presence of photographs influenced selection. Using deviance theory, a dual systems model, and Annie Lang‘s Limited Capacity Model for Motivated Mediated Message Processing (LC4MP), Bae predicted that threatening stories would appeal most to consumers and the presence of photos would make stories more appealing.
Across two experiments, Bae found evidence bolstering the idea: if it bleeds it leads. Threatening stories had the greatest appeal but photos did little to make stories more appealing. Interestingly, while people were more drawn to threatening stories, they spent more time reading about innocuous subjects.
Ji’s work shows that it’s a depressing situation for those envisioning an end to the Digital Divide. His primary questions investigated how the diffusion of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) affected cable companies (in terms of competition) and redlining practices of IPTV providers. In this application, redlining refers to the practice of IPTV providers denying service to homes within a certain area of a community (typically low-income households).
Using data from Indiana IPTV providers, Ji found statistically significant evidence of redlining among IPTV providers. Because of this, the benefits of competition (variety of programming, speed of internet connection, etc.) apply more to higher-income areas. Ji concluded that policy regulators should not only consider how better to promote competition, but also who the increased competition will benefit.