CT&M top papers for AEJMC in August

Congratulations to all who had manuscripts accepted for presentation at AEJMC in Minneapolis in August! If you’re headed to the conference, you might want to check out CT&M’s top papers. Here are the abstracts for our open call and student paper competitions.

Open call winners:

A Meta-Analysis of News Media’s Agenda-Setting Effects, 1972-2015 • Yunjuan Luo; Hansel Burley, Texas Tech University; Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University; Mingxiao Sui • This project involved exploring the agenda-setting hypothesis across a range of studies using rigorous meta-analytic approaches. The researchers drew upon empirical agenda-setting studies published from 1972 to 2015, and 67 studies that met the inclusion criteria for analysis produced a moderate grand mean effect size of .487. A multiple regression analysis revealed significant predictors, most notably was the predictor that classified the basis for the study correlation as either the number of content categories or the number of participants. A multiple regression of a subgroup using text analysis produced homogeneity (non-significance). The mean for these studies was .51. This is an indication of consistency in findings across agenda setting studies. Study limitations and suggestions for future research are also discussed in the article.

Agreement between Humans and Machines? — A Reliability Check among Computational Content Analysis Programs • Jacob Rohde, Boston University; Denis Wu • As data generated from social networking sites become larger, so does the need for computer aids in content analysis research. This paper outlines the growing methodology of supervised machine learning in respect to document topics classification and sentiment analysis. A series of tweets were collected, coded by humans, and subsequently fed into a selection of six different popular computer applications: Aylien, DiscoverText, MeaningCloud, Semantria, Sentiment 140, and SentiStrength. Reliability results between the human and machine coders are presented in a matrix in terms of Krippendorff’s Alpha and percentage agreement. Ultimately, this paper illuminates that, while computer-aided coding may lessen the burden and accelerate for researchers in coding social media content, the results of utilizing these programs indicate low reliability for analyzing political content.

Evaluating a sexual health text message service using short message service (SMS) surveys with adolescents • Jessica Willoughby; Kelly L’Engle, University of San Francisco; Kennon Jackson; Jared Brickman • Two-way mHealth interventions allow for feedback solicitation from participants. This study explores the use of a text-message survey to assess demographics and program feedback from users of an adolescent sexual health text message question-and-answer service. The text message survey achieved a 43.9% response rate. When compared to respondents who used the service and completed an online in-school questionnaire, text survey respondents were more likely to be female and older. They also reported higher service satisfaction.

Student competition winners:

Defying censorship: A framework for reactance and learning in the face of media controls • Golnoosh Behrouzian; Emma Fete; Aysenur Dal • Media censorship is a significant issue plaguing over 80 percent of the world’s population. This suppression of information can have damaging consequences for the public’s knowledge base and negatively impact the capability of citizens to make well-informed decisions, by withholding information or creating misperceptions, amongst other things. While most research addresses the implications of censorship from a more normative institutional level, we propose a novel theoretical framework looking at the individual-level effects of perceived censorship on political knowledge. Through the integration of psychological reactance as a mediating variable, we use data from a two-wave longitudinal survey, taken by Turkish citizens before the June 2015 general election, to conduct an exploratory study of the underlying psychological and communication processes that may motivate increased political learning. We find that those citizens who perceive a threat to their media freedom are more likely to experience psychological reactance, which heightens their level of political learning. Our results both challenge and expand on previous findings that suggest censorship broadly dampens political knowledge, since the boundary condition provided by psychological reactance suggests that higher levels of perceived censorship may, in fact, motivate higher achievement in knowledge. We discuss the implication of these findings as it relates to information-seeking strategies that may further clarify how individuals in repressed media environments manage their media freedom.

“The First Decision for My Child”: Mechanisms through which Parents of Children with and without Autism Decide on Their Children’s Vaccination • Juwon Hwang, University of Wisconsin – Madison • Based on O1-S-O2-R model, this study explores the mechanisms through which parents decide on their children’s vaccination. Analyzing nationally representative survey data, this study assumes that the evaluation of health information sources plays a critical role in parents’ benefit perception and decisions on their children’s vaccination. This study finds that print and interpersonal communication as stimuli are positively associated with parents’ benefit perception of their children’s vaccination whereas social media is negatively associated with it. In turn, benefit perception is significantly related to parents’ decisions on their children’s vaccination. However, there is no interaction effect of parents of children with autism (PCA) and the evaluation of health information sources on parents’ benefit perception and decisions on their children’s vaccination. The results seem to suggest that targeted messages addressing PCA’s concerns and to mitigate mistrust are needed.

Testing Intergenerational Transmission of News Content Preference: A South Korean Case • Minchul Kim, Indiana University • Understanding of how adolescents develop news preference is closely associated with understanding of how a democratic society works. This study tested the intergenerational transmission of news content preference between parents and adolescents. Specifically, our findings suggest that mothers’ news content preference, but not that of fathers’, had independent and lasting influences on adolescents’ news content preference. This implies that mothers may play a more direct role in the intergenerational transmission of news content preference than do fathers.