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Resonance as Mediator of Prime-Time Messages about Smoking
Unformatted Document Text:  Resonance as Mediator of Messages 11 Table 2). Those from smoking backgrounds also increased their favorable attitudes toward smoking as a function of this treatment (see Table 1). When pretest/posttest change scores for those from smoking backgrounds were correlated with identification and parasocial interaction, however, the correlations were not significant (P > .05). That is, higher levels of identification and parasocial interaction among smokers are unrelated to changes in smoking attitudes as a function of the treatment. Among those from non- smoking backgrounds, correlations were also computed for identification and parasocial interaction with change scores. These correlations were not significant (P > .05). A similar analysis was conducted on subjects in the humorous (anti-smoking) condition. Those from smoking backgrounds reported significantly higher levels of identification (P = .01) with the protagonist than did those who came from non-smoking backgrounds (see Table 2). Those from smoking backgrounds also reported higher levels of parasocial interaction with the protagonist than did those from non-smoking backgrounds; however, the difference did not achieve statistical significance (P = .07). When changes in attitudes toward smoking were examined for those from smoking backgrounds, higher identification with the protagonist was correlated with a significant increase in anti-smoking attitudes from the pretest to posttest measures (r = .31, N = 59, P = .02). Among those from smoking backgrounds, the correlation between parasocial interaction and change in smoking attitudes was not significant (P > .05). Among those from non-smoking backgrounds, neither identification nor parasocial interaction were correlated with change in smoking attitudes from pretest to posttest measures (P > .05). Discussion The findings of this study suggest that subjects’ previous life experiences with smoking mediate the impact of televisual messages regarding tobacco use and smokers. Messages that portray smoking positively (i.e., glamorous, sophisticated) seem to resonate with subjects from smoking backgrounds. This positive media message about tobacco use produced a significant positive shift in attitudes toward smoking and smokers

Authors: Lauzen, Martha. and Dozier, David.
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Resonance as Mediator of Messages 11
Table 2). Those from smoking backgrounds also increased their favorable attitudes
toward smoking as a function of this treatment (see Table 1). When pretest/posttest
change scores for those from smoking backgrounds were correlated with identification
and parasocial interaction, however, the correlations were not significant (P > .05). That
is, higher levels of identification and parasocial interaction among smokers are unrelated
to changes in smoking attitudes as a function of the treatment. Among those from non-
smoking backgrounds, correlations were also computed for identification and parasocial
interaction with change scores. These correlations were not significant (P > .05).
A similar analysis was conducted on subjects in the humorous (anti-smoking)
condition. Those from smoking backgrounds reported significantly higher levels of
identification (P = .01) with the protagonist than did those who came from non-smoking
backgrounds (see Table 2). Those from smoking backgrounds also reported higher levels
of parasocial interaction with the protagonist than did those from non-smoking
backgrounds; however, the difference did not achieve statistical significance (P = .07).
When changes in attitudes toward smoking were examined for those from smoking
backgrounds, higher identification with the protagonist was correlated with a significant
increase in anti-smoking attitudes from the pretest to posttest measures (r = .31, N = 59, P
= .02). Among those from smoking backgrounds, the correlation between parasocial
interaction and change in smoking attitudes was not significant (P > .05). Among those
from non-smoking backgrounds, neither identification nor parasocial interaction were
correlated with change in smoking attitudes from pretest to posttest measures (P > .05).
Discussion
The findings of this study suggest that subjects’ previous life experiences with
smoking mediate the impact of televisual messages regarding tobacco use and smokers.
Messages that portray smoking positively (i.e., glamorous, sophisticated) seem to
resonate with subjects from smoking backgrounds. This positive media message about
tobacco use produced a significant positive shift in attitudes toward smoking and smokers


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