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Resonance as Mediator of Prime-Time Messages about Smoking
Unformatted Document Text:  Resonance as Mediator of Messages 7 use, 25% reported smoking at least “socially.” Three percent reported smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day. Regarding family patterns of tobacco use, 53% of subjects reported current smokers in their families included themselves, their parents, a significant other, or any combination. The remaining 47% reported no current use of tobacco by themselves, their parents, or significant others. Treatments The glamorous treatment portrayed tobacco use as sexy, sophisticated, and romantic. Taken from an episode of HBO’s Sex and the City, the 60-second scene shows Carrie (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) out for an evening on the town with sometime love interest Mr. Big (played by Chris Noth). Seated at the bar in a fashionable New York City restaurant, Carrie asks Big for a cigarette. To her delight, Big magically produces a cigarette from behind his ear, hands it to Carrie, and lights it using a stylish lighter. This treatment was categorized a priori as a positive portrayal of tobacco use, based on its manifest content. The humorous treatment portrayed tobacco use as funny, distasteful, and somewhat repugnant. Taken from the NBC situation comedy Will and Grace, the 60- second scene shows Grace (played by Debra Messing) trying to seduce her current love interest played by Woody Harrelson. As her boyfriend enters the darkened bedroom, she lights a cigarette and promptly begins to cough incessantly. Her hacking and attempts to clear the phlegm from her throat interrupt the seduction scene as she becomes momentarily incapacitated. This treatment was categorized a priori as a negative portrayal of tobacco use, based on its manifest content. Procedure Subjects from two sections of a communication course were recruited; the experiment was conducted over a two-day period. Using random assignment, 112 subjects were assigned to the glamorous (positive) treatment and 112 were assigned to the humorous (negative) treatment. A pretest questionnaire was completed and sealed in

Authors: Lauzen, Martha. and Dozier, David.
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Resonance as Mediator of Messages 7
use, 25% reported smoking at least “socially.” Three percent reported smoking one or
more packs of cigarettes a day. Regarding family patterns of tobacco use, 53% of subjects
reported current smokers in their families included themselves, their parents, a significant
other, or any combination. The remaining 47% reported no current use of tobacco by
themselves, their parents, or significant others.
Treatments
The glamorous treatment portrayed tobacco use as sexy, sophisticated, and
romantic. Taken from an episode of HBO’s Sex and the City, the 60-second scene shows
Carrie (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) out for an evening on the town with sometime
love interest Mr. Big (played by Chris Noth). Seated at the bar in a fashionable New York
City restaurant, Carrie asks Big for a cigarette. To her delight, Big magically produces a
cigarette from behind his ear, hands it to Carrie, and lights it using a stylish lighter. This
treatment was categorized a priori as a positive portrayal of tobacco use, based on its
manifest content.
The humorous treatment portrayed tobacco use as funny, distasteful, and
somewhat repugnant. Taken from the NBC situation comedy Will and Grace, the 60-
second scene shows Grace (played by Debra Messing) trying to seduce her current love
interest played by Woody Harrelson. As her boyfriend enters the darkened bedroom, she
lights a cigarette and promptly begins to cough incessantly. Her hacking and attempts to
clear the phlegm from her throat interrupt the seduction scene as she becomes
momentarily incapacitated. This treatment was categorized a priori as a negative
portrayal of tobacco use, based on its manifest content.
Procedure
Subjects from two sections of a communication course were recruited; the
experiment was conducted over a two-day period. Using random assignment, 112
subjects were assigned to the glamorous (positive) treatment and 112 were assigned to the
humorous (negative) treatment. A pretest questionnaire was completed and sealed in


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