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Analyzing Exposure and Attention Variables in Media Effects Research
Unformatted Document Text:  Exposure and Attention 7 readily recognized by persons who have paid more attention to those messages, irrespective of actual levels of exposure, leading to an erroneous assumption that actual exposure levels were higher. The present study compares predictive effects of a recognition memory assessment of exposure, measures of message recall, and both main effect and multiplicative measures of exposure and attention based on self-report and actual media content We are unaware of any other studies in the literature which provide similar comparisons. Method Participants Two-hundred and forty-two middle school and high school students (51% female, 49% male) participated in the study during their health classes. There were 52 7 th graders (M = 12 years, 11 months), 22 9 th graders (M = 14 years, 9 months), 140 10 th graders (M = 15 years, 8 months), 13 11 th graders (M = 16 years, 11 months), 8 12 th graders (M = 17 years, 9 months) and 6 high school students who failed to indicate their grade. The sample was ethnically diverse, including 74% non-Hispanic White, 10% Hispanic, 5% multi-ethnic, 3% Asian, 1% Native American, and 1% African American (6% of the sample did not indicate their ethnicity). Procedure Between late October, 1999 and early February, 2000, surveys were administered by research staff who were not affiliated with the students’ schools. Regular teachers were not in the classroom during the survey administration. The surveys did not include names or identification numbers, consequently, the participants’ responses were completely anonymous. Most of the data were collected on optical scanning forms and converted to ASCII text by a

Authors: Aloise-Young, Patricia. and Slater, Michael.
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Exposure and Attention
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readily recognized by persons who have paid more attention to those messages, irrespective of
actual levels of exposure, leading to an erroneous assumption that actual exposure levels were
higher.
The present study compares predictive effects of a recognition memory assessment of
exposure, measures of message recall, and both main effect and multiplicative measures of
exposure and attention based on self-report and actual media content We are unaware of any
other studies in the literature which provide similar comparisons.
Method
Participants
Two-hundred and forty-two middle school and high school students (51% female, 49%
male) participated in the study during their health classes. There were 52 7
th
graders (M = 12
years, 11 months), 22 9
th
graders (M = 14 years, 9 months), 140 10
th
graders (M = 15 years, 8
months), 13 11
th
graders (M = 16 years, 11 months), 8 12
th
graders (M = 17 years, 9 months) and
6 high school students who failed to indicate their grade. The sample was ethnically diverse,
including 74% non-Hispanic White, 10% Hispanic, 5% multi-ethnic, 3% Asian, 1% Native
American, and 1% African American (6% of the sample did not indicate their ethnicity).
Procedure
Between late October, 1999 and early February, 2000, surveys were administered by
research staff who were not affiliated with the students’ schools. Regular teachers were not in
the classroom during the survey administration. The surveys did not include names or
identification numbers, consequently, the participants’ responses were completely anonymous.
Most of the data were collected on optical scanning forms and converted to ASCII text by a


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