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Media Ratings: To See or Not To See?

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Abstract:

To inform parents about and protect children and adolescents against violent or otherwise harmful media content, media-rating systems are used in many countries. Generally speaking, these systems consist of age pictograms and content warning pictograms for media productions (television programs, movies, DVDs and games). An experimental study was conducted to investigate whether these pictograms, in contrast to their purpose, have an appealing effect on children and adolescents.
In the experiment, 332 elementary school students and 337 high school students were exposed to ten covers of DVDs or games. The participants were asked to judge the attractiveness of the DVDs and games. Participants were randomly assigned to either a DVD or game condition. Then, in two age categories (9-11 years and 13-15 years) they were randomly assigned to eight groups. These groups were based on the presence or absence of an age pictogram (no age classification, ‘all ages’, ‘12 years,’ or ‘16 years’) and on the presence or absence of a combination of three warning pictograms (violence, sexuality, and abusive language).
The results show that the pictograms did not increase the attractiveness of the games and DVDs for children and adolescents. They nevertheless seemed to pay some attention to the pictograms. The appreciation of the elementary school students showed a negative influence of the warning pictograms and the high school students preferred media products with the pictogram ‘12 years’ above media products for ‘all ages.’

Most Common Document Word Stems:

pictogram (72), age (72), game (70), warn (40), particip (38), year (36), dvds (36), media (29), classif (25), dvd (24), children (23), effect (21), experiment (21), attract (20), school (20), content (19), cover (19), 4 (19), adolesc (18), bushman (17), research (16),

Author's Keywords:

age classification, warning labels, pictograms, attractiveness, adolescents, children, tainted fruit, forbidden fruit, reactance, sensation seeking
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p298141_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Gosselt, Jordy., de Jong, Menno. and Hoof, Joris. "Media Ratings: To See or Not To See?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott, Chicago, IL, May 20, 2009 <Not Available>. 2017-09-11 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p298141_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gosselt, J. , de Jong, M. and Hoof, J. v. , 2009-05-20 "Media Ratings: To See or Not To See?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott, Chicago, IL Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2017-09-11 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p298141_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: To inform parents about and protect children and adolescents against violent or otherwise harmful media content, media-rating systems are used in many countries. Generally speaking, these systems consist of age pictograms and content warning pictograms for media productions (television programs, movies, DVDs and games). An experimental study was conducted to investigate whether these pictograms, in contrast to their purpose, have an appealing effect on children and adolescents.
In the experiment, 332 elementary school students and 337 high school students were exposed to ten covers of DVDs or games. The participants were asked to judge the attractiveness of the DVDs and games. Participants were randomly assigned to either a DVD or game condition. Then, in two age categories (9-11 years and 13-15 years) they were randomly assigned to eight groups. These groups were based on the presence or absence of an age pictogram (no age classification, ‘all ages’, ‘12 years,’ or ‘16 years’) and on the presence or absence of a combination of three warning pictograms (violence, sexuality, and abusive language).
The results show that the pictograms did not increase the attractiveness of the games and DVDs for children and adolescents. They nevertheless seemed to pay some attention to the pictograms. The appreciation of the elementary school students showed a negative influence of the warning pictograms and the high school students preferred media products with the pictogram ‘12 years’ above media products for ‘all ages.’


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