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How Message Desirability Moderates the Influence of Presumed Influence on College Students’ Misperception of Sex-Related Peer Norms

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Abstract:

A number of studies have demonstrated that young people’s presumption of media influence on peers may lead them to misperceive the prevalence of peers’ risky behavior such as smoking (Gunther, Bolt, Borzekowski, Dillard, & Liebhart, 2006) or engaging in sexual activities (Chia & Lee, 2008). People’s presumption of media influence on others, however, is often moderated by media messages’ desirability. Specifically, people usually perceive that the influence of media on others is greater when the media message is socially undesirable than when the message is socially desirable (Chaplin, 2000; Gunther & Thorson, 1992; Gunther & Mundy, 1993). Whether the influence of presumed media influence would vary upon the level of message desirability becomes an intriguing question. In this study, we found that college students in Singapore perceived greater media effects on peers when media messages were about risky sex (i.e. premarital sex or casual sex) than when media messages were about safe sex (i.e. use condoms when having sex). We also found that when media messages were about risky sex, students’ perception of media influence on peers was associated with the students’ estimated prevalence of peers’ sexual activities. When media messages were about safe sex, however, the students’ perception of media influence on peers was not associated with the students’ estimated prevalence of peers’ safe sex. We found that with the influence of presumed influence, students in this study overestimated the prevalence of peers’ sexual activities. Without the influence of presumed influence, on the other hand, the students accurately estimated the prevalence of peers’ condom use. These findings show that both the presumed media influence and the influence of presumed media influence are more pronounced when the media message is socially undesirable than when the media message is socially desirable.
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p403001_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Chia, Stella. "How Message Desirability Moderates the Influence of Presumed Influence on College Students’ Misperception of Sex-Related Peer Norms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p403001_index.html>

APA Citation:

Chia, S. C. "How Message Desirability Moderates the Influence of Presumed Influence on College Students’ Misperception of Sex-Related Peer Norms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p403001_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: A number of studies have demonstrated that young people’s presumption of media influence on peers may lead them to misperceive the prevalence of peers’ risky behavior such as smoking (Gunther, Bolt, Borzekowski, Dillard, & Liebhart, 2006) or engaging in sexual activities (Chia & Lee, 2008). People’s presumption of media influence on others, however, is often moderated by media messages’ desirability. Specifically, people usually perceive that the influence of media on others is greater when the media message is socially undesirable than when the message is socially desirable (Chaplin, 2000; Gunther & Thorson, 1992; Gunther & Mundy, 1993). Whether the influence of presumed media influence would vary upon the level of message desirability becomes an intriguing question. In this study, we found that college students in Singapore perceived greater media effects on peers when media messages were about risky sex (i.e. premarital sex or casual sex) than when media messages were about safe sex (i.e. use condoms when having sex). We also found that when media messages were about risky sex, students’ perception of media influence on peers was associated with the students’ estimated prevalence of peers’ sexual activities. When media messages were about safe sex, however, the students’ perception of media influence on peers was not associated with the students’ estimated prevalence of peers’ safe sex. We found that with the influence of presumed influence, students in this study overestimated the prevalence of peers’ sexual activities. Without the influence of presumed influence, on the other hand, the students accurately estimated the prevalence of peers’ condom use. These findings show that both the presumed media influence and the influence of presumed media influence are more pronounced when the media message is socially undesirable than when the media message is socially desirable.


Similar Titles:
Student Use of Relational and Influence Messages in Response to Perceived Instructor Power Use in American and Chinese College Classrooms

How Perceived Peer Norms, Perceived Media Influence, and Peer Proximity Determine College Students' Smoking

Defensive Processing of Alcohol-Related Social Norms Messages by College Students

How Social Media Influences College Students’ Smoking Attitudes and Susceptibility: Focused on the Influence of Presumed Influence Model


 
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