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Media Portrayals of Mental Illness and the Third-Person Effect
Unformatted Document Text:  M c K e e v e r - P a g e | 20 Furthermore, past research has found the use of student samples may distort the results in third-person perception studies. 47 However, while all of these acknowledged limitations are certainly reason to view these results (as with all research) in conservative terms, they are hardly the death knell of the current study or the value of these findings. Because this study sought only to examine these effects within the context of the student body where the survey was administered, rather than attempting to measure these perception tendencies in the entire undergraduate student population on college campuses, let alone the general populous, the student sample was logical for accomplishing the current research goals. These findings also offer evidence of how additional factors may affect first- and third- person perception in a manner that is inconsistent with the robust research findings linking third- person perception to undesirable messages and first-person perception to those that are desirable. 48 Future work, expanding and applying these measures to additional populations, will help advance current understandings of the nature of self-other perceptions in numerous settings and contexts. Thus, even when viewed in the context of the admitted limitations, the current work still offers a valuable contribution to the research on student perceptions of media influence, as well as current understandings of perceptions of mental illness on a college campus.

Authors: McKeever, Robert.
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M c K e e v e r   -   P a g e  | 20 
 
Furthermore, past research has found the use of student samples may distort the results in 
third-person perception studies.
47
 However, while all of these acknowledged limitations are 
certainly reason to view these results (as with all research) in conservative terms, they are hardly 
the death knell of the current study or the value of these findings. Because this study sought only 
to examine these effects within the context of the student body where the survey was 
administered, rather than attempting to measure these perception tendencies in the entire 
undergraduate student population on college campuses, let alone the general populous, the 
student sample was logical for accomplishing the current research goals.  
These findings also offer evidence of how additional factors may affect first- and third-
person perception in a manner that is inconsistent with the robust research findings linking third-
person perception to undesirable messages and first-person perception to those that are 
desirable.
48
 Future work, expanding and applying these measures to additional populations, will 
help advance current understandings of the nature of self-other perceptions in numerous settings 
and contexts.  Thus, even when viewed in the context of the admitted limitations, the current 
work still offers a valuable contribution to the research on student perceptions of media 
influence, as well as current understandings of perceptions of mental illness on a college campus. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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