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Learning about Politics from The Daily Show: The Role of Processing Motivations
Unformatted Document Text:  Learning from The Daily Show 13 Learning. To measure learning, subjects completed both a free recall task and a multiple- choice knowledge test. With the free recall task, subjects were instructed to write down everything they could remember from the video, including facts, images, or other items. Two graduate students independently coded the responses by awarding one point for each discrete recall item, based on standard subject/verb units. Points were not credited for incorrect information, vague or non-specific responses, or respondents’ personal opinions. A count of the valid recall items provided the dependent measure of free recall. In order to verify reliability, a random subset of 80 responses was coded by both coders. Inter-coder reliability, calculated using Krippendorff’s alpha for ratio-level data (Hayes & Krippendorff, 2007), was .96. The knowledge test, which participants completed after the free recall task, consisted of four multiple-choice questions tapping factual information that was explicitly stated in the video stimulus to which participants were exposed. Participants who saw the Biden video were asked which U.S. official recently visited Israel (Biden), how many settlements Israel announced they would build in East Jerusalem (1,600), what Palestinians had announced prior to Israel’s announcement to expand settlements in Jerusalem (an agreement to enter into indirect peace talks), and who is the current Prime Minister of Israel (Benjamin Netanyahu). Participants who saw the Obama video were asked approximately how long it took to negotiate and pass the health care reform bill (14 months), with which country the U.S. recently entered into an arms control agreement (Russia), what country President Obama visited just days after signing the health care reform bill (Afghanistan), and with which of several policies President Obama recently announced intentions to move forward (expanded offshore gas and oil exploration). Correct responses to each set of questions were summed to form an index (Biden α = .53, Obama α = .

Authors: Feldman, Lauren.
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Learning from The Daily Show
13
Learning. To measure learning, subjects completed both a free recall task and a multiple-
choice knowledge test. With the free recall task, subjects were instructed to write down 
everything they could remember from the video, including facts, images, or other items. Two 
graduate students independently coded the responses by awarding one point for each discrete 
recall item, based on standard subject/verb units. Points were not credited for incorrect 
information, vague or non-specific responses, or respondents’ personal opinions. A count of the 
valid recall items provided the dependent measure of free recall. In order to verify reliability, a 
random subset of 80 responses was coded by both coders. Inter-coder reliability, calculated using 
Krippendorff’s alpha for ratio-level data (Hayes & Krippendorff, 2007), was .96. 
The knowledge test, which participants completed after the free recall task, consisted of 
four multiple-choice questions tapping factual information that was explicitly stated in the video 
stimulus to which participants were exposed. Participants who saw the Biden video were asked 
which U.S. official recently visited Israel (Biden), how many settlements Israel announced they 
would build in East Jerusalem (1,600), what Palestinians had announced prior to Israel’s 
announcement to expand settlements in Jerusalem (an agreement to enter into indirect peace 
talks), and who is the current Prime Minister of Israel (Benjamin Netanyahu). Participants who 
saw the Obama video were asked approximately how long it took to negotiate and pass the health 
care reform bill (14 months), with which country the U.S. recently entered into an arms control 
agreement (Russia), what country President Obama visited just days after signing the health care 
reform bill (Afghanistan), and with which of several policies President Obama recently 
announced intentions to move forward (expanded offshore gas and oil exploration). Correct 
responses to each set of questions were summed to form an index (Biden α = .53, Obama α = .


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