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Learning about Politics from The Daily Show: The Role of Processing Motivations
Unformatted Document Text:  Learning from The Daily Show 14 61). Regardless of which video subjects saw, their score on the corresponding knowledge test served as the dependent measure of factual knowledge. Control Measures Frequency of Daily Show viewing. Using a response scale from (1) “never” to (4) “often,” participants were asked how frequently they watch The Daily Show (M = 1.7, SD = .96). Political ideology. Participants were asked to indicate their ideological leanings, on a 5- point continuum including very conservative (8.8%), conservative (16.5%), moderate (51.4%), liberal (14.5%), and very liberal (8.8%; M = 3.0, SD = 1.0). Political interest. Political interest was measured using three items. The first asked participants to indicate how much they follow what is going on in government and public affairs. Response options ranged from: (1) “hardly at all” to (4) “most of the time.” The other two items asked respondents how much attention they pay to news about national politics and international affairs, respectively, with response options registered on a 5-point scale ranging from (1) “none” to (5) “a great deal.” Responses to these three items were summed to form an index, which ranged from 3 to 14 (α = .87, M = 8.8, SD = 2.9). Analysis Before turning to a test of the hypotheses, a preliminary analysis was conducted to estimate the magnitude of factual knowledge gain from the two Daily Show segments. Subjects assigned to view the Obama topic served as a control group for those assigned to the Biden topic, and vice versa. An independent samples t-test was used to compare mean scores on the 4-item knowledge test pertaining to the Obama segment among those who were assigned to the Obama topic and those assigned to the Biden topic. The same was done for the 4-item knowledge test pertaining to the Biden segment. The mean knowledge score for the Obama items was 2.99 (SD

Authors: Feldman, Lauren.
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Learning from The Daily Show
61). Regardless of which video subjects saw, their score on the corresponding knowledge test 
served as the dependent measure of factual knowledge.
Control Measures
Frequency of Daily Show viewing. Using a response scale from (1) “never” to (4) “often,” 
participants were asked how frequently they watch The Daily Show (M = 1.7, SD = .96).
Political ideology. Participants were asked to indicate their ideological leanings, on a 5-
point continuum including very conservative (8.8%), conservative (16.5%), moderate (51.4%), 
liberal (14.5%), and very liberal (8.8%; M = 3.0, SD = 1.0). 
Political interest. Political interest was measured using three items. The first asked 
participants to indicate how much they follow what is going on in government and public affairs. 
Response options ranged from: (1) “hardly at all” to (4) “most of the time.” The other two items 
asked respondents how much attention they pay to news about national politics and international 
affairs, respectively, with response options registered on a 5-point scale ranging from (1) “none” 
to (5) “a great deal.” Responses to these three items were summed to form an index, which 
ranged from 3 to 14 (α = .87, M = 8.8, SD = 2.9).
Before turning to a test of the hypotheses, a preliminary analysis was conducted to 
estimate the magnitude of factual knowledge gain from the two Daily Show segments. Subjects 
assigned to view the Obama topic served as a control group for those assigned to the Biden topic, 
and vice versa. An independent samples t-test was used to compare mean scores on the 4-item 
knowledge test pertaining to the Obama segment among those who were assigned to the Obama 
topic and those assigned to the Biden topic. The same was done for the 4-item knowledge test 
pertaining to the Biden segment. The mean knowledge score for the Obama items was 2.99 (SD 

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