Investigating the Relationship Between Television Portrayal of African Americans and Behavior Responses Toward African Americans
[Headnote] This research sought to examine the relationship between television news portrayals of African Americans and …show more content…
In investigating a relationship between portrayal and effect, other possible effects on the behavioral response must be controlled or explained. For this research, the personality construct dogmatism was used as a means to identify audience members who can be influenced by the nature of a media portrayal. Dogmatism allowed an adaptation of the empathy-altruism hypothesis; a causal model extensively validated in social psychological research to explain the internal processes which produce altruism, an audience member's willingness to help a person similar to those in a given media portrayal. This modification of the empathy-altruism hypothesis will permit an estimate of short-term effects of favorable and unfavorable portrayals of African Americans in television news stories.
African American Portrayals
African-American portrayals on television have been based on negative stereotypes that do not objectively or accurately portray reality (Corea, 1993; Dates, 1990; Entman 1990, 1992, 1994; Jackson, 1989; Lule, 1995; MacDonald, 1992; Rada, 1996; Rainville & McCormick, 1997; Staples & Jones, 1985; U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,