Investigating the Relationship Between Television Portrayal of African Americans and Behavior Responses Toward African Americans

4488 Words 18 Pages
Investigating the Relationship Between Television Portrayal of African Americans and Behavior Responses Toward African Americans This research sought to examine the relationship between television news portrayals of African Americans and subsequent behavioral responses toward African Americans. While this research was not able to clearly illuminate the specific link between portrayal and behavior, this research is able to suggest a model for future studies into such relationships.

[Headnote] This research sought to examine the relationship between television news portrayals of African Americans and
…show more content…
One construct that meets both these criteria-and employed in this study-is the prosocial expression of altruism, or a willingness to help.

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,

Related Documents