Title: Public Television and Political Socialization; A Field Experiment on the Impact of a Public Television Series on the Political Knowledge, Attitudes and Communication Behaviors of Adolescents. Final Report.
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Public Television and Political Socialization; A Field Experiment on the Impact of a Public Television Series on the Political Knowledge, Attitudes and Communication Behaviors of Adolescents. Final Report.
A study was made of the reactions of 544 Tallahassee high school students to a public television series, "Today in the Legislature", which presented segments of a session of the state legislature of Florida in six 50-minute programs. The main goal was to determine the major effect of mass media on political knowledge and its influence on political attitudes and participation. It was found that although the experimental students were not overly excited about the television coverage, they had more positive attitudes about the legislature and the manner in which the sessions were conducted. Only 12% found the program interesting while twice as many felt they were dull. Among the other major findings were: interest in the political system increased after viewing, particularly among the younger and black viewers: interpersonal discussion about politics with parents and peers increased; reading about state legislature in the newspapers increased; and greater political knowledge was gained, particularly among younger, white viewers. The impact of the programs was uniform among students differing in scholastic ability, political interest, and communication behavior. The research findings are summarized in 11 tables. (Author/DS)
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Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Dept. of Communication.; Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Washington, DC.