Study: Alcohol in Popular Media and College Drinking Behaviors
Status: Completed data collection, Analysis ongoing
Sonya Dal Cin
Communications Studies; Research Center for Group Dynamics
Engagement with narrative media has demonstrated effects on individuals’ attitudes and behaviors. However, mediators of narrative effects are typically assessed using retrospective self-reports. Explicit self-reports collected during message exposure are also problematic, as the measurement interferes with the engagement process. We explored physiological measures of narrative engagement. Participants (n=66) watched film clips in which the characters consumed alcohol in social contexts. Eye-tracking was used to measure participants’ attention to alcohol on screen. Skin conductance and heart rate were used as autonomic measures of arousal. Following the clips, participants completed self-reports of narrative engagement, identification with characters, and alcohol-related cognitions and behavior.