Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
College of Science
The aim of the current study was to examine how media influences cognitions and emotions. It was hypothesized that those who viewed a media report on suicide would have higher levels of death thought accessibility, while also displaying a more negative mood. Gender differences were also considered. The study consisted of 71 participants, predominantly White (84.5%) with an average age of 19.93 (SD = 5.41). The design of the study was experimental in nature. Participants viewed either a neutral news report or a news report on suicide. After reading, participants completed a word completion task to measure death thought accessibility (Greenburg, Pyszczynski, Solomon, Simon, & Breus, 1994), and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). There was no significant evidence that media reports on suicide influence death thought accessibility or mood. Thus, further studies on long-term effects should be conducted to further explore terror management theory and depressive symptoms.
Stephens, Kallie R. and Terranova, Andrew, "The Influence of Publicized Suicides on Depressive Symptoms" (2019). Honors Theses. 350.
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