Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Andrew Terranova


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.