Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science

First Advisor

Andrew Terranova

Abstract/Description

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.

Available for download on Thursday, December 31, 2020

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