A multivariate analysis concerning audience perception of racial change in videotaped scenes of violence for television

This thesis explores the effects of racial change on audience perception of violent scenes designed to be shown on television. Ninety-eight subjects were obtained, voluntarily, from the campus of California State University, Northridge. Forty-eight were black, who were randomly divided and assigned to one of two experimental groups to coincide with two different videotapes of violent scenes. Fifty subjects were white and were divided and assigned to one of two experimental groups coinciding with two different videotaped scenes of violence, thus producing four experimental groups, two black and two white. There were two independent variables under investigating the experiment, using a 2 X 2 factorial design. The variables race of audience and race of aggressor were used because the author thought it important to study the changes within the audience, as well as audience reaction to change within the scene. So two tapes were designed to employ the two variables under investigation. Tape number one showed the white actor becoming acquainted with the black actor, and eventually robbing and stabbing him. Tape number two showed the exact same scene only the black actor and white actor reversed roles. Thus at the end of the second tape it was the black actor who robs and stabs the white actor. This was done by having the actors exchange roles completely, including dialogue and action. There were six dependent variables taken after the subject had reviewed their respective tapes. The dependent measures in Appendix II were chosen by the experimenter because it was felt that the audience’s feelings and experiences while watching a dramatic show were well represented. These measures had been previously used in a similar study concerning rape in television conducted by Marion. A. Taras as a master’s thesis in June 1974. The statistical model that was used to analyse the six dependent variables, with and without a covariate, was a Multivariate Analysis of Variance using a 2 X 2 Factorial Design. Two hypotheses were used to test if the variables distinguished between the four experimental groups. The hypotheses were in the form of the "null hypothesis." Null hypothesis one states that there will be no significant difference between a white audience's perception of a violent scene and a black audience's perception of the same scene, no matter what the race of the aggressor within that scene. Null hypothesis two states that there is no significant difference between the audience perception of a violent scene with a black aggressor and a violent scene with a white aggressor. The first null hypothesis refers to the "Main Effects of the Audience Variable,” and the second null hypothesis refers to the “Main Effects of the Aggressor Variable." In terms of the hypotheses above, the analysis of variance accepted both of the null hypotheses. There is no significant differences between any of the groups on any of the dependent measures.