Understanding the Role of Emotions in Mediated Intergroup Threat: A Cultivation and Appraisal Theory Approach
KeywordsIntergroup Emotions Theory
Intergroup Threat Theory
Social Identity Theory
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis investigation sought to extend research in mediated intergroup communication by examining the role of emotion in producing intergroup bias. Two studies were guided by social identity theory, appraisal-based theories of emotion, and cultivation theory. Study 1 surveyed 254 adults, recruited through student referrals. Drawing insight from previous content analytic research and cultivation theory, results indicated that the media plays an important role in cultivating emotional reactions toward racial minorities. Overall daily television consumption was associated with experiencing anxiety-related emotions and distrust-related emotions toward Blacks. Television news consumption was associated with experiencing anger towards Blacks. Overall daily television consumption was associated with experiencing anger and anxiety-related emotions toward Latinos and Asians. Television news consumption was associated with experiencing distrust-related emotions toward Asians. In Study 2 a 2 (Immigration: Threat/No-Threat) X 2 (Ingroup Emotional Norm Endorsement: Present/Absent) plus 1 (Control) experiment examined the impact of mediated intergroup threat on attitudes toward immigration, collective self-esteem, information sharing and seeking behaviors, and policy support, in the context of illegal immigration. This study also examined whether experimental condition indirectly influenced the above-specified outcomes through intergroup emotions. Previous news consumption was examined as a potential moderator of the mediational relationship between experimental condition and intergroup outcomes via intergroup emotions. Results indicate that exposure to intergroup threat via the media directly influence attitudes toward immigrants' human rights and information sharing. Exposure to intergroup threat indirectly influences immigration attitudes through feelings of anxiety. Moreover, exposure to intergroup threat via the media indirectly influences information sharing and support for English-only legislation through feelings of disgust. Conditional indirect effects were found for immigration attitudes, information sharing, and support for English-only legislation. Exposure to threatening intergroup information neither directly, nor indirectly information seeking or emailing congressperson to reduce the number of immigrants allowed in the United States. Results are discussed in light of social identity theory, intergroup threat theory, intergroup emotions theory, and BIAS map research. Taken together, results suggest that the current study's social identity appraisal-based approach provides insight into the role of media in intergroup processes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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