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As Seen On TV: An Examination of College Students Evaluations Of Female Political Candidates After Exposure To a Prime-Time Fictional Political Drama

Ruthie Kelly

A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of San Diego State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of the University Honors Program

San Diego State University San Diego, California

May 2012

San Diego State University Honors Program

A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of San Diego State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of the University Honors Program

As Seen on TV: An Examination of College Students Evaluations of Female Political Candidates after Exposure to a Prime-time Fictional Political Drama

Ruthie Kelly

Approved:

______________________________________ Dr. Carole Kennedy

______________________________________ Dr. David Dozier

________________________________________ Dr. Stacey Sinclair

May 2012

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS No student who has attended San Diego State for as long as I have or undertakes a project as massive as this one succeeds without a substantial list of those deserving a warm, extended thank you. This space does not do those people justice. First and foremost, I thank my partner, Stevan Marlow, for his unmatched willingness to provide support, assistance, and a listening ear whenever I needed, even when he wasnt quite sure what I was talking about. I thank my grandfather, Keith Kelly if not for his support over the years, I would not be attending SDSU at all. I thank Virginia Martinez and Karina Borg their assistance with the experiment logistics and questionnaire duplication, which I could not have done without their help not on time, certainly. I thank the many professors who have inspired me over the years, but especially Dr. Martha Lauzen, whose class on Women and Media inspired this thesis on several levels; Dr. J.T. Smith, for his willingness to talk politics and experiment models for hours at a time; Seth Taylor, whose friendship and writing skills I could never replace; and Dr. Doreen Mattingly, who insisted I take a statistics class or she would never speak to me again, without which this project would not have been possible. I also thank Dr. Valerie Barker, along with Dr. Carole Kennedy, Dr. David Dozier, Dr. K. Tim Wulfemeyer, and Dr. J.T. Smith, all of whom graciously offered extra credit in their courses so that I could create a sizable and diverse pool of possible subjects. I thank Dr. Bey-Ling Sha and Dr. Stacey Sinclair for their guidance and criticism during this process, and my fellow Honors thesis students Sam Spevack, Yaqian Liu, Alex Howe, Maurice Horton, and Kendall Stewart for their sympathy, support, and constructive criticism and comments on my drafts. Most importantly, I thank my advisor, Dr. Carole Kennedy, and my reader, Dr. David Dozier. I do not have the words to express what a privilege it was to work with such generous, supportive, inspiring and enthusiastic researchers and educators. This thesis is as much a product of their wisdom as it is a product of my own labor.

AS SEEN ON TV: AN EXAMINATION OF COLLEGE STUDENTS EVALUATIONS OF FEMALE POLITICAL CANDIDATES AFTER EXPOSURE TO A PRIME-TIME FICTIONAL POLITICAL DRAMA Ruthie Kelly B.S., Journalism and Political Science San Diego State University, 2012 The 2008 presidential election was the closest any woman candidate has come to achieving Americas highest office, yet many barriers that may explain the difficulties facing women candidates have not been fully explored, particularly those relating to the impact of entertainment television and similar programming. This study exposed 402 subjects to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring either a male or female president character (The West Wing or Commander in Chief), or a television episode unrelated to politics (placebo). Subjects completed questionnaires regarding the importance of certain gender-linked traits to being a good politician to establish a baseline pretest, evaluated the president characters demonstration of those traits posttest, and evaluated a hypothetical presidential candidate that was either male or female and described using either masculine or feminine traits. Results suggest that viewing a prime-time fictional political drama may have an impact on college students willingness to vote for masculine female candidates, but did not show a statistically significant impact on willingness to vote for feminine female, feminine male, or masculine male candidates. In addition, participants rated the female president character as higher in both masculine and feminine traits and rated her as a better politician, leader, and president than the male president character, suggesting possible media effects theoretical explanations, specifically priming, that have implications for women candidates for executive office and other future research.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................................. i ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................................................. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................... iii LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................................................................ v

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 1 Women in politics ...................................................................................................... 1 Women in the media ................................................................................................. 6 Purpose of this study ............................................................................................... 9 II. LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................................................... 12 Overview of political psychology research ...................................................... 12 Gender stereotypes, gender-linked traits, and evaluations of competence ....................................................................................................... 14 Gender, leadership and politics .......................................................................... 17 Overview of media effects research.................................................................... 19 Cultivation theory and effects ..................................................................... 19 Priming effects ................................................................................................. 20 Framing effects ................................................................................................ 21 Cognition and information processing .................................................... 22 Priming and framing in political communication ............................... 23 Entertainment programming and politics ..................................................... 24 III. METHODOLOGY .................................................................................................................... 27 Participant recruitment ........................................................................................ 28 Description of stimulus and episode selection ................................................ 29 Experiment design and procedure .................................................................... 31 Questionnaire design ............................................................................................. 32 Pretest questionnaire ..................................................................................... 32 Posttest questionnaire ................................................................................... 35

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TABLE OF CONTENTS CONTINUED IV. RESULTS ................................................................................................................................ 37 Participant demographics ................................................................................... 37 Hypothetical candidates experiment ................................................................ 38 Gender-linked traits for a good politician ................................................... 44 Male and female president characters gender-linked traits .................... 47 Male and female president characters good president evaluations... 49 Other available variables ...................................................................................... 50 V. DISCUSSION ............................................................................................................................ 52 Prime-time fictional political dramas and masculine female candidates .......................................................................................................... 52 Gender-linked traits for a good politician .................................................... 54 Gender-linked traits and evaluations of male and female president characters ....................................................................................... 55 Research question summary ................................................................................ 57 Limitations ................................................................................................................. 57 Implications for candidates ................................................................................. 60 Implications for political science and media studies .................................. 61 Suggested areas for future research ................................................................. 61

REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................................. 63 APPENDICES .............................................................................................................................................. 71 Appendix A: Sample Questionnaire ................................................................................. 71 Appendix B: Questionnaire Variations ........................................................................ 82

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LIST OF TABLES Table Page

1 Experiment group breakdown ............................................................................................... 28 2 Overall willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates by gender and gender-linked traits .................................................................................................................... 39 3 Willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates by major treatment group ....... 40 4 Willingness to vote for feminine female hypothetical candidates, by major treatment group .............................................................................................................. 41 5 Willingness to vote for feminine male hypothetical candidates, by major treatment group .............................................................................................................. 41 6 Willingness to vote for masculine female hypothetical candidates, by major treatment group .............................................................................................................. 42 7 Willingness to vote for masculine male hypothetical candidates, by major treatment group .............................................................................................................. 43 8 Willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates, by gender ....................................... 44 9 Gender-linked traits important to being a good politician ...................................... 45 10 Feminine gender-linked traits important to being a good politician, by participant gender ....................................................................................................................... 46 11 Masculine gender-linked traits important to being a good politician, by participant gender ....................................................................................................................... 46 12 Feminine gender-linked traits assigned to male and female president characters................................................................................................................... 47 13 Masculine gender-linked traits assigned to male and female president characters................................................................................................................... 48 14 Evaluations of male and female president characters .................................................. 49 15 Evaluations of male and female president characters, by gender ............................ 51

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION While the possibility of a woman president has been debated since before Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman on a major partys presidential ticket, the reality of a woman in the White House has only recently become tangible. The 2008 presidential election, which featured then-Senator Hillary Clinton as an extremely competitive candidate for the Democratic Partys nomination for president and thenAlaska Governor Sarah Palin as the first woman vice-presidential candidate for the Republican Party, is arguably the closest that the United States has ever come to electing a woman to hold the nations highest office. Yet that election also demonstrated what barriers women candidates, particularly women candidates for president, face. Those barriers are both structural and attitudinal.1 Yet the attitudes undermining the ability of women candidates to run for president have only recently been subject to academic exploration, and the sources of those attitudes are multitude. Entertainment media in particular stands as a significant agent of political socialization, though the exact nature and extent of its impacts on attitudes is difficult to untangle. This study explored the impact of the portrayal of a women president character in a prime-time fictional political drama on evaluations of hypothetical female candidates and male and female president characters, in order to contribute to the wider research of the impact of entertainment programming in general on the political attitudes and behaviors of American citizens. Women in politics The status of women in the United States, and in the world, has undergone rapid change since the beginning of the 21st century. Women constitute more than half of the total population in the United States, outnumbering men by nearly 5.2 million in 2010.2 By a significant number of measures, womens political power has grown substantially in just a few decades. For example, women have been earning a majority of both bachelors and masters degrees conferred by degree-granting
Heldman, Caroline. "Cultural Barriers to a Female Presidency in the U.S." In Rethinking Madam President : Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House?. New York: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2007. Heldman characterizes barriers as structural institutional and systematic challenges that result in fewer women candidates and elected officials and attitudinal, or cultural attitudes and values that more highly value and favor men. 2 Bureau of the Census. "Age and Sex Composition: 2010," by Lindsay M. Howden and Julie A. Meyer. Census Brief, 2010 (May 2011). http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf (accessed October 21, 2011). In 2010, the Unites States population comprised of approximately 157 million women and 151.8 men, out of a total population of 385.75 million. Women thus comprise 50.8 percent, and men 49.2 percent, of the total population.
1

colleges and universities since the 1980s, and have been earning the majority of non-medical doctoral degrees conferred since 2006; indeed, in 2008-2009, the last year for which data is available, nearly 3 out of every 5 bachelors and masters degrees awarded were earned by women.3 Women are projected to account for a majority of the increase in total labor force growth through 2018. 4 All but three of the fifteen occupations with the largest projected employment growth through 2016 are dominated by women, and women control roughly 73 percent of household spending, amounting to roughly $4 trillion annually.5 Women voters have outnumbered male voters in every presidential election since 1964, and the voter turnout rate the proportion of those eligible to vote, compared to those who actually do so for women has been higher than men in every election since 1980.6 In the 2008 presidential election alone, women voters outnumbered men voters by nearly 10 million votes.7 Women have been making steady progress in the professional sphere as well. In professional and administrative occupations in the federal government, 44 percent of positions were held by women in 2011, 8 up from

Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/index.asp (accessed October 21, 2011). Compared data from 2009 and 2010 years under List of Tables and Figures. Relevant tables included the following from 2009: Table 285 (Bachelor's degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex of student: Selected years, 1976-77 through 2007-08), Table 288 (Master's degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex of student: Selected years, 1976-77 through 2007-08), and Table 291 (Doctor's degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex of student: Selected years, 1976-77 through 2006-07), which indicate more females earning bachelors and masters degrees than males since the 1980s and parity in non-medical doctoral degrees since 2006. From 2010 tables, Table 286 (Bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions, by sex of student and discipline division: 2008-09) indicates roughly 916,000 of the 1.6 million bachelors degrees awarded in 2008-2009 were earned by women, and roughly 397,000 of 657,000 masters degrees awarded were earned by women.
3

U.S. Department of Labor, Womens Bureau. Women in the Labor Force in 2010. (July 19, 2011). http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-laborforce-10.htm (accessed October 21, 2011). 5 Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress. Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women In the U.S. Economy, prepared by the Majority Staff of the Joint Economic Committee. (December 2010). Archive location: http://jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Reports (accessed November 10, 2011).
4

Center for American Women and Politics. "Fact Sheet: Gender Differences in Voter Turnout." CAWP Facts: Voters - Turnout, Last modified November 2011. http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/voters/documents/genderdiff.pdf (accessed May 1, 2012)
6 7 8

Ibid.

United States Merit Systems Protection Board. "Women in the Federal Government: Ambitions and Achievements." U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board - MSPB Studies, Last modified May 2011.

34 percent in 1992.9 This progression in socioeconomic status education, income and occupation should, according to the pipeline theory, result in more women choosing political careers.10 Yet this change in the reality of womens social status has not been proportionally reflected in American politics. Women are still the minority in terms of political representation. Of the nearly 13,000 citizens who have served in Congress since it first began in 1789,11 only 276 have been women, translating to only 2 percent of senators and representatives in history.12 In the 112th Congress, only 76 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives are women, and only 17 of the 100 current senators are women, roughly 17 percent of both chambers.13 There have only been 31 women governors in history, and only one of the largest five states has elected a single woman governor.14 A woman has never served as president or vice-president, or received her partys nomination for president.
http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=606214&version=608056 (accessed May 1, 2012). The report notes that the definition of professional and administrative positions as used in the study were defined as follows: Professional occupations include occupations that require specialized education or credentials for entry, such as physician, nurse, attorney, and biologist. Administrative occupations include occupations such as human resources management, criminal investigation, and budget analysis. In this report, the term administrative employees does not include employees in clerical and technical occupations, even though such work is often considered administrative in nature. United States Merit Systems Protection Board. "A Question of Equity: Women and the Glass Ceiling in the Federal Government." U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board - MSPB Studies, Published October 1992. http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=606214&version=608056 (accessed May 1, 2012). 10 McGlen, Nancy E., Karen O'Connor, Laura VanAssendelft, and Wendy Gunther-Canada. "Barriers to Women in Elected and Appointed Positions." In Women, Politics and American Society, 5th ed., 95101. Crawfordsville, IN: Pearson Higher Education: Longman Classics in Political Science, 2010.
9

Congressional Biographical Directory, http://bioguide.congress.gov/ (accessed October 21, 2011). Cumulative searches of the 1st through 112th Congress and data analysis removing duplicates produced a list of 12,972 entries of members serving in Congress from 1789 2012. 57 entries had no named individual.
11

U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Clerk. "Historical Data." Women in Congress. http://womenincongress.house.gov/historical-data/ (accessed October 21, 2011). Calculated using 276 historical women members divided by 12,972 total members.
12 13

Ibid.

Center for American Women and Politics. "Fact Sheet: History of Women Governors 1925 Present." CAWP Facts: Statewide Elective Executive Office - Historical Information, last modified February 2011. http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/levels_of_office/documents/govhistory.pdf (accessed October 21, 2011)
14

This lack of proportional representation at both the legislative and executive levels is a problem because womens interests are not being represented. While neither Congress nor the executive has ever been fully representative of the population as a whole,15 the more those branches resemble those they serve, the better able they are to represent the interests of their constituents; understand those groups concerns, issues, and needs; and govern effectively and justly. That womens needs are not being met is evident in such recent issues as gendered pay inequity; access to and cost of healthcare, particularly women only services such as abortion and birth control; and workplace harassment policies. While these problems will not be solved by a woman president, the attention and perspective of a woman in the highest office the presidency would likely have a trickle-down effect not only to Congress, but to state legislatures and local governments. A woman president has been anticipated by many for quite some time, as evidenced by the scholarly literature written on the topic.16 These works show some progress has been made. The first woman to run for president was Victoria Woodhull in 1872, and roughly one hundred followed in her footsteps since that time, including about fifty who sought the nomination of the Democratic and Republican parties none successful and fifteen who were successfully nominated to their partys ticket.17 Yet even these academic texts have not fully accounted for presence of women in presidential discourse, as some of these volumes were printed before the historic 2008 election. That election is surely

Congressional Research Service. "Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile," by Jennifer E. Manning. CRS Report for Congress (March 2011). http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/R41647.pdf (accessed November 10, 2011). CRS Report R41647. Also refer to CRS Report R40086, Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile; CRS Report RS22555, Membership of the 110th Congress: A Profile; CRS Report RS22007, Membership of the 109th Congress: A Profile; CRS Report RS21379, Membership of the 108th Congress: A Profile; CRS Report RS20760, Membership of the 107th Congress: A Profile. The average member of Congress is older, more likely to be male, more educated, and more likely to be white than the general population of the United States by substantial margins. In addition, all but three presidents of the United States have been white Protestant males over the age of 45, the exceptions being John F. Kennedy (43 years old, Roman Catholic) and Barack Obama (black), even though only 72 percent of the population is white and only 18 percent of the population is male and over the age of 45. See Census Bureau 2010 American FactFinder Table DP-1: Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for comparison.
15

See Cox Han, Lorie, and Caroline Heldman. Rethinking Madam President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House?. New York: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2007., Falk, Ericka. Women for President: Media Bias in Nine Campaigns. 2nd ed. University of Illinois Press, 2010., and Watson, Robert, and Ann Gordon. Anticipating Madam President. New York: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2003.
16

Falk, Ericka. Women for President: Media Bias in Nine Campaigns. 2nd ed. University of Illinois Press, 2010.
17

responsible for raising the possibility of a qualified, competitive woman candidate for president in the public consciousness. Gallup polls show some portion of Americans still retain prejudices toward candidates not fitting the typical mold of white Protestant male.18 For example, regular extensive Gallup polls about the presidency, first begun in 1937, have reflected respondents ambivalence about a woman president; trends show answers to the question If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be a woman, would you vote for that person? fluctuate the only times the Yes responses comprised more than 90 percent of all responses was in 1992, the Year of the Woman, and the two times the question has been asked in 2011.19 However, respondents answers may change when given more options than the Yes/No option of the Gallup polls, such as in a 2001 internet survey of 45,000 adults conducted by The White House Project in which respondents were asked to rate their level of willingness to vote for a woman president: 15 percent said they would not be willing to do so.20 In addition, question wording may influence respondents answers; when asked if the country is ready to elect a woman president, or if most people they know would be willing to elect a woman president, the number drops significantly.21 The reasons for the lack of proportional representation are complex and intertwined, but one practical explanation is that women rarely run for office. They do not see other women running, and the women who do run face such obstacles that other women are intimidated. Women also hold themselves to a standard that men running for office do not they feel they must be more qualified than they are, even when their qualifications match or even exceed that of male candidates.22
See CSPANs interactive profiles of each president at http://www.americanpresidents.org/. Of the 44 presidents of the United States, all were white, members of Protestant church denominations, and male, with the exception of two: John F. Kennedy was Roman Catholic and Barack Obama is black.
18

Gallup, Inc. The Presidency. http://www.gallup.com/poll/4729/Presidency.aspx?version=print (accessed November 10, 2011).


19

Kennedy, Carole. "Is the United States Ready for a Woman President?." In Anticipating Madam President, 131-143. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003.
20

Ibid. Kennedy characterizes this as the third person effect, in which most people dont think they discriminate against female candidates but others do. Such perception could still affect the vote choice of those who self-report lack of bias against female candidates, even taking such reports at face value; voters may not wish to waste a vote on a candidate they perceive others will not vote for. Other poll question wording shows similar ambivalence, including whether or not the respondent is comfortable with the idea of a woman president; whether the respondent would be bothered by a woman president; or whether it would matter if a woman were president.
21

See Lawless, Jennifer L., and Richard L. Fox. "Im Just Not Qualified: Gendered Perceptions of Candidate Viability." In It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office, 75-94. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
22

When women do run, they statistically do as well as men.23 However, due to the obstacles, both real and perceived, that a woman candidate faces when running for office, recruitment of qualified and electable candidates is difficult. There are other reasons for this problem besides the lack of women candidates, however. Gender stereotypes in general proscribe women from those qualities and traits typically associated positively, or with leadership, activity, and strength. The portrayal of women political candidates in the news frames women candidates differently than men, and primes viewers to perceive them in ways that hurt womens campaigns. The portrayal of women in entertainment media, while less explored than that of news media, may similarly affect women candidates. Women in the media Media consumption in the United States is nothing less than pervasive. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report found that in 2010, consumers between the ages of 8 and 18 spend 31.38 hours per week watching television content, 17.62 hours per week listening to music, 10.38 hours per week on the computer, 8.52 hours per week playing video games, 4.43 hours per week reading books, magazines or newspapers, and 2.92 hours per week watching movies in the theater.24 That results in more than 75 hours per week, or 10 hours and 45 minutes

See Seltzer, Richard A., Jody Newman, and Melissa Voorhees Leighton. "Are Women Candidates as Likely to Win Elections as Male Candidates?." In Sex as a Political Variable: Women as Candidates and Voters in U.S. Elections, 75-95. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1997. The study compared more than 61,000 candidates for the House of Representatives, Senate, and governor, as well as candidates for state legislative races. The authors compared women and men against similarly situated candidates; that is, they compared incumbents to incumbents, open seats to open seats, and challengers to challengers. When comparing men and women candidates as a function of the type of race, the authors found that: When women run, women win as often as men do. There was no difference in success rate based on sex. Winning elections, the authors said, has nothing to do with the sex of the candidate and everything to do with incumbency. They hypothesized that the perception that women are less likely to win is due to the fact that most incumbents are men, and incumbents have an enormous advantage over challengers and open seat candidates. Their data showed that the percentage of women holding office is similar to the percentage of women who run: From 1972 to 1994, 8 percent of congressional candidates were women, and in 1995 women comprised 11 percent of the House of Representatives and 8 percent of the Senate. Similarly, from 1986 to 1994, 21 percent of candidates for state legislative seats were women, and women comprised 22 percent of all state legislatures in 1995.
23

Rideout, Victoria, Ulla Foehr, and Donald Roberts. "GENERATION M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds." Kaiser Family Foundation Study, January 2010. Retrieved from http://kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf
24

Per the report, TV means the following: Live TV means regularly scheduled programming watched at the time it is originally broadcast, on a TV set. Time-shifted TV includes On Demand programming, and shows that are recorded and viewed at a later date, such as on a VCR or DVR. Total TV content includes all of the above, plus DVDs viewed on a TV set or a computer, and TV or

per day, consuming media. If consuming media were a job, young people would almost be clocking double-time. In addition, the report found that two out of three own a cell phone, and they spend an additional 5.72 hours per week listening to music, playing games, and watching TV on their phones. More specifically, the Kaiser Family Foundation Report noted that access to and use of television and internet for entertainment has only expanded since the 1990s. Virtually every household in the U.S. has had a television set for more than a decade in fact, the average household has four television sets and 3 DVD and/or VCR players.25 93 percent of all U.S. households own a computer; the average house has two.26 52 percent of all U.S. households own TiVo or some other DVR. 84 percent of households have Internet, which has nearly doubled in the last decade; 59 percent have high speed or wireless internet capable of streaming media content. 84 percent of households also have cable or satellite TV, making entertainment messages widely and easily accessible.27 Such programming has also become more personally accessible, creeping from the living room to the bedroom. 71 percent of respondents have a TV in their bedroom, 57 percent have a DVD or VCR player, 49 percent have cable or satellite in their bedroom, 36 percent have a computer and 33 percent have internet access, and 29 percent have a laptop.28 Despite the popularity of music and video games, a plurality of respondents time is spent watching television, either live or on other platforms, totaling 42 percent of all media consumption.29 The reach of entertainment programming, in other words, is expansive, unparalleled in American history.

movies viewed on a cell phone, MP3 player, or online. The designation music includes time spent listening to music on radios, CDs, cell phones, iPods and other MP3 players, and on a computer, such as through iTunes or Internet radio; time spent on the computer includes time spent using the computer for entertainment purposes, such as playing games, sending or receiving instant messages, doing graphics, going to social networking sites, reading magazines or newspapers online, watching or posting videos on sites like YouTube, or surfing other websites. Unless otherwise noted, it does not include time spent using the computer for school work, or time spent using the computer for watching DVDs, TV or listening to music and reading time does not include time spent reading in school, or for school work. It also does not include time spent reading on computers or mobile devices.
25 26 27 28 29

Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid.

The question of what all this media use does to consumers is a complicated one. Media effects are not universal, uniform, or agreed upon in scope, size or severity, though by and large they definitively exist according to most media scholars. There is little agreement upon a given effects impact on actions or the duration of that effect. Gerbner and Gross, in their development of cultivation theory in the late 1960s, argued that television has replaced religion as the socialization tool of the masses.30 Cultivation theory, developed as part of the cultural indicators project at the University of Pennsylvania, is driven by its most basic hypothesis: those who spend more time watching television are more likely to perceive the real world in ways that reflect the most common and recurrent messages of the world of fictional television; the concept of cultivation thus refers to the independent contribution television viewing makes to audience members conceptions of social reality. This can be used to examine beliefs about gender correlating with television exposure. Indeed, cultivation-related research into entertainment media has produced some facts relevant to this study in that it relates to gender stereotypes, and how those stereotypes are spread. Lauzens study of gender stereotypes and social roles in prime-time television involved an analysis of 124 prime-time television programs, and found that female characters were significantly more likely to enact roles that revolved around family, friends and romance, and male characters were significantly more likely to enact work-related roles.31 Lauzen also conducted a study evaluating gendered differences in portrayals of characters leadership, occupational power, and goal-seeking behavior, which found that female characters were less likely to be cast in leadership roles, were portrayed as having less occupational power, and were less likely to be portrayed as having discernible goals, although they were just as likely as males to be portrayed as achieving those goals if they were present.32 Lauzen also conducted a study of the use of powerful language
Gerbner, George, Larry Gross, Michael Morgan, and Nancy Signorelli. "Growing Up with Television: The Cultivation Perspective." In Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates (LEA), 1994. Note that true cultivation analysis involves a threepronged research strategy investigating: 1) What are the policies of the media makers that direct the systematic flow of the messages (institutional process analysis), 2) What are the messages and trends (message system analysis), and 3) What are the viewers attitudes and assumptions about various aspects of life and society and how do those correlate with levels of television exposure (cultivation analysis).
30

Lauzen, Martha M., David M. Dozier, and Nora Horan. "Constructing Gender Stereotypes Through Social Roles in Prime-Time Television." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 52, no. 2 (2008): 200-214. Female characters, on average, enacted 1.18 interpersonal roles, whereas male characters enacted only .89. Female characters enacted, on average, .60 work roles, and males enacted .74.
31

Lauzen, Martha M., and David M. Dozier. "Evening the Score in Prime Time: The Relationship Between Behind-the-Scenes Women and On-Screen Portrayals in the 2002-2003 Season."Journal of Broadcnsting & Electronic Media 48, no. 3 (2004): 484-500. About 15 percent of all males characters
32

by female characters, such as commands, interruptions, and starting and ending conversations, along with the number of female characters shown on television, finding that female characters were less likely to use such powerful language behaviors due, in large part, to their underrepresentation on the screen.33 Extending analysis about the prevalence of such stereotypes and gendered behavior on television to evaluations of women political candidates brings these two disciplines together to offer a new explanation for the behavior and reasoning of political actors in the real world. Purpose of this study The primary goal of this study was to explore the connection between gender stereotypes, entertainment television, and political behavior, opinions and attitudes. Namely, this study sought to determine whether portrayals of presidential candidates in fictional political dramas affected the evaluation of hypothetical female candidates. This study thus expands the literature on study of entertainment and politics, as called for by Holbert in his study of The West Wing.34 This study drew heavily from other studies, namely Huddy and Terkildsen, Aalberg and Jensen, Stalsburg, and Holbert et. al. Chapter Two includes a full treatment of these studies procedures and significance. The studys basic methodology involved a pre- and post-stimuli questionnaire given to undergraduate students at San Diego State University, during which they were exposed to a single episode of one of two prime-time fictional political dramas: one featuring a male president character, and one featuring a female president character. An episodic storyline was chosen from Aaron Sorkins long-running series The West Wing for the male president character, and from ABCs one-season drama, Commander in Chief, for the female president character. The placebo group was exposed to an episode of a show of comparative length, but not

were portrayed in leadership roles (n=106), as opposed to about 6 percent of all female characters in such roles (n=24). About 70 percent of male characters were cast in occupations where they asserted power over others, compared to 52 percent of female characters exerting such power. In addition, 77 percent of male characters and 72 percent of female characters exhibited goal-seeking behavior. Lauzen, Martha M., David M. Dozier, and Manda V. Hicks. "Prime-Time Players and Powerful Prose: The Role of Women in the 1997-1998 Television Season." Mass Communication & Society 4, no. 1 (2001): 39-59. In the sample, female characters represented only 38.9 percent of all characters (363 out of 934 total). Those characters powerful language behaviors were roughly in proportion to their presence on the screen: female characters had 44.8 percent of all first words in a conversation and 35.9 percent of all last words in a conversation, 41.5 percent of all interruptions, and issued 38.1 percent of all commands.
33

Holbert, R. Lance, Owen Pillion, David Tschida, Greg Armfield, Kelly Kinder, Kristin Cherry and Amy Daulton. "The West Wing as Endorsement of the U.S. Presidency: Expanding the Bounds of Priming in Political Communication." Journal of Communication 42, no. 3 (2003): 427-443.
34

comparative content. Chapter Three expands upon this procedure and the episode selection process in more detail. The research question that initially drove this study would require a serial research effort that would extend beyond this experiment alone. The overarching question was, How does exposure to entertainment programming affect evaluations of and willingness to vote for female political candidates? For this project, however, the question must be more narrowly cast, as well as precisely elaborated to address several lines of inquiry specific to this particular experiment. Thus, the overall questions that drove this study were: RQ1: How does exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a woman president character affect college students' evaluations of hypothetical female and feminine presidential candidates, compared to college students evaluations after exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male president character or a placebo stimulus? RQ2: How do college students evaluate the traits and actions of a prime-time fictional political dramas female president character, compared to college students evaluations of a prime-time fictional political dramas male president character? Based on the literature to be discussed in Chapter Two, the researcher posited the following hypotheses: H1: Exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a female president character will result in college students reporting higher estimated willingness to vote for hypothetical presidential candidates who are female or are described with feminine traits, compared to college students who were exposed to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male president character or a placebo stimulus. H2: Exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male president character will result in college students reporting lower estimated willingness to vote for hypothetical presidential candidates who are female or are described with feminine traits, compared to college students who were exposed to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a female president character or a placebo stimulus. H3: Male college students will report lower willingness to vote for hypothetical presidential candidates who are female or described with feminine traits than female college students reported willingness to vote for such candidates.

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H4: Female college students will report an equal willingness to vote for candidates who are female or are described with feminine traits as male candidates or candidates described using masculine traits.35 H5: College students will assess masculine gender-linked traits as being more important to being a good politician than feminine gender-linked traits. H6: Male college students will rate the importance of having masculine gender-linked traits to being a good politician as higher than female college students. H7: Female college students will rate the importance of feminine genderlinked traits to being a good politician as higher than male college students. H8: The female president character will be assigned higher scores for feminine gender-linked traits than the male president character. H9: The male president character will be assigned higher scores for masculine gender-linked traits than the female president character. H10: The female president character will be assessed as being a good politician, a good leader and a good president with lower scores than the male president character. H11: Female college students will assess the female president character as being more of a good politician, a good leader and a good president than male college students. H12: Male college students will assess the male president character as being more of a good politician, a good leader and a good president than female college students. The results of this study will be useful to female candidates and their staffs, media producers, and political science scholars interested in entertainment media effects. It will contribute to the body of knowledge in political science by expanding the literature connecting mass communication theories and political science.

Aalberg and Jenssens study (2007) indicated that male students were biased in favor of male politicians, but that female students evaluated male and female politicians equally.
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CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW A long accepted adage is that the stories society tells actually shape its members perceptions of the world so much so that they then morph their conceptions of the world to reflect those stories. Visibility in the public consciousness, the collective story of who can be president, or secretary of state, or mayor, corresponds to a very real increase in representation.36 Thus, the roles of media consumer and democratic citizen have become more intertwined as media use, particularly entertainment media exposure, increases. Overview of political psychology research Any exploration of gender and politics or media must first begin with an overview of political psychology research more broadly. Political science is the study of governments, political processes and systems, political behavior and public policies, and includes several related subfields such as political economy, political theory, comparative politics and international relations.37 However, though political psychology was first proposed as a subfield of political science by George Beardoe Grundy in 1917 and insights from the field of psychology have been used by political scientists for quite some time, the systematic application of psychological principles to political science research is a relatively recent phenomenon.38 Insights from social and cognitive psychology can be used to understand certain political phenomena, particularly as a response to the regular failure of the more traditional rational choice model as a predictive analytical tool; the field of psychology can offer empirical demonstrations of predictable psychological processes that explain the reasons rational choice explanations do or do not accurately forecast political behavior and events.39 Political psychology is thus an exploration of the
This could be a function of the availability heuristic or the representativeness heuristic. See Tversky, Amos, and Daniel Kahneman. "Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases." Science 185, no. 4157 (1974): 1124-1131. http://psiexp.ss.uci.edu/research/teaching/Tversky_Kahneman_1974.pdf (accessed May 4, 2012).
36

American Political Science Association. "What is Political Science?." The American Political Science Association (APSA), http://www.apsanet.org/content_9181.cfm?navID=727. (accessed May 4, 2012).
37

Rudmin, Floyd W. "G. B. Grundys 1917 proposal for political psychology: 'A science which has yet to be created'." International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) News 16, no. 2 (2005): 6-7.
38

Schildkraut, Deborah J. "All Politics Is Psychological: A Review of Political Psychology Syllabi." Perspectives on Politics 2, no. 4 (2004): 807-819. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3688550 (accessed May 4, 2012).
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personalities, thought processes, emotions and motivations of political actors as a way to understand and predict that behavior, whether such behavior is that of an individual or a collective group.40 This approach is defined by its acknowledgement that peoples actions are not purely rational, but are often impacted by personality characteristics, values and beliefs, group memberships and personal experiences, as well as acknowledging that humans are imperfect information processors, that faulty perceptions can exist behind conclusions that appear logical on the surface, and that people can and often do enact choices and actions that go against their own interests, values and beliefs. These insights can assist political scientists in explaining and predicting the behavior of voters, interest groups, decision makers and even nation-states. Such insights can explain why a policy that appears to be common sense or grounded in solid morals can be ineffective and suggest alternatives. These insights can improve the communications to and from leaders and their publics by ensuring effective and efficient information processing, and also by taking errors in and limits to such processing into account. Such insights could even assist in understanding the motivations of terrorists and provide possible avenues for countering terrorism. Cognitive psychology and information processing is of particular relevance when evaluating how the gender of a candidate may impact voters choices to vote for that candidate, particularly when evaluating how media portrayals can affect information processing. Gender roles and gender stereotypes have emotional elements that are better explained through psychology than through the businessbased philosophy of rational choice. Drew Westen, author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation, grounds his assertion that The political brain is an emotional brain, in his work as a clinical psychologist and his fMRI studies of partisans brains when processing political information.41 He notes that political persuasion, like virtually every other form of persuasion from marketing to management, is about activating networks and narratives. The specific areas of psychology that are relevant to this project are cognition and information processing, which offer a broad spectrum of research in associative networks, neural networks, or semantic networks that can be used to explain how gender stereotypes can influence voting behavior. The first step is to examine what
Cottam , Martha L., Beth Dietz-Uhler, Elena Mastors , and Thomas Preston . Introduction to Political Psychology, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Psychology Press, 2010.
40

Westen, Drew. The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation. New York, NY: PublicAffairs Books, 2007. See also Westen, Drew, Pavel S. Blagov, Keith Harenski, Clint Kilts, and Stephan Hamann. "Neural Bases of Motivated Reasoning: An fMRI Study of Emotional Constraints on Partisan Political Judgment in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 18, no. 11 (2006): 1947-1958. http://www.psychsystems.net/lab/06_westen_fmri.pdf (accessed May 4, 2012).
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gender stereotypes are and how those stereotypes and traits can have a real-world impact on perception and thus, decision-making. Gender stereotypes, gender-linked traits, and evaluations of competence Gordon Allports classic book The Nature of Prejudice explains that stereotypes grow out of humans natural need for categorization.42 He defined a stereotype as an exaggerated belief within a category [whether favorable or unfavorable]. Its function is to justify (rationalize) our conduct in relation to that category.43 Stereotypes, while colloquially considered negative, are not necessarily manufactured or inapplicable; rather, they take a generalization to an extreme. Generalizations and categorizations in and of themselves actually serve an adaptive function; they are mental shortcuts that allow humans to reason quickly and more efficiently. They are designed to process information with speed, but in the case of stereotypes, often sacrifice accuracy. What constitutes an accurate generalization for a group often fails to apply uniformly and thus may be irrelevant on the individual level, and further, such generalizations may have harmful consequences when a categorical generalization becomes a prejudice. As defined by Allport, a prejudice is, A feeling, favorable or unfavorable, toward a person or thing, prior to, or not based on, actual experience.44 Gender stereotypes and gender roles are interrelated but not synonymous. Gender stereotypes are characteristics or traits thought to be inherent to a specific gender traits which are usually seen to affect a persons competence in specific areas.45 Women are considered to be more warm and expressive and men are considered to be more agentic and assertive.46 Gender stereotypes are linked with

Allport, Gordon. The Nature of Prejudice, 3rd ed. Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1954. Here, Allport states, The human mind must think with the aid of categoriesOnce formed, categories are the basis for normal prejudgment. We cannot possibly avoid this process. Orderly living depends upon it.
42

Ibid, p. 191. Bracket contents were paraphrased from earlier in the text; parenthetical appeared in original. Emphasis added.
43 44 45

Ibid.

Glick, Peter, and Laurie A. Rudman. "Sexism." In The SAGE Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination, edited by John F. Dovidio, Miles Hewstone, Peter Glick and Victoria M. Esses, 328-344. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010. See Broverman, Inge K., Susan R. Vogel, Donald M. Broverman, Frank E. Clarkson, and Paul S. Rosenkrantz. "Sex-Role Stereotypes: A Current Appraisal." Journal of Social Issues 28, no. 2 (1972): 59-78., who dubbed the stereotypical feminine traits as warmth and expressiveness, and Spence, Janet T., Robert Helmreich, and Joy Stapp. "Ratings of self and peers on sex role attributes and their relation to self-esteem and conceptions of masculinity and femininity." Journal of Personality and
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gender roles: the set of social norms, varying from culture to culture, that attribute certain behaviors and attitudes to males and females, and thus ascribe to each gender certain operations and functions while prohibiting others.47 Gender role stereotypes involve a belief about the appropriateness of various behaviors and activities for each gender.48 Examples of such attitudes and roles include females as caring or as mothers, and males as dominant or as warriors, to name two widespread cases. These roles create predetermined expectations of the dynamics of behaviors, attitudes, and the division of labor in relationships, whether those are interpersonal, in the workplace, or in the general public sphere; this is thought to create areas of specialization for each gender, often one in which the male role is advantaged and masculine traits are more valued in the hierarchy. There are also specific beliefs that men are better than women at particular kinds of tasks, such as mechanical tasks, and women are better than men at other particular kinds of tasks, such as nurturing tasks. Both women and men may face consequences for failing to demonstrate enough examples of their genders linked traits or conforming enough to their genders proscribed roles; conversely, women and men may also face consequences for demonstrating too many examples of the other genders linked traits or too close an affinity for the other genders proscribed roles. Standards about what constitutes enough or too much often vary widely over time, place and culture. Beliefs about traits and beliefs about roles can feed into one another. Despite the fact that no trait, behavior, or role is exclusive to either gender males can be nurturing, weak, or anxious; females can be aggressive, dominant, and independent certain traits and behaviors are associated with one gender or the other, and those traits and behaviors also can be evaluated as negative or favorable, along with associations with roles. The largest study of gender-linked traits ever conducted was published by Best and Williams in 1990, and analyzed the results of a survey of more than 1,500 subjects from 30 different countries using a list of 300 adjectives (a regular instrument called the Adjective Check List), asking respondents whether those adjectives described a male or a female, as well as assessing other dimensions such as favorability (good/bad), strength (strong/weak) and activity (active/passive).49
Social Psychology 32, no. 1 (1975): 29-39., who dubbed stereotypical masculine traits as instrumentality. Glick, Peter, and Laurie A. Rudman. "Sexism." In The SAGE Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination, edited by John F. Dovidio, Miles Hewstone, Peter Glick and Victoria M. Esses, 328-344. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010.
47

Ibid. Williams, John E., and Deborah L. Best. Measuring Sex Stereotypes: A Multination Study. Sage Publications, 1990.
48 49

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Best and Williams concluded that based on the data, male and female trait correlation had no influence on whether a particular item was perceived as good or bad, but the gender correlation did influence whether an item was viewed as strong rather than weak, and active rather than passive. Best and Williams also noted that in separating items into male, female, and neutral, there were more items correlating with male than with female or neutral, suggesting to the authors a possible male bias. This provides some credence to the perception that masculine traits are considered more valuable than feminine traits, assuming that value is a function of strength and activity, though neither male nor female traits are automatically associated as good or bad as an inherent to their gender. This study has since been used to develop other instruments of gender traits. Other research explains more subtle aspects to stereotypes and their influence. Eagly and Steffens experiments in 1984 suggest that stereotypes are linked to the distribution of men and women into the roles of homemakers and employed earners.50 Davison and Burkes meta-analysis (2000) of nearly 50 experiments involving raters evaluating male and female candidates for a job found that while raters do not automatically discriminate against women candidates when compared to men candidates per se, nor do raters demonstrate a preference for members of their own sex, raters do allow the gender stereotype of a job to influence their evaluations of candidates in favor of those applying to jobs consistent with their gender.51 In addition, raters were more likely to discriminate against female applicants than male applicants when they were provided less job-related information about the applicants in other words, in situations when a rater lacked any information about an applicants job experience, for example, the rater was more likely to give the benefit of the doubt to a male applicant than a female applicant. Wagner and Bergers study suggests that gendered differences in task behaviors may actually be the result of attempts to cope with the difference in status resulting from the stereotypes in the first place, which may in turn reinforce gender stereotypes.52 Fiske et. als study of stereotypes suggests that whether a particular group is perceived as stereotypically competent or warm has to do with whether that group has perceived status and whether or not that group is perceived as

Eagly, Alice H., and Valerie J. Steffen. "Gender Stereotypes Stem From the Distribution of Women and Men Into Social Roles." Journal or Personality and Social Psychology 46, no. 4 (1984): 735-754.
50

Davison, Heather K., and Michael J. Burke. "Sex Discrimination in Simulated Employment Contexts: A Meta-analytic Investigation." Journal of Vocational Behavior 56, no. 2 (2000): 225248.
51

Wagner, David G., and Joseph Berger. "Gender and Interpersonal Task Behaviors: Status Expectation Accounts." Sociological Perspectives 40, no. 1 (1997): 1-32.
52

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threatening or competing with other social groups for example, career women are perceived as competitive but not warm, resulting in a negative stereotype.53 Philip Goldberg, in his 1968 seminal study, showed that even women are apt to stereotype against their own gender.54 His experiment involved subjects analyzing the scholarly work of other students, but half of the subjects were unaware that the work they were being shown was identical in every way as that shown to the other half, with one exception: some work was authored by John T. McKay and some work was authored by Joan T. McKay. Subjects were asked to rate the articles for value, persuasiveness, writing style, professional competence, and other measures; no mention was made in the questions of the gender of the author of the work, aside from the name itself. Goldberg found bias in evaluations of all six academic fields studied, particularly in male-stereotyped fields such as law. His study design, in which the only variable manipulated is the gender of the person being evaluated, has been widely replicated and is now called the Goldberg paradigm, used to evaluate biases in perceptions of the same behavior in women and men. Gender, leadership and politics Traits associated with leadership are arguably non-gender specific, and yet most people associate leadership with masculinity, particularly leadership positions in government. The presidency is perceived as particularly masculine. Eagly and Karaus explication of how gender roles affect perceptions of female leaders described the prejudices as having two parts: the first is a tendency to perceive women less favorably than men as potential leaders, and the second is the tendency to evaluate the behavior of women fulfilling leadership roles less favorably.55 This results in negative attitudes toward women leaders and potential leaders, and creates more difficulty for women to become leaders and be successful in leadership roles. In Eagly and Carlis extensive meta-analysis (2003) of whether gender stereotypes may actually help women leaders in some ways, the researchers discovered that women leaders are comparatively more democratic and men leaders more autocratic; women leaders are more transformational, focused on the future and acting as a role model rather than transactional, waiting for employees to make mistakes and correcting them as they go; and that women leaders face
Fiske, Susan T., Amy Cuddy, Peter Glick, and Jun Xu. "A Model of (Often Mixed) Stereotype Content: Competence and Warmth Respectively Follow From Perceived Status and Competition." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82, no. 6 (2002): 878902.
53

Goldberg, Philip. "Are Women Prejudiced Against Women?." Transaction 5, no. 5 (1968): 28-30. Eagly, Alice H., and Steven J. Karau. "Role Congruity Theory of Prejudice Toward Female Leaders." Psychological Review 109, no. 3 (2002): 573598.
54 55

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substantial discrimination.56 These findings become even more pertinent when the leadership position being sought is the presidency. Women who seek political office must overcome several challenges related to stereotypes. Voters often use gender as a cue when lacking other information about a candidate; gender stereotypes correlate with ideology, traits and characteristics, and issue competency.57 These stereotypes are not always negative. For example, Fridkin and Kenney found that women senators were viewed as more caring and competent than male senators.58 One of the most cited experiments in this arena is that of Huddy and Terkildsen in 1993. The single experiment produced two scholarly articles. In the first, participants were asked to evaluate to what extent a good politician, defined as someone good at their job who should be elected, exhibited certain traits that are gender-linked, as well as make estimates of politicians need for competence in certain policy areas, and evaluating a hypothetical candidate, which was one of 16 possible variations: male vs. female, masculine traits vs. feminine traits, executive office vs. legislative office, and national level of government vs. local level of government.59 Results indicate that masculine traits are more preferred for higher levels of office, and that women candidates did not fare as well as male, not because they were women, but because they were not men, according to the authors. Huddy and Terkildsens second article explored how gender stereotypes affect perceptions of policy competence areas feminine traits were seen to increase competence on compassion issues, and masculine traits were seen to increase competence on issues such as the economy and the military, and these traits were strongly correlated with the candidates gender.60 Gender bias can explain certain attitudes that result in negative evaluations of female politicians. Aalberg and Jenssen (2007) conducted an experiment exemplifying the Goldberg paradigm, in which high-school-aged students in Norway who had not yet voted in an election analyzed a video (one of two: one male, one
Eagly, Alice H., and Linda L. Carli. "The female leadership advantage: An evaluation of the evidence." The Leadership Quarterly 14, no. 6 (2003): 807834.
56

Dolan, Kathleen. "Women as Candidates in American Politics: The Continuing Impact of Sex and Gender." In Political Women and American Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
57

Fridkin, Kim, and Patrick Kenney. "The Role of Gender Stereotypes in U.S. Senate Campaigns." Politics & Gender 5, no. 3 (2009): 301324.
58

Huddy, Leonie, and Nayda Terkildsen. "The Consequences of Gender Stereotypes for Women Candidates at Different Levels and Types of Office." Political Research Quarterly 46, no. 3 (1993): 503525.
59

Huddy, Leonie, and Nayda Terkildsen. "Gender Stereotypes and the Perception of Male and Female Candidates." American Journal of Political Science 37, no. 1 (1993): 119-147.
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female) that was identical from the appearance of the politician to the content of the speech to the camera angles to the applause of the supposed gallery; participants were told they were viewing a purported back bench-er for their preferred political party, which was based on a real speech and broadcast by an actual politician. Results confirmed that female politicians are evaluated more strictly than male politicians, from whether the speech was boring to whether the speech conveyed knowledge.61 Stalsburg (2010) explored the political consequences of being a parent in her experiment of hypothetical candidates with children, finding that subjects evaluated women without children more negatively than all other instances, and also rated women with young children lower than men with young children, and that even male candidates received a penalty of being rated lower than men with no children.62 Since women are more typically associated with childcare and nurturing tasks, this experiment has implications for women candidates. Overview of media effects research Though the rise of the internet and widespread internet access has brought politicians and political candidates into more direct contact with their publics, the reality is that a significant portion of information about politics is gathered via an intermediary: the news media. The priorities and agenda of those intermediary mass media organizations do not precisely mirror the political actors they cover nor, arguably, by the public at large. As a result, a significant amount of the information voters are presented with for processing before decision-making comes through the filter of media. Cultivation theory and effects Such information is not confined to the news media, however. As noted in Chapter One, Gerbner and Gross theoretical framework of cultivation argues that television has replaced religion as the socialization tool of the masses, and studies from the cultivation perspective examine the impact of a wide variety of programs and genres, including entertainment programming.63 As previously mentioned,
Aalberg , Toril , and Anders Todal Jenssen. "Gender Stereotyping of Political Candidates: An Experimental Study of Political Communication." Nordicom Review 28, no. 1 (2007): 17-32.
61

Stalsburg, Brittany L. "Voting For Mom: The Political Consequences of Being a Parent for Male and Female Candidates." Politics & Gender6, no. 3 (2010): 373404.
62

Morgan, Michael, James Shanahan, and Nancy Signorelli. "Growing Up with Television: Cultivation Processes." In Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, 3rd ed., edited by Jennings Bryant and Mary Beth Oliver, 34-73. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009.
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cultivation theory can be most simply explained thus: those who spend more time watching television are more likely to perceive the real world in ways that reflect the most common and recurrent messages of the world of fictional television. This is most easily identified when there is a divergence between the symbolic reality depicted on television and empirical measures of observable reality, and when the predictive variable of that divergence is the level of television exposure.64 Cultivation, the theory goes, is like gravity: The angle and direction of the pull depends on where groups of viewers and their styles of life are with reference to the mainstream world of television. Each group may strain in a different direction, but all groups are affected by the same current.65 Some cultivation effects that have been observed include exaggerated perceptions by heavy viewers of the number of people who are victims of violence in a given week; the mean world syndrome, which noted that long term exposure to television correlates with reports that most people cannot be trusted or are just looking out for themselves; unrealistic views about work, such as desires for high status jobs that earn a lot of money but are relatively easy; unrealistic views about single-parenthood; incorrect perceptions that juvenile crime rates are increasing; inaccurate perceptions that mentally ill individuals are violent and tend toward criminal behavior; and more.66 Priming effects Priming was posited as a theoretical explanation for the structure and format of information within memory, and is based on the concept of network models, which posits that information is stored in memory in nodes that represent different concepts, and those concepts are all connected to related nodes.67 It further posits that there is a threshold that must be reached for a node to be activated, and that when a node is activated, the thresholds for related nodes and thus, related concepts are lowered, increasing their ease of access within memory and thus, their chances of being activated.68 Priming effects thus temporarily increase the

64 65 66 67

Ibid. Ibid. Ibid.

Roskos-Ewoldsen, David R., Beverly Roskos-Ewoldsen, and Francesca Dillman Carpentier. "Media Priming: An Updated Synthesis." In Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, 3rd ed., 74-93. New York, NW: Routledge, 2009. Ibid. Roskos-Ewoldsen et. al note that the extent of a priming effect is a function of its intensity (which could refer to either frequency or duration, or both) and recency, and that according to the theory, higher intensity primes will produce larger effects, and those effects will dissapate at a slower
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accessibility of a concept within memory, though this is different from chronic accessibility (concepts that are always highly accessible) in other words, the effect wears off over time. The exact nature of the extent of the effect is still being explored by media studies researchers. Some effects last only for minutes; others last months. Research that supports priming effects has been conducted on a wide variety of topics, from coverage of the Gulf War, impressions of former President Ronald Regan after reading a historical sketch of his policies, violent television programs on childrens behavior in sports play, violent car-racing video games and aggressive behavior of college undergraduates, impressions of interactions between a man and a woman after watching a rock music video, how media primes of rape myths and representations of African Americans in the news influences the judged guilt or innocence of plaintiffs in criminal trials and recommended jail time, and more.69 Framing effects Framing, which is distinct from priming, was posited as a theoretical explanation for why certain interpretations, evaluations and judgments are favored over others based on the nature of the information being processed.70 Media makers, the theory goes, make certain choices (sometimes conscious, sometimes not) about the images, words, and other elements that are used in their product, from what is shown or mentioned to the emphasis it receives to the nature of that portrayal (positive/negative, credible/suspect, etc.). These choices result in a frame, analogous to that used by artists displaying a painting, which can affect how viewers interpret and react to the information by suggesting a preferred interpretation. Frames are patterns in the selection and presentation of information that guide the person who is processing the information by suggesting what aspects to focus on and how to apply that information in the future; this is not a one-way effect, however, as framing depends a great deal on the existing values and network connections in the audience, which may vary widely between individuals and groups. Research that supports framing effects has been conducted on a wide variety of topics, such as the different assessments resulting from participants reading an article on abortion referring to a fetus versus a baby; the changes in readers understandings of a local policy issue when a news story was identical in content except for changes to headlines and lead sentence which emphasized either
rate than lower intensity primes; similarly, recent primes will produce a larger effect than primes further back in time. 69 Ibid. Tewksbury, David, and Dietram A. Scheufele. "News Framing Theory and Research." In Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, 3rd ed., edited by Jennings Bryant and Mary Beth Oliver, 17-33. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009.
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economic concerns or environmental concerns; the tolerance exhibited by participants exposed to a news story about a Ku Klux Klan rally that linked the event to free speech or public order concerns; the professed support of feminist values by male news readers exposed to news stories about womens rights issues that framed the concerns in terms of economic equality or political equality, and so on.71 Cognition and information processing The processes behind these effects, and the manner in which they play out, are also the subject of media effects research.72 Social cognition research focuses on how people acquire, store, and use social information, with an emphasis on the operation that occurs cognitively between the stimulus (information) and response (judgment); the two relevant principles guiding such research are the heuristic/sufficiency principle and the accessibility principle.73 The heuristic/sufficiency principle states that when people search for information to construct a judgment, they do not search their memories for all relevant information but merely retrieve a subset of the information available to them only that which is sufficient to construct that judgment.74 The accessibility principle states that the information that comes most readily to mind will be the information that comprises the subset of information a person retrieves and is thus most likely to be used in constructing the judgment.75 These two principles, working in concert, explain the psychological process behind media effects theories. Accessibility in particular is the mechanism by which process such as cultivation, framing and priming work. Experiments have provided evidence to support such heuristics in such instances as when judging other people, when evaluating beliefs and attitudes, when judging the size of a category and, relatedly, probability estimates, in all of which the subjects judgments were incorrectly skewed in the direction suggested by the most accessible information.76

71 72

Ibid.

Shrum, L J. "Media Consumption and Perceptions of Social Reality: Effects and Underlying Processes." In Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, 3rd ed., edited by Jennings Bryant and Mary Beth Oliver, 50-73. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009.
73 74

Ibid.

Ibid. Shrum notes that what determines sufficient is related to motivation and the ability to process information on the part of the individual. Ibid. Shrum notes that what determines comes readily to mind is related to frequency, recency, vividness, and the relation of that construct with other accessible constructs.
75 76

Ibid.

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Specifically, for example, one study showed that roughly 80 percent of participants estimated that death due to an accident was more likely than death due to stroke, even though strokes cause about 85 percent more deaths than accidents, but accidents are easier to recall due to their frequent reporting in the media; in another study, heavy exposure to films depicting crime resulted in subjects indicated being a victim of a crime was more likely and reported more fear than subjects with light exposure.77 A third example is a study that found participants who were exposed to explicit sex scenes in films gave higher estimates of the prevalence of unusual sex practices in the general population and recommended shorter jail sentences for a convicted rapist than participants who viewed nonexplicit films.78 Priming and framing in political communication Gender stereotypes can be primed and framed for particular interpretations by consumers in media, which can be damaging to female candidates for office. This has been the subject of extensive study of stereotypes and politics. Hall-Jaimesons The Press Effect documents how news stories shaped perceptions of politics through the lens of journalists and the framing of the resulting stories, depending on the role that the journalists feel compelled to assume at a given point in time.79 Priming effects have been observed in television news with relation to how a presidents performance in judged both in experimental settings and in evaluations of real world presidents; television news has observed effects of framing of politics as a conflict between individuals rather than institutions or principles.80 Fridkin Kahn and Goldenbergs content analysis of press coverage of female candidates for the Unites States Senate from 1982 to 1986 found that female candidates received less press coverage than their male counterparts, and the coverage that they did receive focused on how competitive they seemed rather than on their positions on issues, as their male counterparts coverage was; further, coverage of their competitiveness is more negative than coverage of their male counterparts.81 Fridkin Kahn also noted the same trend in her study of a content
77 78 79

Ibid. Ibid.

Hall-Jaimeson, Kathleen. The Press Effect: Politicians, Journalists, and the Stories that Shape the Political World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. McLeod, Douglas M., Gerald M. Kosicki, and Jack M. McLeod. "Political Communication Effects." In Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, 3rd ed., edited by Jennings Bryant and Mary Beth Oliver, 228-251. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009. 81 Fridkin Kahn, Kim, and Edie N. Goldenberg. "Women Candidates in the News: And examination of gender differences in U.S. Senate Campaign Coverage." Public Opinion Quarterly 55, no. 2 (1991): 180-199.
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analysis of press coverage of women candidates for political office at the state level in 1982-1988: the press covered women candidates less, covered womens issue positions less, and covered women more negatively than men candidates, emphasizing womens unlikely chances of victory.82 This trend has even been noted in other countries, suggesting such stereotypes are not confined to American culture.83 Schlehofer et. als recent experiment confirms the importance of media coverage: after participants completed measures of their baseline gender attitudes, they read a positive or negative article about a female senator and rated her based on warmth and competence; the subjects exposure to the positive or negative article predicted their resulting evaluation, even in light of whether or not they displayed sexist attitudes at the outset.84 Entertainment programming and politics While the exploration of the medias impact on politics is not a new research priority, the vast majority of this research has been confined to news and public affairs media. This seems reasonable on the surface, given the intersection of the subject matter of news programming and political actors. However, media consumption that influences viewers opinions of politics, political agents and the political process is not confined to news programming. 85 Studies of the effects of entertainment programming in particular, as opposed to news or educational programming, are relatively few; some have called for this field to be expanded.86 The term entertainment programming encompasses a relatively broad spectrum of possible genres, from reality TV to late-night comedy shows to serial television dramas. A typology for the study of these different subgenres was created by Holbert in an effort to distinguish between the potentially different effects and

Fridkin Kahn, Kim. "The distorted mirror: Press coverage of women candidates for statewide office." The Journal of Politics 56, no. 1 (1994): 154-173.
82

Kittilson, Miki Caul, and Kim Fridkin. "Gender, Candidate Portrayals and Election Campaigns: A Comparative Perspective." Politics & Gender 4, no. 3 (2008): 371392.
83

Schlehofer, Michle M., Bettina J. Casad, Michelle C. Bligh, and Angela R. Grotto. "Navigating Public Prejudices: The Impact of Media and Attitudes on High-Profile Female Political Leaders." Sex Roles 65, no. 1-2 (2011): 6982.. doi:10.1007/s11199-011-9965-9. http://www.springerlink.com/content/h37m225348446083/ (Accessed October 10, 2011) 85 Jackson, David J. Entertainment and Politics: The Influence of Pop Culture on Young Adult Political Socialization. 2nd ed. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2009.
84

Holbert, R. Lance, Owen Pillion,, David Tschida, Greg Armfield, Kelly Kinder, Kristin Cherry and Amy Daulton. "The West Wing as Endorsement of the U.S. Presidency: Expanding the Bounds of Priming in Political Communication." Journal of Communication 42, no. 3 (2003): 427-443.
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audiences.87 Some research has been done in this area, particularly that of Jones and his studies of late-night satiric comedy shows such as The Daily Show with Jon Sterwart.88 However, in comparison to the literature available in other disciplines, entertainment programming and politics research is relatively underdeveloped. Hooges meta-analysis (2002) of television research finds evidence for several common effects: increased television use, particularly entertainment programming, is associated with decreased trust in democratic processes and increased feelings of powerlessness, and a decrease in political efficacy.89 While others have found similar support for this phenomenon, it is not universal across audiences or even countries, but seems to have more pronounced effects on certain subcultures.90 It is difficult, however, to distinguish the cause and effect phenomenon in these studies do people who watch more TV end up feeling powerless and failing to participate in democracy, or do those who feel powerless and fail to participate in democracy watch more TV? Due to the nature of televisions usage, it is difficult to answer this question with confidence. The ultimate question for political scientists is whether or not entertainment television actually can be used to influence issue or candidate support. There is some evidence to suggest that it may. Slater and colleagues experiment (2006) found that exposure to persuasive television dramas changed the subjects support found for the death penalty, though it did not have the same effect on gay rights.91 Two studies are particularly relevant to this project. The first is Adams textual analysis of the series Commander in Chief, in which Adams noted that several sub-themes of the plots of the series were not positive: president Mackenzie Allen was portrayed as the compensating wife and mother, and the series also frequently brought up her familys disappointment in the changes her presidency wrought on

Holbert, R. Lance. "A Typology for the Study of Entertainment Television and Politics." The American Behavioral Scientist 49, no. 3 (2005): 436-453.
87

Jones, Jeffrey P. Entertaining Politics: Satiric Television and Political Engagement . 2nd ed. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010.
88

Hooghe, Marc. "Watching Television and Civic Engagement : Disentangling the Effects of Time, Programs, and Stations." The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 7, no. 2 (2002): 84-104.
89

Besley, John C. "The Role of Entertainment Television and Its Interactions with Individual Values in Explaining Political Participation." The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 11, no. 2 (2006): 41-63.
90

Slater, Michael D., Donna Roune, and Marilee Long. "Television Dramas and Support for Controversial Public Policies: Effects and Mechanisms." Journal of Communication 56, no. 2 (2006): 235252.
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their lives, including emasculation, in particular, on the part of the husband.92 However, textual analysis alone does not fully explain the possible effects of an entertainment program. Thus, the second relevant study is Holberts experiment of evaluations of presidents pre- and post-viewing of an episode of The West Wing. Holbert found that viewing a single episode of the show resulted in more positive evaluations of the office of the presidency in general, as well as past presidents, regardless of those presidents political party or the political ideology of the respondent.93 This suggests a priming effect on the audience. As a result of the exploration of this literature, a gap in the research in the area of comparative entertainment programming related to politics and gender was found. The following experiment was designed in order to fill this gap.

Adams, Michele. "Is family a moral capital resource for female politicians? The case of ABC's Commander in Chief." Media Culture Society 33, no. 2 (2011): 223 241.
92

Holbert, R. Lance, Owen Pillion,, David Tschida, Greg Armfield, Kelly Kinder, Kristin Cherry and Amy Daulton. "The West Wing as Endorsement of the U.S. Presidency: Expanding the Bounds of Priming in Political Communication." Journal of Communication 42, no. 3 (2003): 427-443.
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CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY This study examined whether college students' evaluations of various political candidates changed after exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male or female president character. The author utilized a pretest/posttest control group design94 with two experimental treatments and a single control group exposed to a placebo. Within each group, the posttest questionnaire manipulated four additional sub-treatments (see Table 1). The method of data collection involved a questionnaire administered before and after exposure to the stimulus. Three overarching experiment groups were created, based on which stimulus the group was exposed to: an episode of either The West Wing, which features a male president character; Commander in Chief, which features a female president character; and a placebo group, which was exposed to a nonpolitical and non-ideological educational program of comparative length. Anonymous questionnaires were used to collect information pre-exposure about the participants' demographics, political identity and history, media use, and asked participants to assess the importance of certain gender-linked traits to being a "good politician."95 Post-exposure questionnaires asked participants to assess to what extent the same gender-linked traits evaluated pre-exposure were demonstrated by the president character they watched. In addition, participants evaluated the president character as a good politician, a good leader, and a good president. Finally, participants were provided a paragraph describing one of four hypothetical candidate scenarios for the candidates experiment (sub-treatments). Subjects were asked to what extent they would be willing to vote for the hypothetical candidate described.96 The preceding divisions resulted in the 12-cell research design featured in Table 1. Since the standard sample size required for statistical significance is 30, an initial goal of n=30 for each subgroup was set, for an overall experiment goal of n=360. Ultimately, 402 participants took part in the experiment. Questionnaire responses were entered into a spreadsheet and the resulting data analyzed using SPSS to test the hypotheses posited in Chapter One.
For discussion of the validity of this design, see Campbell, Donald T., and Julian C. Stanley. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research, 1st ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Publishing, 1963.
94

The gender-linked trait assessment was modeled after Huddy and Terkildsen. In their study, as in this one, participants were instructed that For the purposes of this study, a good politician is defined as someone who would be good at their job and should be elected.
95 96

See appendix for sample survey and variations.

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Table 1. Experiment group breakdown. Hypothetical Candidate Paragraph Text


Feminine Female Sub-treatment (A) Feminine Male Sub-treatment
Alexandra Smithcompassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented...strong people skills... Alexander Smithcompassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented...strong people skills... Alexandra Smithtough, articulate and ambitious ...strong administrative skills... Alexander Smithtough, articulate and ambitious ...strong administrative skills...

West Wing Group


n=36 n=33 n=37 n=33 n=139

Commander in Chief Group


n=31 n=35 n=36 n=31 n=133

Placebo Group
n=32 n=34 n=30 n=34 n=130

(B)

Masculine Female Sub-treatment (C) Masculine Male Sub-treatment (D)

Totals:

Experiment n=402

See Appendix B for full candidate condition paragraph wording. Following hypothetical candidate paragraph, participants were asked, Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for him? (alt.: her) Participants responded on a scale ranging from very unlikely (1) to very likely (5). Full-length paragraph example: Alexandra Smith, a former governor of Arizona, has been described by colleagues as an intelligent, compassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented candidate with proven leadership skills and strong people skills. Ms. Smith, 42, is a life-long resident of the state, a long time political activist, and is currently seeking the nomination to be president. Emphasis added.

Participant recruitment Participants were recruited from five different classes at San Diego State University during the spring 2012. Two of the classes were from the Department of Political Science and three of the classes were from the School of Journalism and Media Studies.97 Students were offered extra credit as a reward for their participation.98 Six different experiment administrations were held over the course of two weeks. Participants signed up for pre-determined experiment administration times based on personal convenience, and were randomly assigned to the three

Dr. Carole Kennedy, Dr. David Dozier, Dr. J.T. Smith, Dr. Kenneth Wulfemeyer and Dr. Valerie Barker agreed to offer extra credit to students in their spring 2012 classes for their participation in this experiment. The combined total enrollment of these classes was 835, resulting in an overall participation rate of 48 percent.
97

Each professor elected to offer different amounts of extra credit as determined by the structure of his or her individual course. Credit ranged from raising a students overall final letter grade by one third (giving a student with a final grade of B a B+, or a student with a final grade of B+ an A-) to giving students 10 points out of an overall 1,500 points to raising a students score on a single exam by one letter grade. This amount was determined by the author to not be so substantial as to constitute a disproportional reward based on the time commitment required.
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major experimental treatment groups and four sub-treatment groups discussed above.99 Description of stimulus and episode selection The West Wing is a prime-time fictional political drama broadcast on NBC for seven years, beginning in the fall of 1999 and ending in the spring of 2006. The series, named for the wing of the White House in which the Oval Office is located, follows the inner workings of the fictional presidency of Josiah Bartlett, a Nobelprize-winning economist and member of the Democratic Party. The series plots focus on the day-to-day machinations of the president and his staff, tackling a wide range of topics as well as policy issues, political maneuvering, executive and legislative procedures, legal issues, and press interactions, though it also has substantive exploration of the interpersonal relationships of staffers and the presidents family. Commander in Chief is a prime-time fictional political drama broadcast on ABC for a single season, from the fall of 2005 through the spring of 2006. The series takes its name from the role of the president as commander of the United States military, and follows the challenges faced by the fictional president Mackenzie Allen, or Mac, the first female president of the United States, who assumes office from the role of vice-president after President Theodore Bridges dies of a brain aneurysm. The series plots focus on President Allens navigation of a political landscape somewhat hostile to her presidency for a variety of reasons, some of which are related to her gender and some of which are related to her decision to assume the presidency despite the requests of President Bridges, prior to his death, that she resign so the Speaker of the House, Nathan Templeton, could assume the presidency in his stead. Many of the plots involve attempts by Templeton to undermine her decisions and her regular thwarting of his plans, though significant time is devoted to the stress and conflict Allens role brings to her children and her marriage and her resulting ability to soothe and smooth those relationships. These two fictional political dramas remain the only prime-time shows that revolve specifically around the presidency, and as such, can provide substantial insight into popular perceptions of this democratic institution. However, the nature of entertainment media introduces concerns not typical to the study of democracy and political science.
Random assignment was achieved using Microsoft Excels random number generating function to sort participants who signed up for a specific experiment administration time into a random order. The list was then divided into an equal number of participants in each stimulus group and survey group, so every student in each experiment administration had an equal chance of being placed into each group.
99

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By its very nature, this study involved a host of variables. The two shows are not the same. Even if the scripts, scenes, shots and supporting characters were identical which they are not there are many possible factors that could influence audience attitudes, from the virtually inevitable divergent appearances of the male and female president characters, to their tones, to the abilities of the actors portraying them. An attempt was made to reduce variables through careful episode selection, but the fact remains that entertainment programming, particularly that which is actually broadcast by networks, is not suitable for perfectly controlled empirical study. The author concluded, however, that the benefits of working with professionally produced content that was actually constructed for commercial consumption and thus was a sample of work that actually represented that content which could legitimately influence public consciousness outweigh the problems that accompany the additional variables such content brings. The episodic storylines selected include the episode First Strike from Commander in Chief 100 and the episode Bartlets Third State of the Union from the second season of The West Wing.101 These episodes were chosen by the author. Considerations influencing episode selection included the primary goal of similarity of subject matter. In both shows, the selected episodes involve the capture of agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency while those agents were on a mission to a country in South America in The West Wing episodes, the country in question is Colombia, and in Commander in Chief, the country is the fictitious San Pasquale and a military response is needed. The author simultaneously sought the portrayal of both masculine and feminine traits by the president characters in the episode, such as acting assertively or displaying emotion or concern for family members, in order to enable questionnaire subjects to infer masculine and feminine traits for both characters. The author sought to avoid non-representative episodes of either series, avoiding pilots and finales, which tend to feature an unusual amount of time establishing characters roles, or atypical plots or levels of drama, in order to induce viewers to watch more. The author avoided similarly anomalous plots when they appeared in regular episodes.102 The author sought episodes that portrayed the
Commander in Chief. Episode no. 3, First Strike, first broadcast 4 October 2005 by ABC. Directed by Rod Lurie and written by Rod Lurie and Dee Johnson. Buena Vista Home Video Collection, DVD, 2006.
100

The West Wing. Episode no. 35, Bartlets Third State of the Union, first broadcast 7 February 2001 by NBC. Directed by Christopher Misiano and written by Aaron Sorkin, Allison Abner and Dee Dee Myers. Warner Home Video Box set, DVD, 2006. 102 For example, in the pilot episode of Commander in Chief, the character who will ultimately become the first female president of the United States spends virtually the entire episode trying to decide whether or not to resign or ascend to the presidency. She does not make her decision until the very end of the episode and is sworn in during the last few minutes; for most of the episode, she is not
101

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president characters similarly, as neither superlatively good nor immoral, neither unreasonably wise nor ignorant, neither extremely effective nor extremely ineffective. The nature of this resulted in many episodes being removed from consideration.103 In an effort to avoid invoking gender stereotypes, the author elected to avoid a placebo stimulus that involved people or gendered animal characters. In an effort to avoid priming subjects toward a particular political ideology, the author elected to avoid a placebo stimulus that invokes animals or nature in such a way as to suggest pro- or anti-environmentalism. The author ultimately selected an episode of Blue Planet titled Tidal Seas as a previously-aired television episode that does not suggest an ideology, but is merely educational.104 Experiment design and procedure Once the episodes had been selected, permission from the professors obtained, the classrooms reserved and the questionnaire developed and copied, announcements were made in each class and on each class online classroom announcement board calling for students to sign up to participate. A website was created for this purpose, and students filled out a brief online form which included a notification of consent. Students had several days to sign up. Each experiment administrations sign up form was closed approximately 24 hours before the individual experiment administration. The sign up form was used to create the list that was then used to randomly assign participants to experiment groups. Emails were sent to students who signed up with detailed instructions about the experiment location and time.

actually the president of the United States. Similarly, in the pilot of The West Wing, the president does not appear on screen until minute 36 of a 42-minute episode, a short appearance which is not representative of his prominence throughout the series, and one of the multi-episode plots established during the first season is the presidents secret diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, an emotional diversion from the more typical plots involving policy, legislation, executive appointments, the presidents role as commander in chief, and interactions with the press. The finale of the first season and pilot of the second season of The West Wing revolve around an assassination attempt, evoking an emotional pull in viewers similar to that of the public during a national crisis in other words, unexamined patriotism divergent from the series usual political banter and maneuvering. A prime example of an episode eliminated on these grounds is an episode from The West Wing in which the president has an extended conversation with his staff after having taken two medications that when combined result in him acting extremely forgetful and foolish, in a manner that is not representative of his typical behavior in the series, and is, bluntly, unpresidential.
103

The gender of the narrator of the placebo stimulus is a matter of minor concern. Few, if any, films are narrated by a female voice, however, and for practical purposes, finding such an episode and creating a second placebo group for this purpose was eliminated as a possibility.
104

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Participants were sent to an administrative checkpoint prior to the experiment administration and assigned a six-digit participant ID number to ensure anonymity of their questionnaire responses. The paper-based questionnaire corresponding to the group the participants had been randomly assigned to was distributed individually at check-in, after which the participants were directed to the appropriate room where the major experimental treatment took place. Once all participants were assembled in their respective experiment rooms, they were directed to begin the pretest portion of the questionnaire. The author emphasized to the participants that the questionnaire used their assigned six-digit ID number as an identifier, not their name or student ID number, and as a result the students responses were completely anonymous to encourage honest answers. Participants were given between five to ten minutes to complete the preexposure questionnaire, and once it was verbally confirmed by the author that all participants had completed it, the episode for that experiment group was played. The episodes of The West Wing and Commander in Chief were each 42 minutes, and the placebo group stimulus, Blue Planet: Tidal Seas, was 48 minutes. When each episode had concluded, the participants were instructed to complete the second half of the questionnaire and return the questionnaire packet, along with their check-in ticket to be returned to their chosen professor to confirm their participation for extra credit. The total time each participant spent taking part in an experiment administration was less than two hours. Questionnaire design The questionnaire was developed by the author, in part using questions and instruments developed by Huddy and Terkildsen (1993) as a model.105 Edge-coding was implemented as part of the questionnaire design to speed data entry. Twelve total questionnaire variations were created, one for each of the cells of the research design, but the core of the questionnaires were all the same. For an example of a questionnaire, see Appendix A, and for variations, see Appendix B. Pretest questionnaire The pre-exposure questionnaire initially collected the participants six-digit ID number assigned at check-in, which was used instead of names or student ID numbers to provide a unique identifier while maintaining participant anonymity, followed by demographic information. Participants were asked their gender and date of birth, the latter of which was used to determine each participants age.
Huddy, Leonie, and Nayda Terkildsen. "Gender Stereotypes and the Perception of Male and Female Candidates." American Journal of Political Science 37, no. 1 (1993): 119-147.
105

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Participants were asked their class level, and options available conformed to San Diego State Universitys standard designation based on units completed. Participants were asked for their state of permanent residence, as well as their race/ethnicity, the latter of which offered seven standard options and allowed participants to select more than one. Participants were asked to estimate their households yearly income as accurately as possible, and given instructions to include the income of their spouse, if applicable, or the income of their parents if it was used when calculating eligibility for financial aid, guidelines for which were included in the instructions for the question.106 Participants were also asked the size of their household and given instructions to include a spouse and minor children, if applicable, or parents and siblings if parental income was used in calculating financial aid eligibility. This information was collected so the author had the option of calculating whether variables such as gender, age, race, or class had an effect on questionnaire responses. Political information collected included whether the participant was registered to vote in his or her home state, whether the participant had ever voted in a national election before, whether the participant had voted in the 2008 presidential election or the 2010 midterm election, and asked the participant to assess how likely he or she was to vote in the upcoming 2012 presidential election on a scale of 1 to 5, ranging from Not likely to Very likely. These elements can be used to gauge political participation. Participants were also asked their registered political party and given a choice from the two major parties, selecting a third party that they could choose to write in, or no party/non-partisan. Participants were also asked to identify their political ideology as conservative, leaning conservative, moderate, leaning progressive, or progressive. These two elements can be used to gauge the influence of party and ideology on questionnaire responses. Participants were then asked to estimate their consumption of entertainment programming.107 They were asked to estimate how many hours they had consumed on the day of the experiment administration, how many hours they would have watched by the end of the week, and how many hours they estimate they watch in
Financial aid calculations require students to report the income of the parent unless the student is either: a) married, b) is a parent providing support for a minor child, c) was a ward of the state until he or she turned 18, or d) has turned 24 years old. The logic behind using this is similar to the logic that drives the use of such standards when reporting financial aid in the first place: unless one of such conditions have been met, its likely the student is still being supported, to one extent or another, by his or her parents and thus the standard of living that should be used in analysis should reflect what the student is experiencing, which often is not captured from the students own, usually part-time and minimum-wage, income alone. 107 Participants were given instructions that, For the purposes of this studyentertainment programming is defined as that which is not news programming, educational programming, or commercial advertising.
106

33

an average day and average week. They were then asked to estimate their weekly consumption by medium: originally aired television, movies not seen in the theater, time-shifted programming such as that recorded onto a digital video recorder (DVR), and programming consumed online from streaming services or online downloads. This information can be used to gauge whether media consumption and type of consumption influenced questionnaire responses. Participants were then instructed to assess the importance that a good politician has certain traits, mimicking the assessment used by Huddy and Terkildsen (1993).108 Consistent with Huddy and Terkildsen, participants were told that, For the purposes of this study, a good politician is defined as someone who would be good at his or her job and should be elected. Participants then responded to a series of ten questions alternating only in which gender-linked trait they were assessing, worded as follows: How important is it that a good politician be warm?109 Traits alternated between masculine and feminine traits, with the ten traits evenly divided between the two. Traits used were warm, assertive, sensitive, tough, emotional, aggressive, talkative, active, cautious and rational. Participants rated the traits on a scale of 1 to 5, from not important to very important. Participants were given no indication that the traits were masculine or feminine. These traits, used by Huddy and Terkildsen, were used to construct scales of femininity, or expressiveness, and masculinity, or instrumentality. However, the original scales used included nine masculinity traits and seven femininity traits, and that creates an imbalance that could potentially bias the respondents. An experienced researcher was consulted about this imbalanced and advised that the number of traits assessed be equally split between masculine and feminine, and thereafter guided the trait selection process. Each scale specifically includes masculine and feminine as a trait, which the author concluded would likely predispose the participants to guessing the purpose of the experiment, and so those two traits were removed. In order to keep the questionnaire to a reasonable length, the author determined that only five traits of each scale would be used, and chose to eliminate gentle from the femininity scale and coarse, stern and self-confident from the masculinity scale, reasoning that gentle, coarse and stern were not traditionally desirable qualities in a politician based on the nature of the job, and that self-confident was less crucial to include because few people would want a politician to not be confident.

Huddy, Leonie, and Nayda Terkildsen. "Gender Stereotypes and the Perception of Male and Female Candidates." American Journal of Political Science 37, no. 1 (1993): 119-147.
108 109

Emphasis added.

34

Posttest questionnaire Following the viewing of the episode, participants who viewed either The West Wing or Commander in Chief were asked to rate whether the president character they watched demonstrated the ten traits they assessed prior to exposure. The ten questions were worded as follows: President Bartlett was warm, and participants ranked their agreement on a scale of 1 to 5, from Strongly disagree to Strongly agree for all ten traits. Participants then were asked to rank, on a scale of 1 to 5, whether the president character they watched was a good politician or a bad politician. They did the same for whether or not the president character they watched was a good leader, as well as a good president. Participants then responded to the candidates experiment. Each participant evaluated only one of four variations. Certain elements of the candidates experiment were held constant in order to avoid inducing bias. Nowhere in the paragraph or questionnaire text was it indicated that the candidate being described was hypothetical. All hypothetical candidates were described as a former governor of Arizona, so all candidates should have been credited with executive political experience in a nearby state, but not their current state, in order to reduce the possibility of a student knowing that the candidates were hypothetical. All candidates, in the portion discussing their traits, were initially described as intelligent, regardless of which gender-linked traits then followed, and all candidates were described as having strong leadership skills in spite of what gender-linked skills then followed. All candidates were given the age of 42 and described as a lifelong resident of the state and a lifelong political activist. The female candidate conditions involved a hypothetical candidate named Alexandra Smith, with the formal title of Ms. Smith and all pronoun references were to her. The male candidate conditions involved a hypothetical candidate named Alexander Smith, with the formal title of Mr. Smith and all pronoun references were to him. The feminine candidate conditions involved describing the candidate using adjectives traditionally linked with femininity, with the text stating that colleagues had described the candidate as intelligent, compassionate, trustworthy and familyoriented candidate with proven leadership skills and strong people skills, with the feminine traits indicated by italics. The masculine candidate conditions involved describing the candidate using adjectives traditionally linked with femininity, with the text stating that colleagues had described the candidate as intelligent, tough, articulate, and ambitious candidate with proven leadership skills and strong administrative skills, again with the masculine traits indicated by italics.110

110

For full candidates experiment paragraph wording, see Appendix B.

35

Following the paragraph, participants were asked, based on the description, how likely they would be to vote for Smith if nominated for president by the participants party, on a scale of 1 to 5, from very unlikely to very likely. They were also asked to gauge the likelihood of their friends and family being willing to vote for the candidate, based on their personal knowledge. Participants were then asked, If nominated by your party, would you be willing to vote for an otherwise qualified presidential candidate who happened to be a woman?111 They were also asked to assess how likely they estimated their friends and family would be to vote for an otherwise qualified presidential candidate who happened to be a woman if she was nominated by their party. All questionnaire responses were entered into a spreadsheet using a reader and a data entry assistant for analysis via SPSS, Version 18.

111

Question wording taken from Gallup polls.

36

CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS The substantial amount of data generated by this experiment, in addition to the extensive number of hypotheses, naturally produced a significant volume of findings. Only five of the ten proposed hypotheses were supported by the results. Participant demographics Of the students who chose to participate, 137 (34.1 percent) were male and 265 (65.9 percent) were female. The age of the participants ranged from as young as 18 to as old as 42, although 84.3 percent of the participants were between the ages of 18 and 22, and the average and median age was 21 years. 112 Within the sample, 54.2 percent of participants self-identified as white, 29.1 percent self-identified as Hispanic, 19.9 percent self-identified as Asian, 4.7 percent self-identified as black, 3.7 percent self-identified as Pacific Islander, 1.5 percent self-identified as Middle Eastern, and 1.2 percent self-identified as Native American. 113 Estimated household income of the participants had a mean of $111,895 and a median of $80,000, and the median and average household size was four. The vast majority of the participants, 91.8 percent, indicated that their state of permanent residence was California, with 4.1 percent indicating another U.S. state and 4.1 percent indicating they were international students. The class standing breakdown was 16.5 percent freshmen, 39.9 percent sophomore, 30.2 percent junior, 11.9 percent senior, and 1.5 percent as students in their fifth year or more. Within the sample, 29.9 percent were enrolled in a journalism and media studies course, and 70.1 percent were enrolled in a political science course. A majority of the students, 61.4 percent, said that they were registered to vote, while only 27.4 percent said they had voted in a national election before, yet 75.1 percent said they had a registered political party. Of those who chose to answer, self-identified registered political parties broke down to 41.7 percent
These percentages are roughly consistent with campus population statistics, which put enrollment of males to females at 42.7 percent to 57.3 percent for the fall 2011, and the average undergraduate age at 22.5 years. See http://asir.sdsu.edu/app/reports/Glance/glance.pdf
112

Participants were permitted to select more than one race when answering the survey question, which is the reason the race percentage breakdown adds up to more than 100 percent.
113

37

registered for the Democratic party, 21.2 percent registered for the Republican party, 4.0 percent registered for a third party, and 33.1 percent as non-partisan. Ideologically, 19.8 percent of the sample identified as conservative or leaning conservative, 48.3 percent identified as progressive or leaning progressive, and 39.3 percent identified as moderate. Only 17.0 percent said they had voted in the 2008 presidential election, and 19.3 percent said they had voted in the 2010 midterm election, but 48.9 percent said they were very likely to vote in the 2012 presidential election. Hypothetical candidates experiment The portion of the experiment regarding college students willingness to vote for one of four hypothetical candidate conditions 114 tested the following hypotheses: H1: Exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a female president character (Commander in Chief) will result in college students reporting higher estimated willingness to vote for hypothetical presidential candidates who are female or are described with feminine traits, compared to college students who were exposed to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male president character (The West Wing) or a placebo stimulus. H2: Exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male president character (The West Wing) will result in college students reporting lower estimated willingness to vote for hypothetical presidential candidates who are female or are described with feminine traits, compared to college students who were exposed to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a female president character (Commander in Chief) or a placebo stimulus. An analysis of variance across the four sub-treatment groups, without regard to the major stimulus (West Wing, Commander in Chief, or the placebo), indicated no significant differences between sub-treatment groups (see Table 2). The effect size in the sample was small (eta = .07).
See Appendix A for a sample survey. Question 46 pertains to the candidates experiment. Wording for the four variations feminine female, feminine male, masculine female and masculine male can be found in Appendix B.
114

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Table 2. Overall willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates by gender and gender-linked traits.

Hypothetical Candidate Condition


Feminine Female Feminine Male
Alexandra Smithcompassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented...strong people skills... Alexander Smithcompassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented...strong people skills... Alexandra Smithtough, articulate and ambitious ...strong administrative skills... Alexander Smithtough, articulate and ambitious ...strong administrative skills...

Mean
3.65

d.f.

Sig.

3.80 3, 397 3.80 .68 .57

Masculine Female Masculine Male

3.76

See Appendix B for full candidate condition paragraph wording. Willingness to vote was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for him? (alt.: her) Available responses ranged from very unlikely (1) to very likely (5).

This Analysis of Variance test (ANOVA), which compared willingness to vote for the four hypothetical candidate conditions across the experiments major treatment groups, did show a preference for the feminine male and masculine female candidates, followed by the masculine male, and indicated college students were least willing to vote for a feminine female hypothetical candidate. The general trend appears to indicate that college students prefer the more androgynous candidates, yet also suggests that feminine female candidates are least desired by this demographic. However, the statistical significance, which indicates the likelihood of these results being replicated with the same means in the population rather than the sample, is .57, which is far above the desired statistical significance of .05 or less. To test whether androgynous pairings (feminine male and masculine female) were preferred over traditional pairings (feminine female, masculine male), an additional Analysis of Variance test was conducted. The mean for traditional pairings (feminine female and masculine male combined into one group) was lower (mean=3.70) was lower than the mean (3.80) for androgynous pairings (feminine female and masculine male combined). However, the difference was not statistically significant, F (1, 399) = 1.28, p = .26. The effect size in the sample is larger when subtreatment is parsed out by the video stimulus (eta = .17), when compared to comparison of sub-treatment without regard to video stimulus (eta = .07), neither effect size is large enough to justify generalization from sample to population. As a result, there is no evidence for a statistically significant difference in willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates based on gender or gender-linked traits overall,
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which is consistent with Huddy and Terkildsens findings. The next step, then, was to analyze the results by major treatment group and sub-treatment group.
Table 3. Willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates by major treatment group.

Hypothetical Candidate Condition


Feminine Female

Group*
Saw Male President Saw Female President Placebo Saw Male President Saw Female President Placebo Saw Male President Saw Female President Placebo Saw Male President Saw Female President Placebo

Mean
3.64 3.48 3.81 3.66 3.86 3.88

d.f.

Sig.

Alexandra Smithcompassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented...strong people skills...

Feminine Male

Alexander Smithcompassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented...strong people skills...

11, 389 3.95 3.92 3.47 3.76 3.81 3.71

1.08

.38

Masculine Female

Alexandra Smithtough, articulate and ambitious...strong administrative skills...

Masculine Male

Alexander Smithtough, articulate and ambitious...strong administrative skills...

See Appendix B for full candidate condition paragraph wording. Willingness to vote was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for him? (alt.: her) Available responses ranged from very unlikely (1) to very likely (5). * Saw Male President indicates that participants watched The West Wing; Saw Female President indicates that participants watched Commander in Chief.

The ANOVA test in Table 3 replicates the one in Table 2, but separates the results for the hypothetical candidate sub-treatments by stimulus group to examine whether the video stimuli exerted a significant effect. The means for participants reported vote willingness after viewing the male president character, the female president character, and the placebo group for each condition showed no consistent or significant pattern between groups. The statistical significance for this test across all experimental treatments and sub-treatments was .38, and while lower than the previous tests, was still much higher than the desired .05, meaning the differences in these means are also not statistically significant. Therefore, the next step was to
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test the significance of mean differences in willingness to vote for each type of hypothetical candidate across the three major treatment (video stimuli) groups.
Table 4. Willingness to vote for feminine female hypothetical candidates, by major treatment group. Feminine female candidates, by treatment group Saw Male President (The West Wing) Saw Female President (Commander in Chief) Placebo Group Mean
3.64 3.48 3.81 2, 96 .99 .38

d.f.

Sig.

Willingness to vote was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for her? Available responses ranged from very unlikely (1) to very likely (5).

The ANOVA test of the feminine female hypothetical candidate condition showed no statistically significant difference between the major treatment groups watching the two experiment conditions or the placebo, since the relationship is not statistically significant (see Table 4). As a result, there was no evidence that watching a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male or female president character had a statistically significant effect on reported willingness to vote for a feminine female candidate.
Table 5. Willingness to vote for feminine male hypothetical candidates, by major treatment group. Feminine male candidates, by treatment group Saw Male President (The West Wing) Saw Female President (Commander in Chief) Placebo Group Mean
3.66 3.86 3.88 2, 98 .62 .54

d.f.

Sig.

Willingness to vote was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for her? Available responses ranged from very unlikely (1) to very likely (5).

The ANOVA test of the feminine male hypothetical candidate condition showed no statistically significant difference between the major treatment groups watching the two experiment conditions or the placebo (see Table 5). As a result, there was no evidence that watching a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male or female president character had a statistically significant effect on reported willingness to vote for a feminine male candidate.

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Table 6. Willingness to vote for masculine female hypothetical candidates, by major treatment group. Masculine female candidates, by treatment group Saw Male President (The West Wing) Saw Female President (Commander in Chief) Placebo Group Mean
3.95 3.92 3.47 2, 100 3.29 .04

d.f.

Sig.

Willingness to vote was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for her? Available responses ranged from very unlikely (1) to very likely (5).

The ANOVA test of the masculine female hypothetical candidate condition, however, did show a statistically significant difference between the stimulus groups watching the two experiment conditions and the placebo (see Table 6). However, this tests differences across all three video stimuli, not between Commander in Chief and West Wing treatment groups exclusively. This test provides evidence that watching a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male or female president character has an effect on reported willingness to vote for a masculine female candidate, when compared to those watching a placebo video stimulus. When the West Wing group was tested against the Commander in Chief group, there was no statistically significant difference.115 Note that the mean of 3.47 for the masculine female condition was unusually low for the control group, which received no stimulus the means of the feminine female, feminine male, and masculine male conditions are 3.81, 3.88 and 3.71, respectively. This result may be due to fluctuations in the sample, in which case the statistical significance of the variance between the groups could be reduced. Therefore, a separate series of ANOVA tests were conducted specifically for the masculine female condition. A series of ANOVA tests of the means of the sub-treatments for each major treatment group produced no statistically significant differences in the responses within the individual video stimulus groups.116 An additional series of ANOVA tests compared each major treatment groups masculine female mean to the other two groups averaged means, but this produced no statistically significant differences

F (1, 71) = .02, p = .88 The first ANOVA test of the differences in the sub-treatment means within the placebo group had a significance result.31. The second ANOVA test of the differences in the sub-treatment means within the female president character stimulus group (Commander in Chief) had a significance result of .19. Finally, the last ANOVA test of the differences in the sub-treatment means within the male president character stimulus group (The West Wing) had a significance result of .37. None of these are statistically significant.
115 116

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either.117 This suggests that while the mean of 3.47 could still be a product of fluctuations within the sample due to sample size, there were no statistically significant alternative explanations that suggest an a reason that the mean of 3.47 might be incorrect or affected by other variables. Thus, the mean of 3.47 for the masculine female sub-treatment in the placebo group, and the statistically significant result that it produces when compared to the masculine feminine conditions in the other groups, still stands. For a further discussion of the implications, see Chapter Five. Although the masculine female hypothetical candidate condition produced a statistically significant result, the masculine male condition did not.
Table 7. Willingness to vote for masculine male hypothetical candidates, by major treatment group. Masculine male candidates, by treatment group Saw Male President (The West Wing) Saw Female President (Commander in Chief) Placebo Group Mean
3.76 3.81 3.71 2, 95 .12 .89

d.f.

Significance

Willingness to vote was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for her? Available responses ranged from very unlikely (1) to very likely (5).

The ANOVA test of the masculine male hypothetical candidate condition showed no statistically significant difference between the stimulus groups watching the two experiment conditions or the control (see Table 7). As a result, there is no evidence that watching a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male or female president character exerted a statistically significant effect on reported willingness to vote for a masculine male candidate. The final hypotheses concerning the candidates experiment proposed that gender would have an effect on reported willingness to vote for certain candidates. H3: Male college students will report lower willingness to vote for hypothetical presidential candidates who are female or described with feminine traits than female college students reported willingness to vote for such candidates.
The first ANOVA test compared the mean of the masculine female candidates in the placebo group with the averaged means of the masculine female candidates in the Commander in Chief and West Wing groups, which produced a significance of .08. The second ANOVA test compared the mean of the masculine female candidates in the Commander in Chief group to the averaged means of the masculine female candidates in the placebo and West Wing groups, which produced a significance of .26. The last ANOVA test compared the mean of the masculine female candidates in the West Wing group to the averaged means of the masculine female candidates in the Commander in Chief and placebo groups, which produced a significance of .10. None of these results are statistically significant.
117

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H4: Female college students will report an equal willingness to vote for candidates who are female or are described with feminine traits as male candidates or candidates described using masculine traits.
Table 8. Willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates, by gender.

Hypothetical Candidate Condition


Feminine Female Mean Feminine Male Mean Masculine Female Mean Masculine Male Mean

Male Participants 3.64 3.69 3.70 3.77

Female Participants 3.65 3.86 3.83 3.75

d.f. 1, 97 1, 99 1, 101 1, 96

F .002 .81 .42 .02

Significance .96 .37 .52 .88

Willingness to vote was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for him? (alt.: her) Available responses ranged from very unlikely (1) to very likely (5).

The ANOVA test shows that gender had no statistically significant impact on reported willingness to vote for any of the four candidates described in the four subtreatment conditions (see Table 8). When subjects were examined separately by gender male subjects showed no significant difference in reported willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates between sub-treatment conditions, F (3, 133), p = .95. Female subjects also showed no significant difference in reported willingness to vote for hypothetical candidates between sub-treatment conditions, F (1, 260) = .79, p = .50. Gender-linked traits for a good politician When participants were asked to assess the importance of various genderlinked traits to being a good politician, the following hypothesis was tested: H5: College students will assess masculine gender-linked traits as being more important to being a good politician than feminine gender-linked traits. The author constructed two scales. One generated an overall mean for each variable measuring the following feminine traits: warm, sensitive, emotional, talkative and cautious. The other generated an overall mean for each variable measuring the following masculine traits: assertive, tough, aggressive, active and rational. Descriptive statistics for these scales are shown in Table 9.
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Table 9. Gender-linked traits important to being a good politician. Gender link Trait warm sensitive Feminine emotional talkative cautious assertive tough Masculine aggressive active rational Mean
3.33 3.12 2.52 3.93 4.15 4.40 3.82 3.38 4.64 4.72 .54 4.19 .53 3.41

Cronbachs

Group Mean

Trait importance was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, How important is it that a good politician be ___? Available responses ranged from not important (1) to very important (5).

A comparison of the means of the two scales shows that there is evidence to support the hypothesis. Masculine attributes were considered more important than feminine attributes in assessing a good politician. According to a paired samples t-test, the difference in group means is statistically significant, t (400) = 24.32, p < .01. These results were consistent with Huddy and Terkildsens study, which also found that masculine traits were rated as more important than feminine traits to being a good politician. However, the Cronbachs values for these scales were lower than the statistically desirable Cronbachs of .80 or higher. The assessments of the importance of the gender-linked traits to being a good politician can be subdivided by gender to test the following hypothesis: H6: Male college students will rate the importance of having masculine gender-linked traits to being a good politician as higher than female college students. H7: Female college students will rate the importance of feminine genderlinked traits to being a good politician as higher than male college students. This hypothesis was only partially supported, as indicated by the results of the ANOVA tests shown in Tables 10 and 11.
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Table 10. Feminine gender-linked traits important to being a good politician, by participant gender.

Feminine Gender-linked traits/scale


warm sensitive emotional talkative cautious Feminine Scale Mean (all)

Male Participants 3.21 2.95 2.41 3.93 4.09 3.32

Female Participants 3.40 3.21 2.57 3.92 4.18 3.46

d.f. 1, 400 1, 400 1, 400 1, 400 1, 400 1, 400

F 3.82 6.75 2.73 .02 1.02 5.71

Significance .05 .01 .10 .90 .31 .02

Trait importance was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, How important is it that a good politician be ___? Available responses ranged from not important (1) to very important (5).

With the exception of the talkative dimension, which both the male and female participants rated with roughly equal importance, the female students generally rated the importance of the feminine gender-linked traits higher than did the male participants (see Table 10). However, not all of the differences in means were statistically significant. The warm and sensitive traits showed statistically significant differences across gender. The emotional, talkative and cautious dimensions did not differ significantly. Overall, however, the difference in responses by gender were statistically significant, as indicated in the bottom row of Table 10. Therefore, as a whole, female subjects rated the importance of feminine genderlinked traits significantly higher than did male subjects. Curiously, the trend was not replicated with the masculine gender-linked traits.
Table 11. Masculine gender-linked traits important to being a good politician, by participant gender.

Masculine Gender-linked traits/scale


assertive tough aggressive active rational Masculine Scale Mean (all)

Male Participants 4.36 3.86 3.55 4.66 4.70 4.23

Female Participants 4.42 3.79 3.30 4.63 4.72 4.17

d.f. 1, 400 1, 400 1, 400 1, 399 1, 400 1, 399

F .48 .58 4.87 .17 .10 1.15

Significance .49 .45 .03 .68 .76 .28

Trait importance was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 in response to the question, How important is it that a good politician be ___? Available responses ranged from not important (1) to very important (5).

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With one exception, both male and female college students rated masculine traits with similar levels of importance. ANOVA tests showed that female subjects actually rated the importance of being assertive and rational as higher than did the male subjects. The other three dimensions, tough, aggressive and active were all rated with higher levels of importance by the male college students than by the females. However, with the exception of the aggressive dimension, none of these differences in ratings are statistically significant (see Table 11). Only in the aggressive trait showed a statistically significant difference between men and women (see Table 11). Overall, there is no evidence to suggest that male subjects rate the importance of masculine gender-linked traits higher than do female subjects, as indicated in the bottom row of Table 11. Male and female president characters gender-linked traits When participants were asked to rate their level of agreement with a series of statements declaring that the president character they watched displayed the ten gender-linked traits assessed in the pretest, the following hypotheses were tested: H8: The female president character will be assessed with higher scores for feminine gender-linked traits than the male president character. H9: The male president character will be assessed with higher scores for masculine gender-linked traits than the female president character. Only H6 was supported, as seen in Table 12; the test of H7 actually produced evidence that the opposite was true (see Table 13).
Table 12. Feminine gender-linked traits assigned to male and female president characters.

Feminine Gender-linked traits/scale


warm sensitive emotional talkative cautious Feminine Scale Mean (all)

Male President* 3.10 2.68 2.54 3.63 3.25 3.03

Female President* 3.46 3.39 3.15 3.56 3.14 3.34

d.f. 1, 267 1, 267 1, 267 1, 270 1, 270 1, 266

F 9.67 37.04 23.90 .25 .68 16.76

Significance .002 <.001 <.001 .62 .41 <.001

Trait assignment to characters was measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with participants ranking their level of agreement with the statement, President Allen was ___. (alt: President Bartlett) Available responses ranged from Strongly disagree (1) to Strongly agree (5).

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The female president character, President Allen of Commander in Chief, was assessed as being significantly more warm, sensitive, and emotional than President Bartlett of The West Wing (see Table 12). On the other two traits, the male president character, President Bartlett, was assessed as being more talkative and cautious, but those differences were not statistically significant. Overall, feminine gender-linked traits were significantly more likely to be assigned to the female president character than to the male president character, as indicated in the bottom row of Table 12. Unexpectedly, the female president character also outscored the male president character on the masculine gender-linked trait scale.
Table 13. Masculine gender-linked traits assigned to male and female president characters.

Masculine Gender-linked traits/scale


assertive tough aggressive active rational Masculine Scale Mean (all)

Male President* 3.85 3.60 3.54 3.83 3.58 3.67

Female President* 4.59 4.38 4.29 4.52 3.89 4.33

d.f. 1, 267 1, 267 1, 267 1, 270 1, 270 1, 267

F 55.36 58.36 43.23 54.48 7.29 91.84

Significance <.001 <.001 <.001 <.001 .007 <.001

Trait assignment to characters was measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with participants ranking their level of agreement with the statement, President Allen was ___. (alt: President Bartlett) Available responses ranged from Strongly disagree (1) to Strongly agree (5).

An ANOVA test of mean masculine trait scores showed that, for all five traits, the female president character was rated significantly higher than the male president character (see Table 13). Overall, the female president character, President Allen of Commander in Chief, was assessed as exhibiting more masculine traits than President Bartlett of The West Wing (see bottom row in Table 13). This directly contradicts H7. This is a crucial finding because it indicates that the female president character was, on average, displaying more masculine traits than the male president character, despite her gender. For further discussion of the implications, see Chapter Five.

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Male and female president characters good president evaluations The portion of the experiment asking students to evaluate whether the president character they watched was a good politician, a good leader, and a good president tested the following hypothesis: H10: The female president character will be assessed as being a good politician, a good leader and a good president with lower scores than the male president character. This hypothesis was not supported by the results, as seen in Table 14.
Table 14. Evaluations of male and female president characters. Evaluation Question/Scale would you consider President [name] to be a good politician? would you consider President [name] to be a good leader? would you consider President [name] to be a good president? good politician/good leader/good president scale mean Male President
3.65 3.61 3.58 3.60

Female President
4.28 4.41 4.30 4.33

d.f.
1, 269 1, 270 1, 270 1, 269

F
61.60 40.02 53.83 49.44

Sig.
<.001 <.001 <.001 <.001

Evaluations of president characters were measured on a scale of 1 to 5. Participants responded to the proposed question (see table), and available responses ranged from bad politician (1) to good politician (5), bad leader (1) to good leader (5), and bad president (1) to good president (5), respectively. For an example of full question wording, see Appendix A.

ANOVA tests for scores on each of the individual items indicated that the female president character was rated significantly higher than the male president character (see Table 14). The female president character was rated as a good politician, a good leader, and a good president to a greater degree than the male president character. An overall index was constructed with all three questions averaged in a single index. Cronbachs was .89. The overall index rated the female president character significantly higher than the male president character, as indicated in the bottom row of Table 14. Evaluations the male and female president characters as a good politician, a good leader, and a good president, as well as the scale constructed to analyze all three traits as a group, can be subdivided by gender to test the following hypotheses:
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H11: Female college students will assess the female president character as being more of a good politician, a good leader and a good president than male college students will. H12: Male college students will assess the male president character as being more of a good politician, a good leader and a good president than female college students will. ANOVA tests supported both of these hypotheses, but not for all variables. As Table 15 shows, both male and female participants rated the female president character higher than the male president character on all dimensions. However, not all of the differences in these dimensions were statistically significant. The good politician assessment and the scale of feminine traits assigned to each of the president characters were not statistically significant. However, all the other assessments and scales were statistically significant. Notable dimensions are the good president/leader/politician scale, and the masculine and feminine traits assigned to the characters. While the male participants rated the female president character higher than the male president character on the good president/politician/leader scale, they also rated the male president character with higher scores than the female participants did. Similarly, in spite of male participants evaluating the female president character higher than the male president character, they still evaluated the female president character with lower scores than the female participants did. In other words, while both male and female participants evaluated the female president character higher than the male president character, the size of the gap between the characters evaluations varied based on the gender of the participant. Other available variables Many other variables were available for assessment in this study which could very well be controlling or predictor variables, including participant income, political party and ideology, levels of political participation, self-reported media use, media use by medium, and race. Correlations could also be drawn about a participants estimation of reported willingness of friends and family to vote for hypothetical candidate conditions and for women in general. This information was collected but, due to time practicality constraints, was not evaluated for this thesis.

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Table 15. Evaluations of male and female president characters, by participant gender.

West Wing Treatment (Male President) Evaluation Question/Scale


would you consider President [name] to be a good politician? would you consider President [name] to be a good leader? would you consider President [name] to be a good president? good politician/good leader/good president scale Masculine traits assigned to the president character Feminine traits assigned to the president character Male Participants 3.80 3.66 3.61 3.69 3.77 3.15 Female Participants 3.58 3.59 3.56 3.57 3.63 2.98 d.f. 1, 83 1, 83 1, 83 1, 83 1, 81 1, 80 F 2.482 8.798 5.572 6.920 13.87 2.551 Sig. .119 .004 .021 .010 <.001 .114

Commander in Chief Treatment (Female President) Evaluation Question/Scale


would you consider President [name] to be a good politician? would you consider President [name] to be a good leader? would you consider President [name] to be a good president? good politician/good leader/good president scale Masculine traits assigned to the president character Feminine traits assigned to the president character Male Participants 4.10 4.29 4.10 4.16 4.24 3.36 Female Participants 4.36 4.47 4.39 4.41 4.37 3.33 d.f. 1, 83 1, 83 1, 83 1, 83 1, 81 1, 80 F 2.482 8.798 5.572 6.920 13.87 2.551 Sig. .119 .004 .021 .010 <.001 .114

Evaluations of president characters were measured on a scale of 1 to 5. Participants responded to the proposed question (see table), and available responses ranged from bad politician (1) to good politician (5), and so on. Masculine and feminine traits assigned to each character were discussed in detail in Tables # and #. In this table, trait scales were used to generate means.

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CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION The results of the pretest and posttest questionnaires suggest several possible explanations and conclusions. While the limitations of this particular experiment must be taken into consideration, nevertheless, these conclusions can be expanded into wider principles that can be applied to media studies research, political science research in the area of candidate studies and candidate communication, and also suggest several avenues of further study. Prime-time fictional political dramas and masculine female candidates The results of the candidates experiment suggest that consumption of a prime-time fictional political drama does not have an effect on all types of candidates, since only the masculine female candidate conditions showed a statistically significant difference in responses between participants in the placebo group, the male president character stimulus, and the female president character stimulus. Participants who had been exposed to either the male president character or the female president character reported higher willingness to vote for a masculine female candidate than those who were exposed to the placebo stimulus. As mentioned in the relevant section of Chapter Four, the statistical significance comes from comparing either experimental major treatment group to the placebo group there was no statistically significant difference between the two experimental stimuli, which means that the gender of the president character observed by viewers does not appear to have an effect. This suggests a priming effect on the viewers, one that is related to the political nature of the stimulus rather than the gender of the president character. It is also possible that the masculine gender-linked traits displayed by the president character in question do play a role, since both the male and female president characters viewed by the participants were categorized as masculine (see Table 13), with scores of 3.67 and 4.33 on a 5-point scale. It is also possible that the priming effect is due to other elements of the fictional political drama, such as supporting characters, since both dramas include a variety of male and female characters displaying masculine and feminine traits, and that the presence of female supporting characters or their existence on screen in positions of influence and authority, whether that be as president or not, primes viewers to be more willing to vote for a candidate who is female but still displays the requisite masculine traits. However, the exact nature of this effect is uncertain, due in part to the apparent lack of effect in other similar groups: there was no comparable effect in the masculine male groups even though students in those groups were also exposed to
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and evaluating masculine traits. There is also no clear reason students would report a higher willingness to vote for a feminine female candidate for president in the placebo group than a masculine female candidate, or why the placebo group would report a higher willingness to vote for a feminine male candidate than a masculine male candidate. These results are not different to a statistically significant degree, however, so it is possible that further studies would produce different results. As discussed in Chapter Four, since the masculine female condition was the only one to demonstrate a statistically significant difference between groups, it was subject to additional ANOVA tests. This was, in part, due to the apparent lower vote willingness reported by participants in the placebo group to vote for masculine female candidates. Recall that participants exposed to the placebo stimulus reported an average willingness to vote for masculine female candidates of 3.47 on a 5-point scale, whereas the rest of the placebo group reported an average willingness to vote for feminine female candidates of 3.81, feminine male candidates an average of 3.88, and masculine male candidates an average of 3.71. Since the placebo groups experimental stimulus was unrelated to politics and thus should have no effect on the participants willingness to vote for the candidate sub-treatments, and since both Huddy and Terkildsens experiment and analyses of the other groups showed no statistically significant difference in willingness to vote for the hypothetical candidate conditions in general, the author was concerned that the 3.47 mean was an outlier that, if retested, would provide a new mean that would be much closer to the other means in the other conditions and possibly not actually be statistically significant. However, since multiple tests comparing the placebo groups masculine female candidate mean to other means and mean groupings show no statistically significant difference between them, there is no evidence that the 3.47 mean is significantly outside of the range that would include the actual average in the population. While there is a 4 percent chance that there would be no evidence for an effect, there is still a substantial probability that similar results would be found in a census of the entire population. The possibility exists that the variation in means is due to the size of the subgroups. While the overall size of the experiment was quite large, and the major treatment groups also significant, once those groups were sorted into the subtreatment groups for the candidate condition, the groups were relatively small for an experiment. The masculine female condition that was exposed to the placebo stimulus was the smallest group in the entire experiment, with n=30, and the other conditions in the placebo group had n=32-34. The other masculine female groups had n=36-37. (See Table 1.) The optimal way to determine if this effect really exists would be to re-run the experiment with larger sub-treatment groups, perhaps with n100 for each subgroup, to confirm the existence of the effect and its size.
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The results, if able to be replicated, suggest that a prime-time fictional political drama can produce a priming effect that results in higher reported willingness of college students to vote for masculine female hypothetical candidates. Further discussion of the implications of this for masculine female candidates can be found later in this chapter. Gender-linked traits for a good politician This portion of the experiment had the largest pool of data to support it, because none of the participants had been exposed to a stimulus yet, so all 402 sets of responses could be used in the analysis, adding substantially to its statistical significance. The results of the participants assessments of which gender-linked traits are important to being a good politician are consistent with Huddy and Terkildsens study. Huddy and Terkildsen found that masculine traits were rated as more important than feminine traits for president118, but they also found that feminine traits were also considered important to the office.119 This study found that masculine traits importance to being a good politician averaged out to 4.19 on a 5-point scale, and feminine traits importance averaged out to a 3.41 on a 5point scale. While the masculine traits were rated as more important to being a good politician than the feminine traits were, it should still be noted that the feminine traits were rated above the average importance of 3 and are substantially higher than the median score of 2.5. So while masculine traits were rated as more important than feminine traits, feminine traits were also rated as important to being a good politician. This suggests that, among college students in the sample at least, a certain amount of androgyny or flexibility is valued in their politicians. It also suggests that masculine and feminine traits should not be evaluated as a continuous dimension, where more of one results in less of the other, but as two separate dimensions that can be cultivated independent of

Huddy and Terkildsen were primarily interested in comparing politicians at different levels and types of office with regard to these traits (national vs. local, executive vs. legislative), so the comparison is not exact. In addition, they used more than 5 traits for the masculine and feminine scales, and their traits were rated on a scale of 1 to 4, and masculine and feminine traits were grouped distinctly from one another, rather than intermingled as this experiments survey did. However, they did parse out the importance of masculine and feminine traits for president. Their participants ranked instrumental (masculine) traits as 14.34 on a scale of 0-20, which corresponds roughly to 3.59 on this experiments 1-5 scale. Their participants ranked expressiveness traits (feminine) as 11.16 on a scale of 0-20, which corresponds roughly to a 2.79 on a 1-5 scale.
118

Huddy and Terkildsen originally hypothesized that feminine traits would be considered less important than masculine traits at higher (national vs. local) levels of office, but found the opposite to be the case: while masculine traits were considered more important at higher levels of office, feminine traits were also considered more important the higher the level of office.
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one another. This suggests that feminine traits may be undervalued, or at the very least valued less than the masculine, but they are not without value. The difference between the male and female participants evaluations of the importance of these traits suggests certain biases that may be linked to the participants gender. However, the direction of the bias is not definitively clear. That the female college students rated the importance of the feminine traits as higher than the male college students did could be evidence for gender bias on the part of either group: the female students could be giving extra weight to the feminine traits because they are female, or the male college students could be giving less weight to the feminine traits because they are male. The masculine traits showed no clear pattern of gender bias, as female colleges students were as likely to rate those traits as valuable as male students did sometimes even more so, though sometimes less so as well. The lack of significant difference in the masculine traits between genders suggests that both genders value the masculine traits as important to being a good politician, which may explain why the masculine traits are so definitively valued over the feminine traits. The Cronbachs for these scales are .53 and .54, which are far lower than the .80 usually desired for such scales. This suggests two possibilities: the removal of some masculine and feminine traits from the scale may have affected its accuracy, or that the masculine or feminine associations of the trait are not necessarily responsible for those traits assessed importance to being a good politician. That both the masculine and feminine traits were valued can be viewed as an indication that the key to candidate evaluations revolves around the attribution of both masculine and feminine traits to the politician in question, rather than emphasizing the masculine traits of a candidate alone. Gender-linked traits and evaluations of male and female president characters The most unanticipated result from this study was the evaluations of the male and female president characters, which largely ran completely contradictory to predicted results. The female president character was rated as more masculine and more feminine than the male president character, as seen in her overall higher means for the gender-linked trait items and the masculine and feminine scales. She was also rated higher as a good politician, good leader, and a good president than the male president character, both individually and when the three items were condensed into a scale. Those rating patterns were consistent across male and female participants. That masculine traits could be assigned to a female character is important, and that they could be assigned to a higher degree than to a male counterpart is crucial. That such assignment was done without apparent consequence to her
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ratings on the feminine traits, which were also higher than her male counterpart, is crucially important to overcoming the double bind that female candidates running for office face.120 Crucial, also, are the ratings of the female president character that were higher than those for the male president character as a good politician, a good leader, and a good president. Both of these results speak to how possible it is for a female candidate and a female politician to be evaluated in the eyes of voters as better than a male candidate. These results indicate that a female politician can succeed in the minds of viewers and voters, which suggests viability not in line with recruitment and endorsement behavior by parties.121 Further, examining the correlation between the gender-linked trait evaluations and the president characters evaluations as a good politician, good leader, and a good president indicates that the ratings are linked. The gender-linked traits mediate the evaluations of the characters as good presidents, to some degree. In other words, part of the reason the participants thought the female president character was a better president than the male president character was because she assumed more masculine and feminine traits than the male president character did, although the assignation of masculine traits had more influence on the evaluation than the feminine traits did.122 While some of the difference between the evaluations of the two candidates can be explained by some other factors, the masculine and feminine traits, and the masculine traits in particular, were a significant part of the reason the female president character was rated higher than the male president character.

See Hall-Jamieson, Kathleen. Beyond the Double Bind: Women and Leadership. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1995. Hall-Jamieson explores five traps, also called catch-22s, that women in American society face. To have more of one is to have less of the other and thus, undermine said womans credibility and invite possible social punishments. The binds are 1) womb/brain, 2) silence/shame, 3) sameness/difference, 4) femininity/competence, and 5) aging/invisibility. Of particular relevance is the fourth tie. Female political candidates, particularly those for an executive office such as the presidency, must demonstrate their competence, yet being competent undermines the candidates femininity and thus exposes her to accusations that she is, in Hall-Jamisons words, too aggressive and failing to be gender appropriate. That this study showed a female candidate with high masculine and feminine trait assignment indicates this bind can be overcome. 121 See Lawless, Jennifer L., and Richard L. Fox. "Gender, Party and Political Recruitment." In It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office, 75-94. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Lawless and Fox found that party officials, elected officials and non-elected political activists do not recruit female candidates at the same rate as men; overall men about 34 percent more likely to be recruited by political actors such as these than women.
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A series of two-tailed T-tests indicated that the association between the masculine and feminine traits (in the form of the scales for each) and the good politician/leader/president scale was .432, which was reduced to .383 when the feminine traits were removed and the masculine traits remained, reduced to .194 when the masculine traits were removed and the feminine traits remained, and to .171 when both masculine and feminine traits were removed.
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Research questions summary This project asked the following research questions: RQ1: How does exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a woman president character affect college students' evaluations of hypothetical female and feminine presidential candidates, compared to college students evaluations after exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama featuring a male president character or a placebo stimulus? RQ2: How do college students evaluate the traits and actions of a prime-time fictional political dramas female president character, compared to college students evaluations of a prime-time fictional political dramas male president character? The results suggest that exposure to a prime-time fictional political drama, regardless of the gender of the president character in the show, may prime college students to report higher willingness to vote for masculine female candidates than they otherwise would be. It is possible that fictional political dramas may activate associative networks that allow college students to be more open to the idea of a female president and evaluate her as effective and competent than if they hadnt had such priming. The results also suggest that college students are capable of assessing a female president character as having more feminine traits and more masculine traits than they would a male president character, and that they could assess a female president character as being a better politician, leader and president than a male president character. Limitations First, it is important to note that in spite of the cultivation research that ultimately inspired this project, the experiment itself is not cultivation-based and cultivation effects explanations cannot be applied to the results. Cultivation research, by definition, is not confined to a particular show, and rarely confines itself to a specific genre, since its goals are to measure widespread and persistent effects. In addition, the fact that this experiment involved a single episode showed a single time also removes it from the field of cultivation research, since cultivation researchers main predictive tool is the differential between heavy users and light users of television. However, cultivation is relevant with regard to the directions future research can take. Second, several considerations must be taken into account before generalizing these findings. Like any study of this nature, the results become less
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and less applicable the further outside the described population one ventures. All the participants in this study, for example, were students at San Diego State University, which is not representative of San Diego as a whole, much less California as a whole or the United States as a whole. Further, the sample was a convenience sample of SDSU students, further limiting the external validity of the study. However, as an experiment, this study sought to establish causal relationships between the treatments and sub-treatments. The hypotheses confirmed in this study permit such causal inference. Like any true experiment, this study is high on internal validity. Further research is needed to establish external validity. There are almost certainly geographic and cultural factors at play that cannot be parsed out to the point of applying these results to all American voters. Participants were overwhelmingly young, for example 92 percent of the sample was 22 years old or younger, which, while in line with campus statistics, is not in line with the general public. More than two thirds of the sample population was female, which again, while in line with campus statistics, is not in line with the general public. Most of the students in this sample were too young to watch either of these shows on television when they originally aired, and thus had not been exposed to them before, whereas previous exposure could yield very different results. Significantly different results may be found if a similar survey of a sample of the larger population is conducted, and appeals and mechanisms which may explain the results of this study may not apply to other demographics. In addition, as mentioned in Chapter Three, there are a certain number of variables that could not be controlled for in this experiment regarding the content of the shows the participants were exposed to. While the author maintains that the best possible selection of episodes was chosen, it is more than possible that another set of episodes from the same shows could produce different results and that the results of this experiment may be confined to when the participants see a single episode in isolation for the first time, as was the case here. It is possible that the low ratings of President Bartlett, the male president character, in particular were attributable to the nature of the episode that was shown, and would change if a different episode had been chosen, as previous studies of The West Wing yielded significant positive evaluations of Bartlett. It is also worth nothing the immediacy of this effect the questionnaire immediately followed the stimulus. Predicting the endurance of these effects would be purely speculative. One of the main qualitative variables that could impact the results is the nature of the shows themselves. As other academics and critics have noted, The West Wing is widely considered to be a believable, true-to-life presentation of what the political scenes and struggles of the White House are really like. The show lasted for seven seasons and regularly consulted with actual Washington politicians and staff for their perspectives in order to convey realism. However, the realistic
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portrayal of what politics is really like is often messy, complicated, unsatisfying and often, marked by regular failures. In the episode of The West Wing that participants watched, the main plot point the DEA agents who were captured down in Columbia for whom the president needed to rescue or negotiate release was left unresolved at the end of the episode, unlike its corresponding episode in Commander in Chief. This was, in part, because in this particular story arc, resolved in the following episode, the president is actually unsuccessful: his decision to try and rescue the agents results in the rescue team being killed and ends with the president watching a collection of flag-covered coffins as they are unloaded from a plane, a negative portrayal that the author concluded would highly bias the participants if they watched it, but one which is highly realistic. Commander in Chief, by contrast, was widely considered to be an unrealistic show with highly unlikely storylines. It was only on air for a single season, did not have the same budget at The West Wing, and employed far fewer outside consultants to assure realism. (Just the fact that the president character, Mackenzie Allen, is an independent non-partisan who somehow ran on a Republican ticket stretches the credulity of anyone familiar with party politics in America practically to the breaking point.) The result is a show highly unbelievable to anyone familiar with politics in the United States. For example, in the episode the participants watched, the president calls for the fictional country of San Pasquale to rise up against its dictator and put their democratically elected leader, who resides in the U.S., back in power, and her words spark the revolution that resolves the episode. The extraordinary facts that: 1) she was speaking in English to an apparently Spanish-speaking country, 2) which somehow had enough people in that country inexplicably watching American news/public access on their television instead of the myriad of other channel options, 2b) assuming a country run by a dictator would allow any channel to run news from America on its television stations at all, would allow that news to run unmonitored or continue running even after a speech condemning that dictator was begun, 3) the citizens of this country had the numbers and means to overthrow the dictator and 4) for some reason just hadnt bothered to do it before 5) but managed to do so, at the behest of a distant American president, in a matter of hours, so that the time period that elapsed from the start of the episode to the end was less than a day. However, its important to note that a negative effect as a result of lack of realism in an episode requires a certain amount of political knowledge in the first place that is generally not found in the general population. Suspension of disbelief is not necessary if a persons knowledge does not clash with the storyline to create disbelief in the first place. Such knowledge was apparently not present in significant numbers in the sample.
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Nevertheless, the unresolved nature of the episode that the participants observing The West Wing watched, compared to the neat, if completely unrealistic, resolution that spelled out clear success at the conclusion of the episode that the participants observing Commander in Chief watched, could be responsible for the variance in the male and female president characters gender-linked trait ratings and their good politician/leader/president ratings. The best way to resolve this would be to expose sets of participants to several other episodes in each series to see if evaluations of the characters and their traits change. Implications for candidates There are several implications of this study for female candidates. The ability to translate the results of a study about hypothetical candidates and female politicians in fictional entertainment programming to candidates in the real world is imperfect. The audience watching a fictional political drama is generally different, and is enacting different motivations, than an audience searching for information about a political candidate. In addition, the fictional nature of such programs allows viewers to gain insight into areas of interaction that would never be possible in the real world, to witness decisions and dramas that would not come to light in reality (no one really knows what goes on between the president and his generals and national security staff, aside from those in the room, which the public simply does not have). Viewers are able to see aspects of the fictional characters personality and decision-making that they would not be able to see normally, and this aspect of viewership may be the key that prevents a study such as this one from being applicable to real world candidates and political situations. Further study could possibly make such a transition less problematic. The results that demonstrated a priming effect on reported willingness to vote for masculine female candidates suggest that priming could actually serve a valuable function in possibly mitigating lower willingness to vote for masculine female candidates. Such priming does not have to be accomplished through the news media, which has been the focus of such effects research in the past. Though this study does not directly translate to political advertising research, it does suggest possible strategies that could be used by candidates in their advertising campaigns, press releases, and speeches. This is particularly relevant because candidates have far less control over news media priming effects than entertainment programming priming effects, and further, since entertainment media is a different genre than news, such priming would be possible in audiences that previously were not primed. Female candidates should also note the importance of gender-linked traits to being a good politician and evaluations of the president characters. The fact that
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masculine gender-linked traits, which were rated as more important, were assigned to a female president character more than a male president character should encourage them that such assignments are possible, and should also provide a set of more specific traits to demonstrate to voters. Of particular interest is the finding that feminine gender-linked traits are valued, and thus demonstrating those traits should also be a part of their strategy. These demonstrations could be accomplished through what portions the candidates choose to discuss in their biographies, what areas of expertise they should make sure to develop, the wording of their speeches and their responses in debates. Further study of these traits, and their connections to successful candidates and gender, would allow more expansion on what candidates could and should do and how. Implications for political science and media studies This study has several implications for political science and media studies. It shows a clear connection between the possible impact of entertainment media and political variables, an area which has been largely unexplored in political science literature. In the area of media studies, this study has the largest impact on the topic of media effects research. Real-world impacts of media effects are by and large difficult to demonstrate in a quantitative way, and the area of voting behavior and candidate evaluations offer a means to measure such effects that are clear and measurable. This study opens up further avenues of inquiry related to those fields. Crucial to these implications is the experimental nature of this study. Political science, as a discipline, has largely confined itself to survey research and case studies as the method of inquiry, since political experiments are difficult (and often impossible) to create a realistic empirical approach that also applies to the reality of politics.123 This study confirms the relevance of political psychology as a subfield and a legitimate and possibly crucial avenue of academic inquiry, particularly in light of the existing psychology research and experiments that can be adapted to create political insights rather than purely cognitive ones. Such experiments could add new insights to voting behavior, the vote choice decision-making procress, candidate communication strategies, and even predictive polling of a candidates status in a given race. Suggested areas for future research Certain aspects of this experiment, as previously discussed, could constitute a new area of study that could ideally have larger, more diverse samples in order to
Fridkin, Kim L., and Patrick J. Kenney. "Laboratory Experiments in American Political Behavior." In The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior (Oxford Handbooks of American Politics), edited by Jan E. Leighley, 51-68. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012.
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more precisely locate the nature and size of their results, such as the candidates experiment with masculine female candidates. Data that was collected but was not analyzed, such as political party, media usage level and type, and political activism should be examined as predictor or explanatory variables. A more thorough examination of these two television shows in particular which remain the only two prime-time television series to revolve around life in the Oval Office involving multiple episodes and exposure over a period of time could do much to explain the possible long-term effects of fictional political dramas on viewers. Data from the National Elections Survey and the General Social Survey could be used to correlate viewing of certain political entertainment programming with voting behavior, party and vote choice, or it could be used to explore correlations of viewing of women characters in general with opinions and attitudes about women in general and female politicians in particular. The most crucial area to be explored with regards to this experiment is the gender-linked traits. The Cronbachs scores were far too low, so the first step should be to create new scales of the traits of a good politician, a good leader and a good president, preferably using the entire adjective checklist and cross-referencing from Best and Williams to determine the masculinity or femininity of the trait, as well as the strength/weakness and active/passive dimensions. This could then be used for future analyses. Finally, more psychology research modified for the purposes of political analyses should be conducted. Tests such as the Implicit Association Test could provide quantitative explanations for the dearth of women in positions of political power. Experimental research about positive priming and framing and positive cultivation could provide new insights about how gender stereotypes and attitudes can be overcome. Ultimately, this study is the first in what should be a serial research effort to examine the impact of entertainment programming on attitudes about women in positions of political power in the United States. Entertainment media is a major agent of socialization in American society, and understanding its influence is crucial to overcoming the attitudinal barriers women still face. Having proportional representation in Congress and in the Oval Office is a milestone that will indicate further progress on the long road to gender equality. Women representatives and executives are emblems of womens interests and rights in the public sphere we cannot claim to have true equality without them.

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Slater, Michael D., Donna Roune, and Marilee Long. "Television Dramas and Support for Controversial Public Policies: Effects and Mechanisms." Journal of Communication 56, no. 2 (2006): 235252. Spence, Janet T., Robert Helmreich, and Joy Stapp. "Ratings of self and peers on sex role attributes and their relation to self-esteem and conceptions of masculinity and femininity." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 32, no. 1 (1975): 29-39. Stalsburg, Brittany L. "Voting For Mom: The Political Consequences of Being a Parent for Male and Female Candidates." Politics & Gender6, no. 3 (2010): 373404. Tewksbury, David, and Dietram A. Scheufele. "News Framing Theory and Research." In Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, 3rd ed., edited by Jennings Bryant and Mary Beth Oliver, 17-33. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009. The West Wing. Episode no. 35, Bartlets Third State of the Union, first broadcast 7 February 2001 by NBC. Directed by Christopher Misiano and written by Aaron Sorkin, Allison Abner and Dee Dee Myers. Warner Home Video Box set, DVD, 2006. Tversky, Amos, and Daniel Kahneman. "Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases." Science 185, no. 4157 (1974): 1124-1131. http://psiexp.ss.uci.edu/research/teaching/Tversky_Kahneman_1974.pdf (accessed May 4, 2012). U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Clerk. "Historical Data." Women in Congress. http://womenincongress.house.gov/historical-data/ (accessed October 21, 2011). United States Merit Systems Protection Board. "A Question of Equity: Women and the Glass Ceiling in the Federal Government." U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board - MSPB Studies, Published October 1992. http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=606214&vers ion=608056 (accessed May 1, 2012). United States Merit Systems Protection Board. "Women in the Federal Government: Ambitions and Achievements." U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board - MSPB Studies, Last modified May 2011. http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=606214&vers ion=608056 (accessed May 1, 2012.)

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Wagner, David G., and Joseph Berger. "Gender and Interpersonal Task Behaviors: Status Expectation Accounts." Sociological Perspectives 40, no. 1 (1997): 1-32. Watson, Robert, and Ann Gordon. Anticipating Madam President. New York: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2003. Westen, Drew, Pavel S. Blagov, Keith Harenski, Clint Kilts, and Stephan Hamann. "Neural Bases of Motivated Reasoning: An fMRI Study of Emotional Constraints on Partisan Political Judgment in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 18, no. 11 (2006): 1947-1958. http://www.psychsystems.net/lab/06_westen_fmri.pdf (accessed May 4, 2012). Westen, Drew. The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation. New York, NY: PublicAffairs Books, 2007. Williams, John E., and Deborah L. Best. Measuring Sex Stereotypes: A Multination Study. Sage Publications, 1990.

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APPENDIX A SAMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE Questionnaires were distinguished in two ways: by their overall experiment group and in the hypothetical candidates experiment. All questionnaires included the same questions in Part I; questionnaires varied in Part II. In addition, questions 33 through 45 in the CC and WW groups reflected the name of the president character the subject was exposed to. Questions 33 through 45 were omitted from the placebo group questionnaire. See Appendix B for a fuller description and examples of questionnaire changes.

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Survey Form A Part I (CC)


.

form ______ id _______________

Please fill out and bubble in the participant ID Number you were given when you signed in.

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

Participation Agreement:
This experiment is being conducted by an undergraduate student studying Journalism and Political Science at San Diego State University. Participants will complete a survey, watch a single video episode previously aired on prime-time television, and then complete a post-exposure survey. The total time these elements are expected to take is about 2 hours. The purpose of this experiment is to study the relationships between politics and media use. College students of all ages and backgrounds are invited to participate. Participants are invited to complete the experiment and surveys in their entirety. Participation is not mandatory and your identity will be kept confidential. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw your consent and to stop your participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are allowed. Identifying information is collected solely for the purposes of awarding extra credit to participants as permitted by their professor, and will not be associated with survey responses. For questions about the School of Journalism and Media Studies, please call Dr. David Dozier at (619) 594-6260. For questions about your rights as a participant please contact the Institutional Review Board at (619) 594-5213.

Circle one, as instructed: 1 WW Group 2 CC Group 3 CN Group

group ______

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1.

What is your gender? Check one: 1 Male 2 Female What is your date of birth? (mm/dd/yyyy): ______ /______ /____________ What is your class level? Check one: 1 freshman (0 30 units) 2 sophomore (31 60 units) 3 junior (61 90 units) 4 senior (91 120 units) 5 more than 120 units What is your state of permanent residence? ________________ What is your race/ethnicity? Check all that apply: White/Non-Hispanic Hispanic Black Pacific Islander Native American Middle Eastern Asian American What is your households yearly income? Please be as accurate as possible. If you are not sure, please estimate to the best of your ability.
[For the purposes of this survey, household income includes your income and the income of your spouse. Include the income of your parent(s) if you still report that income when applying for financial aid; usually, you must include parental income for financial aid purposes UNLESS you: 1) are married, 2) are a parent providing financial support for a minor child, 3) were a ward of the state when you turned 18, 4) have turned 24 years old. ]

gender ______ dob ________________ classlvl ______

2. 3.

4. 5.

state ______ race ______

6.

income ________________

Estimated household income: $_________________________________________ 7. What is your household size?


[For the purposes of this study, household size includes yourself and every member of your household, including your spouse and minor children living with you. Include your parent(s) and your siblings if you still report parental income when applying for financial aid; see above.]

hhsize ______

1 2 3 4 5 more: _______

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8.

Are you registered to vote in your home state? 1 No 2 Yes If you are registered to vote, what is your registered political party? Check one: 1 Republican 2 Democratic 3 Third party (i.e. Green party, Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, etc.), name: _________________________________________________________________ 4 No party (non-partisan)

voter ______ party ______

9.

10. Have you ever voted in a national election (for president or a member of Congress)? 1 No 2 Yes 11. How likely are you to vote in the 2012 presidential election? 1 Not likely 2 3 Somewhat likely 4 5 Very likely 12. Did you vote in the November 2010 midterm election? 1 No 2 Yes 13. Did you vote in the November 2008 presidential election? 1 No 2 Yes 14. On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you identify your political ideology? Check one. 1 Conservative 2 Leaning Conservative 3 Moderate 4 Leaning Progressive 5 Progressive

voteprev ______

2012vote ______

2010vote ______ 2008vote ______ ideology ______

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Please answer the following questions about your consumption of entertainment programming.
For the purposes of this study, entertainment programming includes a wide variety of program-viewing options: a) television watched during a programs time-specific original airing (live or broadcast), b) movies not watched in the theater (such as watched on television, rented, watched from owned or borrowed DVDs or VHS tapes, etc.), c) time-shifted viewing of entertainment programming saved to an external device (DVR, TiVo, etc.), and d) similar entertainment media consumed online such as via online streaming services or downloading (such as Netflix, Hulu, AmazonInstant, iTunes, etc.). Entertainment programming is defined as that which is not news programming, educational programming, public affairs programming, or commercial advertising.

15. How many hours of entertainment programming have you or will you watch today? (Make a reasonable estimate if youre not sure.) _________ 16. How many hours of entertainment programming will you have watched by the end of this week? _________ 17. How many hours of entertainment programming do you watch in an average day? _________ 18. How many hours of entertainment programming do you watch in an average week? _________ 19. How many hours of originally aired television do you watch in an average week? __________

hrstoday ______ hrsweek ______ hrsavgdy ______ hrsavgwk ______ livetvwk ______

(This is restricted to programs watched from a live network or cable broadcast; this DOES NOT INCLUDE movies watched from tapes or disks, timeshifted programs, or streamed programs.)

20. How many hours of movies (not in the theater) do you watch in an average week? __________

(This includes movies watched on television, rented, ordered via pay-per-view, watched from owned or borrowed DVDs or VHS tapes, etc.)

movieswk ______

21. How many hours of time-shifted programming do you watch in an average week? __________

(This includes programming saved to an external device, such as DVR, TiVo, etc.; this does NOT include content streamed from an online service.)

dvrtvwk ______

22. How many hours of media consumed online, such as via online streaming services or downloading, do you watch in an average week? __________
(This includes services such as Netflix, Hulu, AmazonInstant, iTunes, etc., or any other web-based viewing of the same type of programming.)

strmtvwk ______

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How important is it that a good politician have the following traits? Check ONE for each question. For the purposes of this study, a good politician is defined as someone would be good at his or her job and should be elected. 23. How important is it that a good politician be warm? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important 24. How important is it that a good politician be assertive? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important 25. How important is it that a good politician be sensitive? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important 26. How important is it that a good politician be tough? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important 27. How important is it that a good politician be emotional? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important 28. How important is it that a good politician be aggressive? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important warm ______

asrt ______

sens ______

toug ______

emot ______

agrs ______

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29. How important is it that a good politician be talkative? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important 30. How important is it that a good politician be active? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important 31. How important is it that a good politician be cautious? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important 32. How important is it that a good politician be rational? 1 not important 2 3 average importance 4 5 very important

talk

actv ______

caut ______

rati ______

*** Please do not proceed until *** *** instructed to do so. ***

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*** To be completed after viewing ONLY. ***

Survey Form A Part II


.

form ______ id _______________

Please fill out and bubble in the participant ID Number you were given when you signed in.

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 0 ]

Participation Agreement: This experiment is being conducted by an undergraduate student studying Journalism and Political Science at San Diego State University. Participants will complete a survey, watch a single video episode previously aired on prime-time television, and then complete a postexposure survey. The total time these elements are expected to take is about 2 hours. The purpose of this experiment is to study the relationships between politics and media use. College students of all ages and backgrounds are invited to participate. Participants are invited to complete the experiment and surveys in their entirety. Participation is not mandatory and your identity will be kept confidential. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw your consent and to stop your participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are allowed. Identifying information is collected solely for the purposes of awarding extra credit to participants as permitted by their professor, and will not be associated with survey responses. For questions about the School of Journalism and Media Studies, please call Dr. David Dozier at (619) 594-6260. For questions about your rights as a participant please contact the Institutional Review Board at (619) 594-5213. Circle one, as instructed: 1 WW Group 2 CC Group 3 CN Group group ______

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To what extent do you agree or disagree that the following traits describe President Allen? Check one for each trait. 33. President Allen was warm. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 34. President Allen was assertive. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 35. President Allen was sensitive. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 36. President Allen was tough. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 37. President Allen was emotional. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 38. President Allen was aggressive. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree charwarm ______

charasrt ______

charsens ______

chartoug ______

charemot ______

charagrs ______

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39. President Allen was talkative. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 40. President Allen was active. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 41. President Allen was cautious. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 42. President Allen was rational. 1 Strongly disagree 2 3 Neutral/Unsure 4 5 Strongly agree 43. On a scale of 1 to 5, would you consider President Allen to be a good politician? For the purposes of this study, a good politician is defined as someone would be good at their job and should be elected. 1 bad politician 2 3 neither good nor bad politician 4 5 good politician 44. On a scale of 1 to 5, would you consider President Allen to be a good leader? 1 bad leader 2 3 neither good nor bad leader 4 5 good leader

chartalk ______

charactv ______

charcaut ______

charrati ______

charpoli ______

charlead ______

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45. On a scale of 1 to 5, would you consider President Allen to be a good president? 1 bad president 2 3 neither good nor bad president 4 5 good president Please read the following paragraph describing an aspiring presidential candidate.
.

charpres ______

paralike ______

Alexandra Smith, a former governor of Arizona, has been described by colleagues as an intelligent, compassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented candidate with proven leadership skills and strong people skills. Ms. Smith, 42, is a lifelong resident of the state, a long time political activist, and is currently seeking the nomination to be president.
.

46. Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for her? 1 very unlikely 2 somewhat unlikely 3 neither likely nor unlikely 4 somewhat likely 5 very likely 47. Based on this description and your knowledge of your friends and family, if their party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you estimate them to be to vote for her? 1 very unlikely 2 somewhat unlikely 3 neither likely nor unlikely 4 somewhat likely 5 very likely 48. If nominated by your party, would you be willing to vote for an otherwise qualified presidential candidate who happened to be a woman? 1 No 2 Yes 49. Based on your knowledge of your friends and family, if nominated by their party, would they be willing to vote for an otherwise qualified presidential candidate who happened to be a woman? 1 very unlikely 2 somewhat unlikely 3 neither likely nor unlikely 4 somewhat likely 5 very likely parafam ______

womanyou ______

womanfam ______

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APPENDIX B QUESTIONNAIRE VARIATIONS Questionnaires were distinguished in two ways. First, questions 33 through 45 were customized to the experiment group: questionnaires distributed to the group exposed to Commander in Chief said, President Allen was warm, President Allen was assertive, etc., and questionnaires distributed to the group exposed to The West Wing said, President Bartlett was warm, President Bartlett was assertive, etc. Second, the paragraph used for the candidates experiment and the wording of question 46 and 57 were changed, depending on whether the participant was a member of the feminine female, feminine male, masculine female or masculine male subgroups described in the Methodology section. The example questionnaire in Appendix A includes the full paragraph text for the feminine female condition. It is reproduced below with the changed items emphasized124. The variations for the other questionnaires are as follows: Feminine Female: Alexandra Smith, a former governor of Arizona, has been described by colleagues as an intelligent, compassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented candidate with proven leadership skills and strong people skills. Ms. Smith, 42, is a lifelong resident of the state, a long time political activist, and is currently seeking the nomination to be president.

46. Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for her? 47. Based on this description and your knowledge of your friends and family, if their party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you estimate them to be to vote for her? Feminine Male: Alexander Smith, a former governor of Arizona, has been described by colleagues as an intelligent, compassionate, trustworthy and family-oriented opponent with proven leadership skills and strong people skills. Mr. Smith, 42, is a lifelong resident of the state, a long time political activist, and is currently seeking the nomination to be president.

Bolded terms appear thus for this appendix only; the original surveys contained no such distinction.
124

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46. Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for him? 47. Based on this description and your knowledge of your friends and family, if their party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you estimate them to be to vote for him? Masculine Female: Alexandra Smith, a former governor of Arizona, has been described by colleagues as an intelligent, tough, articulate and ambitious opponent with proven leadership skills and strong administrative skills. Ms. Smith, 42, is a life-long resident of the state, a long time political activist, and is currently seeking the nomination to be president.

46. Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for her? 47. Based on this description and your knowledge of your friends and family, if their party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you estimate them to be to vote for her? Masculine Male: Alexander Smith, a former governor of Arizona, has been described by colleagues as an intelligent, tough, articulate and ambitious opponent with proven leadership skills and strong administrative skills. Mr. Smith, 42, is a life-long resident of the state, a long time political activist, and is currently seeking the nomination to be president. 46. Based on this description, if your party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you be to vote for him? 47. Based on this description and your knowledge of your friends and family, if their party nominated Smith as its presidential candidate, how likely would you estimate them to be to vote for him?

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