Do social media messages incorporated into television programming impact learning? The effects of disposition to critical thinking

AbstractThe present study explores the impact on memory and attitude change of social media messages that are incorporated into television programs, and the interaction of such messages with the viewer’s disposition to critical thinking. Sixty university students were allocated to one of two experimental conditions and viewed television content: social media messages were included in only one condition. The results showed a significant interaction between participants’ disposition (Objectiveness) and the experimental condition: participants with higher Objectiveness scores exhibited larger changes in their attitudes. An analysis of 10 participants’ eye fixations suggested participants’ tendency to change their allocation of attention to different types of message over time. Additionally, there was a significant correlation between the tendency to focus on these messages and scores for disposition to critical thinking (Objectiveness and Logical thinking). We discuss the possible conclusions on the impact of showing social media messages and the limitations of this study.


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