Date of this Version
UReCA: The NCHC Undergraduate Journal of Research and Creative Activity, 2021, pages 25-52
Research titled The Effect of News Format and Personal Relevance on Affect by Sophia R. McMorrow, Hannah M. Hood-Johnson, Brianna L. Scandell, Matthew P. Newman, and Grace E. Fink in UReCA: The NCHC Undergraduate Journal of Research and Creative Activity, 2021, pages 25-52.
Considering the ubiquitous news coverage of COVID-19, it is important to examine the relationship between news consumption and affect, an important aspect of mental health. This study examined how news format and personal relevance influence affect. Participants watched 15 minutes of news clips or read their text transcriptions, which had either high personal relevance (e.g. COVID-19 and college students) or low personal relevance (e.g. COVID-19 and older adults). Participants then completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule questionnaire to measure affect (PANAS; Watson et al., 1988). A 2x2 ANOVA was conducted and found a significant main effect of format on negative affect, F(1,51) = 6.76, p = 0.012). Video news led to significantly higher negative affect (M = 24.00, SD = 6.53) than text news (M = 19.22, SD = 7.43). This suggests that video news may have a greater impact on affect and mental health than text news.