Cognitive and affective responses by West Texas Hispanics/Latinos to agricultural news: a comparison of four English and Spanish presentation media



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Texas Tech University


As media channels began to develop and evolve in the 20^ century, scholars began inquiry into cognitive and affective associations of mass media. Observations directly associated media with attitudes and behavior. Two cases were the 1938 Orson Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds and the 1940s World War II propaganda films. Media effects research resulted from such cases.

Agriculturists often seek ways to convey the importance of agriculture. Most professionals in agricultural education develop and research the effects of agricultural education programming with youth and adult populations. Agricultural communicators often seek descriptive information pertaining to perceptions of agriculture and its diverse issue base.

This dissertation, which uses the agenda-setting theory, is the first of its kind to compare mass media channels containing agricultural content. Furthermore, this dissertation is the first to focus on the Hispanic/Latino population and the English and Spanish language as it pertains to outcomes associated with mass media channels containing agricultural content.

This study used an experimental posttest-only control-group design to compare four English and Spanish presentation media: newspaper print, electronic text, video news release, and radio news release. Participants were bilingual Hispanic/Latino attendees of the Texas Tech Raiders Rojos Back to School Fiesta (n=144). The participants were randomly assigned to one of eight treatment groups and a control group. The dependent measure included aided recall unaided recall, and issue salience.

Results indicate significant differences in aided recall between English newspaper print and English electronic text, Spanish newspaper print, and Spanish electronic text. A significant difference also occurred between English video news release and Spanish electronic text. Results indicated a strong correlation between aided and unaided recall. No significant differences existed between agricultural issue salience and media channel. Authors suggest replication in Hispanic populations and other ethnic groups.