Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Televised Sex Impairs Memory For TV Ads Just Like Violence Does, According To A New Study

Date:
June 19, 2002
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
In the first published study to examine the effect of televised sex on memory for commercial messages, researchers at Iowa State University have found that viewers of programs with sexually explicit or violent content were less likely to remember commercials immediately after exposure and even 24 hours later.

WASHINGTON — In the first published study to examine the effect of televised sex on memory for commercial messages, researchers at Iowa State University have found that viewers of programs with sexually explicit or violent content were less likely to remember commercials immediately after exposure and even 24 hours later. The findings appear in the June issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Applied Psychology.

In an experiment involving 324 adults, psychologist Brad J. Bushman, Ph.D., and Angelica M. Bonacci of Iowa State University randomly assigned the participants to watch a violent, sexually explicit, or neutral television program. The age distribution of the participants was 18 to 54 years old and was representative of the age distribution of adults the same age in U.S. TV households. Each program contained nine ads for products with broad market appeal, such as soft drinks, cereal and laundry detergent. Immediately after viewing the TV program, the participants were given a surprise test in which they tried to recall the brand names in the commercial messages. The next day the participants were contacted by telephone and were again asked to recall the advertised brands.

Results show those participants who saw the ads during a neutral program (no sexual or violent content) had better memory of the products advertised than did participants who saw the ads during a sexual or violent program, both immediately after exposure and 24 hours later. The violent and sexual content impaired memory for both males and females of all ages, regardless of whether they liked programs containing violence and sex. The results replicate findings of previous studies by Dr. Bushman and other researchers that looked at the effect of violent content on memory for commercial messages, but this is the first published study that also included the effects of televised sex on TV ad messages, say the authors.

"One possible reason why sex and violence impair memory for commercials," according to Dr. Bushman, "is because people pay attention to sex and violence, thus reducing the amount of attention they can pay to the commercials. Another possibility is that sexual and violent content prompt sexual and violent thoughts. Thinking about sex and violence, instead of the commercials, could reduce commercial memory." More research in this area is needed before a definitive answer can be given on what is driving this effect, said Bushman.

There is emerging literature demonstrating that sexually explicit media promote sexual callousness, cynical attitudes about love and marriage, and perceptions that promiscuity is the norm, say the study authors. The authors believe their research may deter advertisers from advertising on certain types of programming. "It is unlikely that moral appeals from parents and other concerned citizens will influence the TV industry to reduce the amount of violence and sex on television. The bottom line - profits - actually determines what programs are shown on television. If advertisers refused to sponsor them, violent and sexually explicit TV programs would be extinct."

Article: “Violence and Sex Impair Memory for Television Ads," Brad J. Bushman and Angelica M. Bonacci, Iowa State University; Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 87, No. 3.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 155,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association. "Televised Sex Impairs Memory For TV Ads Just Like Violence Does, According To A New Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020619074831.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2002, June 19). Televised Sex Impairs Memory For TV Ads Just Like Violence Does, According To A New Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020619074831.htm
American Psychological Association. "Televised Sex Impairs Memory For TV Ads Just Like Violence Does, According To A New Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020619074831.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins