Explaining the "third-person effect" on the perception of Tehran University students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Soore University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Communication Departement,Cultural&Communication Faculty,Soore University,Tehran,Iran



Background and purpose: When we use media to compare the impact of that media on ourselves and others, most people think that mass media affects others to a significant extent. In making such a comparison, we usually perceive others more than ourselves under the influence of the media. The purpose of this research is to know the perception of the audience of the Islamic Republic of Iran Television on the size of the third person effect on the level of understanding of the programs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Television.
Research method: To investigate whether the effect of the third person exists in Iranian society or not, a survey was conducted by preparing a questionnaire, considering that based on the findings of non-Iranian researchers, the highest amount of the effect of the third person is formed with the unfavorable contents, we have limited the research to the evaluation of people's perceptions of the impact of the "contents of events" on television and programs of the Islamic Republic of Iran on themselves and others. In addition, because students, especially young students, are more exposed to incident content (i.e. action games, incident movies, and new music are usually used by these age groups), the scope of the research was limited to these groups. We have limited age.
In the present study, 400 questionnaires were distributed among sample students who watch TV programs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. After checking the answers, 9 people did not answer the questionnaire completely or chose more than one option in response to some questions. As a result, the number of final participants among students is 391.
Research findings: Regarding students' perception of the impact of action content on themselves and others, we can compare our findings with the findings of McLeod et al.'s (1997) and Rojas et al.'s (1996) articles. let's compare. Both of these studies were conducted on students, and in both cases, the student's perception of the impact of the content of the events was discussed. Our reason for choosing these two studies as the side of the comparison is that in our questionnaire, both the effect of "hot music" and the effect of "television incidents" were asked. In the same way, McLeod's study on the influence of hot music and Rojas's study on the influence of television events. As mentioned in the methodology chapter, in McLeod's research, as in our study, students' perceptions were measured using an eleven-point scale, the result of which shows that the effect size of the third person about rap music is equal to 0.51 (Andsager & White, 2007, 40 ). Also, the size of the third-person effect perceived by students about television incidents in Rojas ' study is 0.72, and by averaging these two measures, we can conclude that the size of the third-person effect perceived by students about violent content (whether music or film) is 61. is 0 (2=0.61÷(0.51+0.72). Our findings showed that the size of the third-person effect perceived by Iranian students was calculated as 0.55. As a result, the size of the third-person effect among Iranian students is higher than The same is true for Western students.
The achievements of the findings presented in this section can be summarized as follows:
1- There is no difference in the perceptions of Iranian and Western viewers about their own and others' impressionability of media news.
2- Iranian non-student adults' perceptions of the impact of media news on themselves and others, compared to the same group in Western society, show that Western adults show a greater third-person effect.
3- The comparison of Iranian and Western viewers' perceptions about being influenced by action content about themselves and others shows that the amount of third-person effect in Iranian students is slightly more than in Western students.


Main Subjects

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