An investigation of the effects of personality, sex and age upon the selection of television programs

Date

1958

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Abstract

The position of every TV executive "teeters" precariously on the results of the month to month TV audience measurement reports. It is the Job, and constant goal, of these executives to attract the largest possible audience for his station daily from sign-on to sign-off. The methods employed to accomplish this goal vary widely. But, in the final analysis, good effective programming is the main weapon, whether it be high caliber movies or live productions featuring big name personalities. Since, in this country, comercialism is the "watch word" in TV, the underlying motives are purely mercenary, embodying very slight aesthetic qualities. Therefore, the individual who sits at home in front of his TV is the one to influence by prompting him to select certain programs for viewing. Heretofore, research has dealt with the veneer of this problem, disregarding psychological aspects. Hence, this study was engendered mainly to explore and compare the effects of personality, sex and age upon an individual's choice of television programs. The gathering and compilation of data entailed administering both a personality test (Edwards Personal Preference Schedule) and television questionnaire to a sample audience of one hundred subjects. For convenience, and control, the sample was selected from a group of college psychology classes, ranging .in age from seventeen to fifty-six years of age. Although some statistics were used, the results were analysed empirically. Briefly, the findings indicated that personality is very difficult to measure, but significant differences did appear to exist with certain traits among the groups. The sex influence was predominant in significance, while age appeared insignificant relative to TV program selection. It is recommended that further research in this area be more finite and utilise a more absolute measure of personality traits.

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Keywords

Television, Preferences

Citation