Academic Commons

Theses Doctoral

Associations Between Primetime Television Shows and Viewers' Mathematics Knowledge, Science Knowledge and Confidence

Krenn, Jamie

In recent years, a rise in science and mathematics content has been observed in adult television programs. The programs CSI and Numb3rs, for example, frequently contain specific references to various science and mathematics problems. It is possible that a viewer's academic self-efficacy, defined as one's belief in the capabilities to organize and execute actions in the effort of goal attainment, may be influenced by such content; as such, television programs have the potential to positively engage adults in academics while simultaneously providing entertainment. To investigate this possibility, avid viewers of programs involving science and math were instructed to complete a questionnaire rating their chemistry and mathematics self-efficacy. In addition, the questionnaire examined viewers' understanding of specific science and mathematics topics before and after reading provided texts. Results showed a significant relationship between chemistry, but not mathematics self-efficacy and program preference. Gains in content knowledge were not observed in relation to program preference. Overall findings, however, indicate that adults may indeed engage with academic content in television programs. Such findings suggest that further research into academic self-efficacy and television content is warranted.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Cognitive Studies in Education
Thesis Advisors
Black, John
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
March 11, 2013