|| This study aimed to examine the third-person effect of product placement in the television news, for clarifying the effect of persuasiveness of news with product placement and comparing the assessment of the impact on others and themselves. The study also concerned about the media literacy if it can help the audience to identify the messages of persuasive intention, to evaluate the impact of product placement in the television news is greater on others than on themselves, and to support the government to prohibit product placement in the television news.|
In this study, the main research method was questionnaire survey, and the research participants were junior high school students from three sections in Kaohsiung. There were 476 valid questionnaires totally. Data were analyzed by methods of independent t-test, paired t-test, correlation and hierarchical regression analysis. The results found that product placement of television news would cause the third-person effect: messages of product placement of different levels would result in different intensities of third-person perception. Compared to implicit-style placements in the television news, obvious ones triggered strong media impact on others, but did not trigger third-person perception differential. It meant people tend to view product placement in the television news had impact on others as well as on themselves.
Another focus of this study was personal media literacy ability. Analytic results showed that literacy ability was a better predictor of the third-person effect perception. The result of the study was similar to the findings of the past research: media literacy could assist in identifying the purpose of product placement in the television news, and could avoid the perceived effect of media messages on themselves (Cohen, 1982; Rucinski & Salmon, 1990; Wei, Lo & Lu, 2008).
Most importantly, this study contributed to the growing literature on behavioral component of the third-person effect by demonstrating that the third-person effect perception was a great predictor of support for restriction of product placement in the televiton news than the third-person perception differential. The reason was that the third-person perception differential could not distinguish perceived effects of product placement in the television news on others as well as themselves (Wen-Hui Luo, 2000b). As research result of Xu and Gonzenbach on the behavioral component of the third-person effect, third-person perception differential was the most significant predictor of support for media censorship. Therefore, this study suggests that future research could probe into the mechanisms through which the third-person effect of product placement in the television news occurs.