Hoffner, C., Plotkin, R.S., Buchanan, M., Anderson, J.D., Kamigaki, S.K., Hubbs, L.A., et al. (2001). The third-person effect in perceptions of the influence of television violence. Journal of Communication, 51 (2), 283-299.
Abstract: Examines the 3rd-person effect, which is the belief that others are more affected by media messages than oneself, in perceptions of 2 different effects of TV violence, mean world perceptions and aggression, using attribution theory as an explanatory framework. A telephone survey of adult residents of a small metropolitan area resulted in 253 18-85 yr old respondents. Respondents rated the perceived effects of TV violence on themselves and other adults, liking for violent TV, and the perceived importance of several moderators in determining whether viewers are affected negatively by TV violence. Additionally, respondents rated how they saw themselves in comparison to other adults in terms of social skills and resistance to persuasion. Third–person effects were observed for both aggression and mean world perceptions, but were larger for the more socially undesirable influence on aggression and for more distant others. In addition, those who compared themselves favorably with others perceived a larger 3rd-person effect for aggression. The results were consistent with the notion that people’s attributions about media effects are determined partially by their desire to maintain a positive self-image and to feel in control of their own responses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)