Date of Award

Summer 1997

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Thorn, William J.

Second Advisor

Griffin, Robert J.

Third Advisor

Scotton, James F.

Abstract

Using the theory of uses and gratifications (palmgreen, Wenner and Rayburn, 1980), as modified by the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975, 1980), and the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1988), this survey of 548 readers of America, the national Catholic magazine, was able to extend to a magazine audience the measures of beliefs and evaluations, drawn from news theory, and developed by Palmgreen and Rayburn (1982) for the study of television audiences. The path analytic regression with behavioral intention as the dependent variable predicted, in the chain of relationships, from the beliefs and evaluations to the cognitive structure, and from the cognitive structure to attitude toward the behavior, and then to behavioral intention. The factor analysis of the belief-by-evaluation compounds replicated the three dimensions found by Palmgreen et al. (1980). Analysis of variance and multiple regression were used to test for interaction . between beliefs and evaluations in search of the media typologies theorized by Palmgreen (1985). Interaction was found in a sub-population of the sample, but the four typologies were not, hence the hypothesized correlation between the dimensions of audience activity and the four typologies could not be tested. A series of multiple regressions on sub-populations of the respondents showed that the length of time a person has maintained a subscription influences the predictive ability of attitude toward the behavior. Three distinct sub-populations emerged. This opens a path for future research that would identify readers based on the strength of the empirical relationship between attitude toward the act and behavioral intention.

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