Access Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Michael Fuhlhage

Abstract

With continued interest in media convergence, transmedia storytelling is as prevalent to communication studies as ever. However, research into the effects of transmedia storytelling remains scarce. Looking at the difference between heavy and light viewers, cultivation theory purports that those who more frequently view violent programming on television are more likely to think the world is a violent place. As of writing, such effects have not yet been extended to transmedia storytelling. This dissertation fills in those gaps in research by examining the cultivation effects of transmedia storytelling usage on participants. First, the main themes or messages of content within the Harry Potter Universe (HPU) and Doctor Who Universe (DWU) were measured. Once the primary variables were identified, a questionnaire was developed addressing six of them. Participants were asked questions relating to media usage, transmedia storytelling usage (particular to the DWU and HPU) and cultivation variables consisting of Machiavellianism, Social Responsibility, Bullying, Ethnocentrism, Classism, and Heroic Violence. Independent sample t-tests were calculated to assess whether or not there was a significant difference between heavy and light transmedia storytelling users as well as between heavy and light media users for cultivation variable measures. A regression analysis with bootstrapping was calculated to measure the mediating effects of Familiarity and Identification with the DWU/HPU on these groups. Results indicate that transmedia storytelling usage has a significant impact on how people view the real world. Specifics are discussed within.

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