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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Doug Matheson

First Committee Member

Kenneth Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Roseann Hannon


The controversy over the effects of television viewing on human behavior has drawn a great deal of attention over the last decade. This study sought to investigate this area by looking at cortical response to television viewing.

The subjects in the study consisted of 24 men and 24 women (m=l9 .6 years) who were monitored for bilateral EEG alpha (8-13 Hz) brain wave production while viewing a television commercial (verbal and nonverbal/ spatial) and were then tested for recall at the end of the session.

The analysis of variance for a split-plot factorial design (S.P.F. 222.43; Kirk, 1968) revealed that while there were no differences between cerebral hemispheres, there were significant increases in the amount of alpha brain .wave production (p <. 01) during the trials.

The results of this study support the first hypothesis that "EEG alpha levels will increase with repeated exposure to televised commercials." The significance of this finding is that it contrasts sharply with earlier research and indicates that repeated viewing of the same commercial results in an erosion of the viewer's interest.