In this section you will conduct an experiment about television that was designed by the sociologist Bernard McGrane of Chapman University. It is called "The Un-TV Experiment.”


1 Read about how to conduct "The Un-TV Experiment.”

The Un-TV’ Experiment

You are going to watch TV for three ten-minute periods. In each of these periods, you will watch a different TV program and do a different task. You will take notes about the tasks. You should sit very quietly and concentrate completely on what you are doing so that you do not make a mistake as you record your data. Make sure that you have everything you need: a comfortable place to sit and write, a pencil or pen, and enough paper.

The Tasks

1 Watch any TV program for ten minutes. Count how many times you see a technical manipulation (that is, a change) on the screen, including:

• a cut (the picture changes to another picture, like a slide show)

• a fade-in or fade-out (one picture slowly changes into another picture)

• a zoom (the camera moves from a wide view to a close-up view, or from a close-up view to a wide view)

• a voice-over (a voice explains or comments on what you are watching)

• another technical change (describe it)

2 Watch a news program for ten minutes.

• Count the number of positive images that you see.

• Count the number of negative images that you see.

Make notes about any images that you particularly remember.

3 Watch any TV program for ten minutes. Do not turn on the sound. As you watch, make notes about these two questions:

• How interesting is the program?

• How easy is it to distinguish between the program itself and the commercials?

Now conduct the experiment yourself. A good way to record your results is to use a chart. Your chart should be similar to the one at the top of page 90.

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