Category Archives: Carroll University Portfolio

Senior Seminar E Portfolio

Learning Outcome #1 – Reflection

Randy Otis
Comm 499 – Learning Outcome #1

Learning Outcome #1 – Reflection

For this learning outcome I decided to submit two journal entries from Comm 370. These entries both touch on the psychological theory framework. The psychological framework explains that communication is not the flow of information from the sender to the receiver but the thoughts and feelings of the sender when communicating. It can also include the reactions and feelings of the receiver after they decode the information. The first abstract talks about how people interpret certain religious materials. It is said that religion and culture can be a system of communication. Different people interpret different meanings to various symbols. I showed how the ideal of karma can be interpreted in various ways. Some people tend to take religion verbatim from the historical data and readings provided to them. Others will look for an alternative meaning to the teachings and may not take the teachings as literal. Depending on how the lesson is communicated based on the sender’s communication style can determine how people are facilitating meaning. Throughout Comm 370 I learned how to look at a situation and or ideal and find alternative meanings and ways to decode or understand the communication style.
I’ve found that no matter what topic you may be discussing there are always alternative ways to decode the information. I gained an understanding for the systematic theory that explains how different messages are interpreted and then reinterpreted to draw a conclusion. In my career I have to look at situations from many different perspectives. I’ve found that exercises like my artifact have allowed me the ability to critically analyze situations. In my job I have to find solutions to a wide variety of situations. If I only look at one way to solve the issues I often fall short in providing solutions. If I step back and look at the situation from my companies point of view, the customers point of view, and the point of view from an outsider looking in I am able to provide a long term solution an establish comfort for all parties involved.


Learning Outcome #1 – Reflection

Exit Essay

Randy Otis
Comm 499 Exit Essay
The Carroll Years

During my time at Carroll I’ve received a plethora of communication knowledge that has given me the skills to confidently enter the business world. I started my Carroll career focusing on Public Relations. I also took a liking to marketing and how both PR and Marketing are somewhat intertwined. PR taught me the importance of being precise and accurate when you are representing a group of people. The lessons focused on how to spin controversial issues into a positive light connected with me immediately. I often find myself trying to find a silver lining for every situation. In marketing classes I focused on demographics and how to target a group of people from a business perspective. Learning about demographics and target markets sparked my interest in technical and business styles of writing. I like to think that I have a diverse skill set, one side of me is business, and the other is focused on relationships and interpersonal communication. I have always been a very open minded person when it relates to politics, religion and education. That’s why I ultimately decided to pursue a liberal arts degree in communication. I immediately liked the focus on Communication law and research based classes. These styles of courses combined with cultural based courses, and a few business classes in-between was the well rounded education that I was looking for. During the progression of this exit essay I will discuss a few of the classes that inspired me, and how those classes allowed me to understand what career field I wanted to work in. I will finish by explaining how the knowledge I’ve learned has assisted me during the beginning of my career.
Prior to transferring to Carroll I took a cultural based communication class at Northern Michigan University called Communication and Art in Africa. I went into the class expecting a map based history education of Africa. I was happily surprised to finally understand the power of communication and art. The class focused on how communication mediums like music, radio broadcasts, and theater helped spread AIDS awareness to the people in Africa. There’s still a negative connotation to speaking about AIDS in Africa. People don’t want to admit they have the disease and don’t want to or don’t have the means to pro actively educate themselves on how to prevent the disease. The younger generation of Africans needed to and still needs to be taught about AIDS. What better way to reach people then to perform plays about it, write songs and outwardly speak about the disease. Prior to this class I didn’t understand the power of the written word, and the power of publishing. The written word can inspire a group of people and can be circulated easily. Without being able to publish stories of survivors, and medical advice, thousands more would contract the disease. The music created to spread the word was also important. We were able to see African singers and hear slam poetry from Africans that highlighted the passion of their message. This class made me really love the cultural side of communication. I enjoyed learning about how other cultures differ from us in their communication styles. That knowledge helped me better understand my own culture and surroundings.
I started my college career at Carroll U taking Intro to Journalism, which taught me the fundamentals of technical writing. This class taught me to be detail oriented and precise when writing. I use this tool daily in my career. When sending emails in the corporate world you have to be clear and concise. I learned the ability to limit my word count while communicating efficiently. As technology has progressed it’s interesting to reflect on how much journalism has changed. It’s no longer writing in newspapers and magazines. The majority of journalism is done online through blogs, social media and online post forums. It seems like the art of technical writing and journalism is being lost in tweets and blogs. On the positive side current news and information is available in the palm of your hand.
During my 2010 semester I found Comm Law to be one of my favorite classes. The ability to polish my public speaking was my favorite aspect of the class. I loved to debate and research communication related court cases. Dr. Daily pushed me focus on key points in the laws and to find loopholes that would give you a competitive advantage to debate or litigation. I use this tool in my everyday life when I try to sell product. Part of my job focuses on sales and establishing positive business relationships. Business relationships can often parish as a result of miscommunication with a customer. It’s important to be firm but fair while you’re either on the selling or buying side of the situation. Dr. Dailey taught me a life lesson. If you’re prepared to speak, you will be confident. And confidence is everything in litigation.
The liberal arts major allowed me to learn a little bit about a lot of topics. This format of learning is much like my job. I have to wear many different hats at work. Some days I’m doing customer service related work, other days I’m taking a sales role, and other days I act as a liaison between my customers and our sales and operations teams. What better major in school to prepare me than the liberal arts communication degree? I’ve used the researched based classes to aid me in the analytical portion of my job. I have to solve service failure related issues daily. Running data reports and researching historical solutions and action plans help me solve current issues. Without the understanding of how to gather and analyze data I wouldn’t be as effective in my analyzing role as I am today. Classes related to interpersonal communication, and culture helped me understand how to talk to people in a business setting. You have to be sensitive about what you’re saying to people in a corporate setting. When I manage my team I try to be firm but fair. Finding that happy medium can be tough, especially when you have a disciplinary situation. I have to take a different approach to managing each person on my team because of the different personality traits.
I couldn’t be happier about the classes I’ve taken at CU. Many students today are upset that they have to take classes that don’t relate to their career choice. I feel that each class offered a specific skill set that not only helps me in my career, but my everyday life.

Learning Outcome #2 – Reflection

Randy Otis
Learning Objective #2 – Reflection

There are many major religions that make up our global community, including Hinduism. In light of much unrest and extremism among the Muslim world, many citizens can have an altered view of a culture. In writing the paper on Kali a popular Hinduism symbol representing rebirth, and visiting the Hindu Temple of Milwaukee I discovered not only a way to better understand a culture, but also a more developed method of communication.
Art and religion is an important facet of a culture, and can represent many different worldviews. As I stated in the paper, art and religion are intrinsic in nature and by having a better understanding of a belief system represented through that art, I can have a better understanding of the people within that system. Art in itself is a strong form of nonverbal communication. If we look at an image of Kali, there are many different symbols that represent and communicate rebirth and opportunities for new beginnings. Some nonverbal communications can be altered between sender and receiver based on previous bias or ignorance. For example, a person, who is unaware of the symbolism of Kali, can see it as a graphic and disturbing image. Through writing this paper, I was better able to understand the impact symbols and art have on communication.
In addition to my knowledge surrounding nonverbal communications, I also learned about opposing worldviews. A worldview is the way the world is seen and is plainly referred to as, “who we are and what we believe.” The image of Kali is a great example of how one worldview differs from the other. While discussing these points in my paper, I was able to better understand what an uninformed person may interpret from this Hindu symbolic image, and what an actual believer would interpret. By having the ability to understand and interpret the belief system, I am better able to communicate not only with Hindus but also with people who may have a skewed perception of the religion itself.
Our world is becoming more than just different sub-cultures of communication. The internet created a push towards a more globalized world, and we are often faced with issues surrounding belief systems and communication. Each group of people has their own set of religious symbols, beliefs, rituals and methods of communication. By writing this paper, I was able to better understand a particular image and culture. By understanding this culture I have become more sensitive to misconceptions surrounding not only Hinduism, but also Muslims, Jews, Christians…etc. Religion is a very sensitive topic and great care needs to be taken to understand the beliefs of particular group in order to better communicate.
As I stated in the paper, each culture has symbols that can be misinterpreted and without prior knowledge, dangerous conclusions can be formed. There can often be a lot of noise involved in cross-cultural communications, and taking the step to understand and perceive the communications being sent is a good first step in moving forward towards communication in a diverse global setting.

Learning Outcome #2 – Artifact

Randy Otis
Learning Objective #2
REL 106 Spring 2009

Kali, the blue skinned, bloody Goddess adorned with dripping limbs and severed heads can evoke fear and shock to those unaccustomed to the symbolism behind such an image. As Americans entering into a global world, an understanding of other people’s cultures must be understood before judgment is placed. As an outsider of Indian traditions, people can form a negative point of view of the Hindu religion based solely on one image. Global citizens must have an understanding of different worldviews, and learn to view art and religion from a different perspective. Through the image of Kali, people can understand the Hindu religion and the beautiful and intrinsic nature of art and religion in India. It is important to have a basic understanding of a belief system, which leads to a better understanding of the people within that system.
We are all born with a different worldview. In the article, Changes in Euro-American Values, Mary E. Clark describes worldview as the construction of our childhood that shapes the way people see, understand and interpret the world we live in. In simpler terms, worldview is not something we consciously create; it is “who we are.” The image of Kali creates feelings of unease because our worldview has shaped us to interpret morbidity in a negative light. Kali can evoke fear and disgust in some because they have not been taught the symbolism behind the goddess.
In many different cultures there are religious symbols that can be misunderstood. Let’s take a look at some examples of Euro-American culture to better understand the different responses to symbols in religion. The first example that comes to mind is the image of Jesus Christ nailed to a wooden cross, head adorned by a crown of thorns. Many cultures could look negatively at the Christian tradition of wearing jewelry adorned with a man nailed to a cross. Images of Jesus Christ with a crown of thorns adorning his head, drops of blood running down his pale skin, can be equally as disturbing as Kali to those without the prior knowledge of the crucifixion. Another example of a religious symbol that can be misunderstood is circumcision, which symbolizes a Jewish boy’s participation in Israel’s covenant with God. To those with a different worldview, it can appear to be nothing other than genital mutilation.
As people start to explore their own traditions and symbols in religion, they can begin to see how those rituals or art can be misinterpreted. In Euro-American culture, we know that Jesus on a cross is a symbol of hope and love, and circumcision is a ritual of cleanliness and is widely socially accepted. To understand another cultures’ religious worldviews, people must first approach with understanding and openness. A high school student in India may have similar thoughts to our images and rituals, as our own response to their image of Kali. To begin to understand Kali, a better understanding of Hinduism is essential.
Art and Hinduism in India are deeply intertwined with religion. If there is art, there is religion, and one does not exist without the other. According to Kinsley’s Hinduism A Cultural Perspective, art is heavily embellished in India. The goal of the artist is to draw out the normal world and bring the divine to the people. The image of Kali is an artists rendering of an extreme and embellished Goddess that represents new beginnings and new hope.
In Hinduism, there are many misconceptions. One of the biggest misconceptions is the idea of worshipping multiple gods, while in reality they worship one main god called “Brahman”. Kali is only one of many gods that Hindus look to as a representation of the one god, Brahman. The Gods and Goddesses are worshipped based on the needs of the individual. A person may need guidance in love, so they visit Krishna or Parvati. A person may need guidance in their career, so they visit Ganesha. Each of these Gods represents the spirit or a part of Brahman, including Kali.
Among Hindu’s gods, Kali is the most frightening, with multiple arms; one brandishing a sword and the other a head of a demon. Adorning her ears are two heads, alongside a string of skulls for a necklace, and a belt made of human arms. He face is ferocious and blood drips from her breasts. It is little wonder that unease can be felt while viewing this image. Once a person understands the story of Kali and what she represents, the unease is replaced with hope. According to legend, Kali underwent a fierce battle against evil and demons, undergoing a killing rampage. Her killing spree would have continued if she had not, accidentally, touched the body of Shiva with her foot. In India, being touched by a foot is deeply insulting. Her face contorts into shock and rage as she realizes the insult she has given to Shiva, and only then does she restrain herself and the destruction of the world.
In Hinduism, a person dies and is reborn, and only with destruction can people have new beginnings. According to the article, Great Mother Kali, “what lives and dies, dies to live again.” Kali represents the destruction of evil and opens hope for those new beginnings. Kali is the Mother Goddess that destroys evil and transforms death into rebirth, giving Hindus another chance at achieving the ultimate release from rebirths called Moksha. In Hinduism, people live their life and bear the consequences of decisions in past and present lives, which is known as Karma. People are born into certain caste systems and undergo different circumstances because of Karma. Each person is responsible for every action in their present and past life, and Dharma is each person’s duty to uphold order in society, and each person hopes to transform death into the ultimate goal of Moksha. Kali is the Mother Goddess that destroyed the world of demons and evil to bring the opportunity for rebirth. Only with death can there be new life. Her rage and destruction brings feelings of hope and love to Hindus, and having a better understanding of the religion helps other’s view her in the same way.
In conclusion, there will always be different worldviews, and the more globalized the world becomes the more people need to understand and learn about other religions. Each culture has there own religious symbols, art, rituals and beliefs. To better understand each other as humans, people must learn about opposing worldviews. Whether it’s Euro-American or Southeast Asian religions that are being studied, a basic understanding of a belief system leads to a better understanding of the people within that system. The more the world becomes globalized, the more people need to understand one another to communicate and interact. As I represented in this paper, each culture has symbols that can be misinterpreted, and without prior knowledge a dangerous conclusion can be formed. Without knowing the story of the Goddess Kali, one would assume the Hindu religion is strange and somewhat scary. Symbols can be strange and confusing until we study another culture’s art and religion and learning the meaning behind the symbols. As with Kali, she is a symbol of hope and new beginnings, and with our new globalized world a person may want to give her a second look and even seek guidance for our own world’s new beginning.

Learning Outcome #3 Reflection

Randy Otis
Learning Outcome #3 Reflection

While writing this research paper I conducted a systematic inquiry of an important topic that was relevant to a younger generation of women watching music videos. Body image issues have always plagued young women, especially in a time where music videos, magazines, television shows and movies all portray women in an unrealistic manner that can be not only offensive but demoralizing to young women’s body images.
This research paper demonstrates that I was able to conduct a systematic inquiry by finding empirical data on how many young women were watching music videos. Once I conducted the research I was able to compare that to prior testimonies and research done regarding the negative body image effects that this programming was having on young females. This process of applying the scientific method to research showed my ability to take data collected from other research done, and formulate my own research question and data collection process. I was able to apply a research method of using a questionnaire based off of the Likert Scale to come to a conclusion. This process of assigning the Likert Scale to my qualitative data showed my understanding of research methodology and how specific theory and methods are applied to certain topics or questions.
In my current job as a Business Development analyst, I analyze many different sets of data to dig into service issues, and pro actively prevent problems. This class was a building block for understanding how analyzing data can lead to problem resolution. Finding the right set of data, or research in this case was very important in order to formulate a research question.

One skill I was able to exhibit was the skill of conducting research through a questionnaire. At the time I felt that formulating questions that would quantify answers was a strength of mine. Asking the right questions is very important when trying to understand the true meaning of how someone feels about your topic or question. This project helped me understand that wording questions correctly can ultimately help your subjects/sample answer the question effectively. If there’s confusion while reading the question it can significantly change the subjects answer, and not allow them to fully disclose information. When I conducted my experiment I was able to use a relevant music video that most of the sample group would know and understand. This process clearly shows I was able to understand my audience prior to conducting my experiment.
This skill has helped me in my career. From a sales perspective it’s important to ask my customers the right questions to get information that you may not be able to come right out and ask about. For example, when trying to find out who your competition is, you might ask a customer what others are doing right or wrong. Through discussion you may be able to get information about your competition that your customer may not have wanted to disclose originally. I developed a skill of understanding my audience and being able to formulate questions for them based off of the nature of our business relationship. Much like understanding my audience now, when I conducted my experiment I was able to use a relevant music video that most of the sample group would know and understand. This process clearly shows I was able to understand my audience prior to conducting my experiment.
I now also work to analyze many different sets of data to dig into service issues, and pro actively prevent problems. This class was a building block for understanding how analyzing data can lead to problem resolution. Finding the right set of data, or research in this case was very important in order to formulate a research question.

Learning Outcome #3 Artifact – Rap Videos and the Effect on Female Adolescent Body Image

Comm 350
­­­­­­­­­Carroll University
Spring Semester 2009

Rap Video’s and the Effect on Female Adolescent Body Image

Music videos are a prevalent part of today’s music industry. There are television channels that are devoted entirely to music videos of all different genres, from country to rap and hip hop. Because they are viewed by so many adolescents, they have become a highly influential force in today’s society. The Internet also plays a part in the success of music videos. Websites such as have made it easier than ever to find and view a music video.

This paper examines the effect that music videos have on female adolescent body image. In this study we are defining body image as how the girls are judging the physical aspect of how they look; in comparison to the women they see on music videos.  Do the adolescents have a positive or confident perception of how they look? Or do they feel that there bodies are inferior to the women on the music videos?   Many studies have already been conducted regarding the effect that music videos have on teenage violence, drug and alcohol use, and body image. In this paper, the focus is on female body image and rap music videos, specifically, which have not been fully investigated. The information in this paper could help shed light on the power that this particular type of media has over adolescents.

Television has played a major part in the power of music videos. One station that has had a great impact on American culture is MTV, or music television. It arrived in 1981 and sparked a whole host of studies examining a wide range of topics. The station has since changed so that it is now more of a reality channel than music video, but it marked the beginning of a new era of that aspect of television. With the international growth of MTV’s popularity, its influence has become a world-wide phenomenon. Even in 1996, there was evidence that showed that African American teenagers watched approximately 3.3 hours of music videos per day (Peterson, Wingood, DiClemente, Harrington, Davies 2007). That number has likely increased, considering the media now available to adolescents. They can watch music videos on the Internet or download them onto their iPods to watch whenever they want. This constant bombardment of media messages can have an effect on a teenager’s image.

Because of the increased exposure adolescents have to the media, Tiggeman and Pickering (1996) investigated the relationship between exposure to television and body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness. The researchers discovered that total television viewing time was not significantly related to any of the weight variables they used in their study. However, they did discover that when television viewing was broken down by type of program (soap operas, music videos, movies, and sports), some correlations were found. Total time spent watching music videos were positively correlated with the drive for thinness and sports were correlated negatively with body dissatisfaction. Peterson, Wingood, DiClemente, Harrington, and Davies (1996) made a similar finding. There were high levels of association between female adolescents’ exposure to music videos and unhealthy body image beliefs and greater premarital sexual permissiveness attitudes” (Peterson, Wingood, DiClemente, Harrington, & Davies, 2007, 1187).  In another study, by Tiggeman and Slater (2004) participants were briefly exposed to music videos containing thin and attractive women, then were questioned as t how they felt.  Most participants indicated an increase in body dissatisfaction.

Similarly, Henderson-King (2006) found that research participants responded differently to the “ideal” body image.  Thinner women, on one hand, more positively evaluated their sexual attractiveness while heavier women reported a more negative self evaluation.  Even before rap music videos, music played a role in creating a stereotypical female body image. Cooper (1985) notes that women are portrayed in popular media as a “sexual object” or “a possession” (p.501).  As it relates to music videos adolescents may be judging there own bodies as a direct result of watching the women on the videos.  If they see that only attractive, thin bodied women are on the videos they may think that men only like that type of body on women.

A female’s sexual attitude influences how she feels about her body. Sexual attitude is in reference to how sexually attractive one might feel.  Do you feel sexy to the opposite gender, and or to your same gender? Because the content of rap music videos reflects the lyrics of the songs, they are often very sexually explicit in nature. While not all music videos are negatively portraying women’s bodies as a sexual object, “40% to 75% or music videos have been found to contain sexual imagery” (Baxter, De Riemer, Landini, Leslie, & Singletary, 1985). In contrast to the lyrics in a music video, the sexual imagery is often more subtle, but still obvious in its intent. The nonverbal displays of sexuality are expressed through postures, gestures, touching, and the use of space (Carstarphen & Zavoina, 1999). Peterson et al(2007) hypothesized that “The perception of portrayals of sexual stereotypes in rap music videos may cultivate a norm among African American females regarding the desirability of certain physical characteristics and sexual behaviors (p.1162).” Zhang, Miller, and Harrison (2008) discovered that the more college men and women watched music videos containing sexual content, the more likely they were to have positive attitudes towards pre-marital sex and to endorse gender-specific stereotypes, such as women were dressing provocatively to gain attention from the opposite gender, and men viewing women as sexual objects.

Many studies have been examining how rap music in itself has an effect on female adolescents’ behavior, such as use of drugs and alcohol, violence, and whether or not they contracted a new STD (Peterson et al.2007), but only a few have looked at how rap music videos affect a teenager’s body image.

One Problem with measuring music videos is that unless the content of the video is taken into account, simply asking a study participant how many hours per day they music videos is not actually that beneficial.  There are different genres of music videos with varying degrees of sexual content.  A researcher would be better served by measuring “exposure to sexual music videos specifically” (Zhang, Miller, & Harrison, 2008, p. 372).  Peterson et al. (2007) also acknowledged that rap music videos used in the study had not been content analyzed to determine exactly what stereotypes could be found in the videos.

Before a music video could be used in a study, it should be properly analyzed for all stereotypical content.  The amount of music video viewing should not be the only measurement.  The researcher should take into account exactly what kind of music videos the participants watch and how attentive they are while watching it.  For example, is the television on in the background, or are they focused on it?  The participants’ background should also be taken into account, such as family situation, age, level and success in school, and job situation.

RQ:  Is there a correlation between exposure to rap music videos and female adolescent body image?

In order to evaluate if watching music videos has a negative effect on teenage female’s body image, it is important do an experiment on teenage females to understand the direct effects.  Doing a pre-test/post-test experiment will show the cause and effect relationship between female body image and watching music videos.

The study will be focusing on teenage women between the ages of 14 and 19.  This will be a cluster sample of teenage females, from five different high schools around the Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha, Wisconsin areas.  Selecting such a wide range of high schools should make sure the sample frame doesn’t target a specific demographic.

The sampling frame of schools will be listed and numbered.  The research team will randomly select by number to ensure the team does not know the schools selected.  There will be a total of 100 females selected for the experiment.  Twenty girls from each school will be selected.   The study requires to randomly select an all-female physical education class at each school and testing the girls during their 30 to 45-minute gym class.  The teacher will be notified and given consent forms for each of the students one week prior to the experiment.  Students will have to have the consent form (Appendix A) signed by their parents and returned to school.  Once the parents have given permission, the researchers will make sure that each class has 20 students participating on the day of the experiment.  The students will know they are part of a research project prior to experiment.  The time of day that the experiments will be conducted will vary due to the different schools running off of different schedules.  Because this is a random sample of females, there will be no demographic characteristics targeted in this study.

To accurately access the effects of music videos on teenage females’ body image, the researchers are conducting an experiment using a pre-test as well as a post-test questionnaire (Appendix B).  The students will be taken into a classroom setting. Each student will have her own desk to complete a pretest given to them.  Students will be instructed not to converse with the other students during the experiment.  This test includes 12 questions that will ask specific questions to generate information about how each student feels about their body image.  The questions also focus on self confidence as it is related to body image.  The goal of giving this questionnaire prior showing them a music video is to get the students thinking about how they feel about their specific body type.  Raising consciousness about their bodies prior to seeing a music video is important so the researchers can judge if the video had a direct effect on how the student perceived their body.  The video being shown will be very provocative in nature and will show many different types of females; therefore just showing one video should allow the students to make a direct correlation to there own race, and body types.  After the students answer the questions, they are to hand in the questionnaire to the teacher located at the front of the room.   The teacher is strategically placed in front of the room to make sure the students are not conversing with one another during the tests.  The teacher then is to show the music video “Candy Shop” to the group of girls.

The music video titled “Candy Shop” is a song performed by rapper 50 Cent and R&B singer Olivia.  This video was chosen because of the women in the video being scantily clothed, as well as dancing provocatively.  The video shows 50 Cent in a bordello, looking at a random group of women to choose from.  This video presumes that 50 Cent is choosing one of the women with whom to have sexual relations.  The women in the video have good bodies and are generally attractive.  The video has been properly analyzed for all stereotypical content.  The stereotypes associated with this video are that women are portrayed as sexual objects for men.

Once the video is shown, the girls will be asked to fill out the same questionnaire, as a post-test, this is to show how the women on the video may change or influence the female’s perception of her body.  By watching the women on the video, the students may be subject to comment in further detail about how music videos may affect their body image.  The students may feel confident that they are just as good looking as the women, or on the opposite end, they may not feel their bodies are adequate as compared to the women on the video.  By giving a post-test, it is important to compare the information to the pretest to see if the students change the way they feel about their own bodies.

Predictive validity shows us that the questionnaire shows its ability to predict the student’s individual feelings of body image.  If the students answer the questions in a fashion that shows they are concerned with their body image, most likely when they see the music video they are going to comment on the post test that the video has a negative effect on their body image.  The Pre-test allows the researchers to predict the outcome of the test.  This is a valid measure of testing the students because we can see if the video as a direct correlation to the students feeling of body image.  If the students pre-test shows that they don’t have a problem with their body image, and by showing the video changes there perceptions of body image, then the research shows that the student may be directly affected by the video.  That outcome would predict that the student is impressionable of what they are seeing in the media, specifically in music videos.  Using the exact same test before and after showing the video is used to prove that the students either have body image issues, or they don’t.  If the questions are answered in the exact same manner the second time then the researchers will be able to come to a conclusion about how the student feels about her body image.  For instance if the questions are being answered to represent that the student feels self conscious about herself on the pre-test, more than likely she is going to fill-out the post-test similarly to the pre-test, regardless of the content in the video.

I will analyze this data in a quantitative manner.  The questionnaire will be based off of a “Likert Scale”.  The test will have the students assign a number to how they feel about a particular statement.  The numbers are from one to five depending on how much the student agrees with certain statements.  In order to assess how much the video triggered negative body image issues, the researchers will compare the numbers from the pre-test to the post-test using a related measures t-test.  This test is valid in measuring the student’s different levels of body image issues.  It helps researchers compare the pre-test to the post-test.  Distinguishing whether the girls have body image issues before seeing the music video will help confirm if teenage women are subject to body image issues regardless of whether they watch music videos or not.

Possible results may vary of course, however I predict that most of the students will have a greater number on the post test as compared to the pre test.  Once the students see the objectification of the women on the video they will compare the bodies of the dancers to themselves and they may feel inadequate, or less attractive.  If I find that there is a direct correlation between music videos and a teenage females negative body image, I would go to companies like Viacom who own MTV and VHI and tell them how there production of the videos are negatively affecting there target audience.  This may help sway companies to produce such videos as “Candy Shop”.  Also if there is a direct correlation between the music videos and negative body image, it would be important to advise parents that it may not be a good idea to let there children watch MTV.  I would notify the cable companies to put out a notice to all customers that have MTV and other channels with music videos.  The cable customers may want to block the channels once they understand there are negative affects to watching this programming.

There are different ways, or mediums of media that can persuade females to have a negative body image. Using a music video to judge how women perceive themselves is not incorporating enough of the Medias influence.  Magazines and television would be another avenue to research due to the higher levels of visibility women have to these mediums as compared to music videos.  Also only researching high school students doesn’t fully help the researchers understand women. In order to make generalizations of how women feel research would have to be done on women of all ages.



Baxter, L., De Riemer, C., Landini, A., Leslie, L., & Singletary, M. (1985). A content   analysis of music videos. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 29, 333–340.

Carstarphen, Meta G. & Zavoina, Susan C. (1999). Sexual Rhetoric: MediaPerspectives on Sexuality, Gender, and Identity. Connecticut: Greenwood             Press.

Cooper, Virginia W. (1985).  Women in Popular Music:  A Quantitative Analysis of Feminine Images Over Time.  Sex Roles (13)9-10, 499-506.  Retrieved February 25, 2009 from Academic Search Premier.

Henderson-King, Eaaron. (2006). Media effects on Women’s Body Esteem:  Social and Individual Difference Factors.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27 (5), 399-417.  Retrieved February 25,2009 from Academic Search Premier Database.

Peterson, Shani H., Wingood, Gina M., DiClemente, Ralph J., Harrington, Kathy., Davies, Susan. (2007). Images of Sexual Stereotypes in Rap Videos and the Health of African American Female Adolescents. Journal of Women’s Health, 16, 1157-1164. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from Academic Search Premier Database.

Tiggeman, B. & Pickering, Amanda S. (1996). Role of Television in Adolescent Women’s Body Dissatisfaction and Drive for Thinness. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 20(2), 199-203. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from Academic Search Premier Database.

Tiggeman, Marika., Slater, Amy. (2004). Thin Ideals in Television:  A source of Social Comparison and Body Dissatisfaction.  International Journal of Eating Disorders, 35(1), 48-58.  Retrieved February 25, 2009 from Academic Search Premier Database.

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Learning Outcome #4 – Reflection 2

Randy Otis
Comm and Technology in Society – Summer 2010
2nd Reflection for Learning Outcome #4

This presentation allowed me to develop my public speaking skills by speaking about something I was passionate about. I feel in order to keep an audience’s attention you have to find a way to directly relate to them. By choosing the topic of Facebook, it was something that everybody was using. However not everyone was critically thinking about how the website was affecting their relationships and perceptions of others.
In my first couple of years in college I tended to read right off of my notes or off of the screen. I later learned the importance of making eye contact with my audience. Another important aspect that I learned was to be over prepared. Think about questions that may be asked and be prepared to answer them prior to giving the presentation. I have to do this in my current job as an analyst. Much of what I do is gather information and present it to executives and decision makers within my company. If I’m not fully prepared I can be easily embarrassed. The same goes for giving speeches at Carroll U. If I tried to give a speech based off of an unorganized outline or a small amount of notes, I was ineffective. If I was prepared with a detailed outline, followed by a visual aid to my audience, the speeches would go smooth. I also found that being prepared helped my confidence level. Confidence can eliminate nervousness.
Another lesson I’ve learned is to be detailed, but give information in a short but sweet format. Attention spans can be short when you have to listen to numerous presentations. It’s important to capture your audience and keep their attention. Finding an appropriate subject and relating it to the audience with enthusiasm was the key to success. I started my college career a nervous speaker and through the knowledge base learned from research based classes and a speech class I now understand how to convey important information to a group of people face to face. I hated speaking in front of people initially, but now I know if I’m prepared, and confident it’s just like talking to a group of friends.

Learning Outcome #4 – Artifact 1 “What Came First, the Thought or the Post?

Randy Otis
Social Media Research Project
Comm and Technology in Society – Summer 2010
Artifact #1 for Learning Outcome #4

What Came First, the Thought or the Post?

Social media platforms have become a source of constant communication within different social communities. The accessibility of positing thoughts quickly and without accountability is leading people to lose their ability to think critically. Social media platforms are fostering a mob mentality type of thinking, and reducing the amount of self-directed opinions and critical thinking based on analysis, assessment and inference. Throughout this paper I’m going to assess what critical thinking is, how social media is preventing thinking critically, how social media encourages close-mindedness, and how social media creates a lack of responsibility.
Critical thinking is a method of thinking that allows the thinker to improve and reconstruct thoughts based on analysis, interpretation and inference. This is a process where the thinker approaches a thought with a rational and open-mind, with the support of evidence. It is important during this process that thoughts are approached objectively and without the interference of emotions. Critical thinking is an internal process and relates to a person’s ability to control emotions and approach a situation logically. The thought process is an essential part of being a successful communicator, and when the self is taken out of the equation, and given to the masses, people begin to lose the ability to think critically.
As I discussed above, critical thinking is the process that relies heavily on analysis and evidence, and with the popularity of positing on social media platforms, people are relying more heavily on peer feedback. According to 4 Ways Social Media is Changing Your Relationships, there are four ways social media is changing our relationship styles including; allows us to connect with more people rapidly, it’s easier to overestimate the levels of intimacy of online relationships, it makes people more susceptible to adopting behaviors and beliefs of others, and it facilitates a comparison of oneself to others (Rashna, 2012). By allowing these behaviors to change within relationships, people are losing their ability to think critically and independently. People are relying on validations in the responses to posts from their online social communities, and there can be a real danger in forming conclusions based on sentimental responses. Without a lack of evidence and reasoning, a person becomes a follower in favor of popular support instead of seeking out answers independently.
Not only are social media platforms allowing mob mentality communications, but they are also encouraging close-mindedness. The method of thinking critically forces a person to think objectively and openly, and being close-minded stops the process short. Social media is subverting critical thinking (Brooks, 2012). Twitter is a good example of social media platform that is encouraging close-mindedness. Tweets are only 140 characters long, and do not allow the proper amount of space to defend a thought with reason or evidence. People are tweeting instantaneously without taking the time to analyze whether the thought should be posted or not. Facebook is another good example of a social platform that is creating a close-minded approach to thinking. With instant access, through cell phones, people are “liking” posts and creating a contest and not a discussion. The dialogue that is created by commenting on posts is not a discussion, but a popularity contest, and a skewed one at that. Shorter comments are more likely to get “liked” because they are easier to read and people do not want to take the time to digest a longer comment. People are no longer analyzing and interpreting opinions, they are showing support in the easiest and quickest way possible.
Social media is creating a lack of critical thinking, but it is also enabling people to be critical, without the thinking. According to Is Social Media Bad for Business?, there are four bad behaviors that social media encourages; no guilt, mob mentality, relative anonymity, and no accountability (Babara, 2012). Posts are being made without any real responsibility to the communications that are being made public, and online bullying has reached an all time high. People have a tendency to be aggressive in their communications when it is hidden by a false anonymity. With the barricade of anonymity people tend to be more critical and aggressive in their posts, and because critical thinking has left the picture, people’s responses to posts have become less thoughtful, so fewer challenges are made. In addition, people are liking posts that are quick to read and simple, so they aren’t thinking independently, but instead following the mob by liking what is popular. By “liking” a post without any thought, especially an overly critical one, the communication is just perpetuated. Relationships can be hurt over these critical spur of the moment posts, and people are still beginning to grasp this new realm of communication.
Not only are these critical posts bad for social relationships, but they are having a big impact on businesses (Barbara, 2012). More organizations are heading towards social media to market their products and because of that push they have opened themselves up to a platform that allows instant criticism. Social media has become an extension of a person’s thoughts, beliefs and opinions, and because of the quick access to critical comments some businesses have come under attack. In the past, if one person received bad service they told ten people about it. In this new world of communication, when someone posts something negative the whole social community now can see that criticism.
In conclusion, social media platforms can prevent critical thinking, encourage close-mindedness, create a lack of responsibility and promote being critical without the thinking. Social media is a communication tool that the majority of the world has access to. People need to understand what a powerful tool it is, and also develop an understanding of the impact posts and responses have on mass communication. Critical thinking is a method of thought that allows a person to expand from their perspective alone and approach resolution through evidence and analysis. Without the ability to think critically people reach opinions based on emotions, which isn’t always the best way to form a conclusion. Being able to think critically is an essential part of being a good communicator and without our ability to be self-aware and self-manage, communications can become skewed. Although social media has its limitations, it also has a great ability to connect people instantaneously, but greater awareness needs to be reached on the impact social media platforms have on communications and its relationship to critical thinking.

Barbara, Juliet. “Is Social Media Bad For Business?” N.p., 11 Nov. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. .
Bradley, Steven. “Social Networking Leading to Less Critical Thinking.” N.p., 04 Apr. 2008. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. .
Brooks, Jason. “Social Media Subverts Critical Thinking.” N.p., 17 Oct. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. .
Ioerger, Roderick. “Is Social Media an Impediment to Problem Solving?” N.p., 02 Apr. 2008. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. .
Jones, Dr. Rachna. “4 Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Relationships.” N.p., 30 June 2010. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. .

Learning Outcome #4 Reflection 1/2 Written Competency

Randy Otis
Comm and Technology in Society – Summer 2010
1st Reflection for Learning Outcome #4

The artifact provided was an essay and an oral presentation given in Comm 317, Communication and Technology in Society. In mid 2010 popularity of Face book was at an all time high. Facebook related topics were and still are very relevant to society due to the nature of communication used on the website. I discussed facebooks relation to critical thinking and the responsibility we have when we decide to post a comment online. I wrote this essay because I constantly was hearing how Facebook was damaging relationships, hurting companies, and allowing offensive material to reach a mass of people. In my personal life I was seeing people posting things that they would never say to someone face to face. I thought it was necessary to present this information to the class to help them understand that what you post is forever.
Throughout this essay I was able to clearly identify the major communication issues that are affecting not only people posting on Facebook, but companies that are being negatively affected due to negative comments being posted. By Identifying the issues, and providing examples, allowed me to present my thoughts and ideas in a clear concise manner. I was able to show the readers the importance of thinking critically while posting on social media websites. Using examples from professional research conducted allowed me to help the readers relate the issue back to their own lives. Relating to these issues helped the class understand how to improve their communication style, as well as, increased awareness of the issues. Identifying research that had been done also helped my readers understand the serious significance of the issue. I received positive feedback from the class after presenting this paper. I was told, “That’s something I never thought about”, which was precisely my goal. I feel that after my presentation students will not only think critically when posting online, but will also develop education thoughts instead of simply posting whatever comes to their minds. This writing experience was refreshing because I was able to do research and relate that information back to my own thoughts and ideas. Prior to this paper the majority of what I was writing was literary analysis.


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