Date of Award

August 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Media Studies


Carol Liebler


Gays and lesbians towards gays and lesbians, Narrative persuation, Peer perceptions, Presumed media influence, Third-person effects, TV entertainment

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences



This survey study (N=856) applied the Influence of Presumed Influence (IPI) model to explore the trilateral relationships among 1) consumption of recently on-air TV shows where LGBT characters serve as recurring narrative elements, 2) attitudes, and 3) perceived attitudes towards gays and lesbians (ATLG & PATLG) among straight Americans. The results advanced the model in at least three directions: 1) instead of “peer pressure,” self attitudes are better conceptualized in as the “cause” in the pro-social context; 2) consumption of media content and interpersonal contacts, in this case, LGBT-inclusive TV and personal relationships with LGBT individuals, moderate participants’ PATLG among close friends and people of the same age; 3) participants perceptually differentiated the influence of these TV shows on ATLG among self, close friends, and people of the same age. The modification of the original IPI model provides the ripple perception model to explain the self-other differential perceptions in this context.

Key words: TV entertainment, peer perceptions, gays and lesbians, presumed media influence, attitudes


Open Access



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