Johanna Blakley

Media | Entertainment | Fashion

Archive for entertainment education

Participant Media’s Impact Index

TPI

The New York Times devoted significant ink this week to The Participant Index (TPI), an effort by Participant Media to quantify and compare the relative social impact of films, TV shows and online video. The article also mentioned the Lear Center’s $4.2 million Media Impact Project: I’m the co-principal investigator on that project and we’ve been consulting with Participant on the development of TPI.

Here’s a little back story: Participant approached the Lear Center because of its academic expertise in measuring the impact of educational messages embedded in entertainment content. Our Hollywood, Health & Society program (for which I wrote the initial grant) has partnered with the CDC for the last 14 years to look at how health story lines in popular TV shows affect viewers’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior. The survey component of TPI includes a combination of questions that have become standard in entertainment education evaluation: the “transportation scale” identifies the type of emotional involvement that the entertainment content triggered and the outcome questions indicate what real-world actions a subject has taken after exposure to the content. TPI combines these two measures to create a score for each piece of video content in the study. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Movies Really Change People?

I’m delighted to announce that my latest TEDx talk, which I delivered at TEDxPhoenix, has been posted online! In this video I summarize research findings from an innovative new project at the Norman Lear Center. We used a new survey methodology in order to understand whether a film could have a measurable impact on the behavior of audience members. The focus this time was the hard-hitting documentary film Food, Inc. We will perform similar research on two more Participant Media films, Waiting for “Superman” and Contagion. Please stay tuned!

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