What If It Happened to Me? Socially Conscious Music Videos Can Address Campus Assault: Narrative Engagement and Rape Myth Acceptance

Nicholas David Bowman, Jennifer Knight, Lea Schlue, Elizabeth L. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Socially conscious popular music delivers entertaining and socially relevant content and has a historic presence within the music industry. However, music is generally distributed in both audio (songs) and visual (music videos) formats, and our study investigates the extent to which videos might be more effective than songs alone in communicating social themes, given that their visual nature potentially offers a more concrete and engaging narrative. By randomly assigning college students to listen to or watch Lady Gaga's "Til It Happens To You"-a socially conscious music video released in 2015 that deals with college campus sexual assaults-we found videos to be superior to songs in both boosting narrative engagement (via an increased comprehension of the song as evidence by open-ended explanations of the song's narrative) and (via a serial causal model test) lowering rape myth acceptance. This study extends narrative engagement theory to socially conscious music videos and offers some evidence in support of the effectiveness of such efforts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Popular Media Culture
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 7 2018

Keywords

  • Experimental design
  • Moderated mediation
  • Music videos
  • Rape myth acceptance

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