1. What were your findings?
My group, which consisted of me and one other person, decided to focus on one character only, and do our best to accurately tally/analyze their signs and words. Lucky for me, my character was Blue, so I wasn’t nearly as overwhelmed by the volume of data.
As far as I could tell, Blue used three different signs/words, a total of seven times.
The first was “C’mon”, used three times. I believe this was accompanied by a sort of “come hither” arm gesture.
Next was “Blue”, used twice. I don’t exactly remember the sign that went with it, but I’m pretty sure it involved Blue gesturing towards herself.
Last was “Clue”, which was used four times, and was accompanied by Blue raising her ears, whereas Steve signaled “clue” by raising his arms in a kind of “quote on quote” fashion. I found this interesting, as it seemed that this may cause confusion to a youngster.
I don’t think I tallied all of Blue’s signs, for I got distracted a couple times, and must admit I was bored by Blue’s Clues even as a child. Mainly Steve. I really dislike Steve’s pacing of the show. I’m not stupid Steve!…….
As far as I could tell, words were only not accompanied by a sign one time, though I may be incorrect here as well, as Blue cannot really speak, per se, only vocalize.
Signs were always accompanied by words.
2. Is content analysis the best way to study media effects?
Sometimes, but not always. In this case it was, due to the nature of the text we were analyzing. However, different studies require different methods. If we were studying the effect of Blue’s Clues on children’s cognitive abilities, for example, we would need a more hands on, traditional kind of study. That being said, whether to give better perspective and context to a study, or just because it is the most illuminating option, content analysis nearly always has a place in media effects, and research as a whole.
3. What did you learn about media effects?
The hands on nature of the activity we did really drove home how tedious and meticulous these studies can be. I don’t feel I was properly prepared to record the information at hand, therefore preparation is of extreme importance in such a study, as it should be in any. That being said, though I’m not a huge Blue’s Clues fan, seeing how much could be done with such a “simple” show really opened my eyes to how broad this field is, and the potential that it has to provide insightful and unique perspectives on human nature.