Exemplification effects in sport media: Examining the impact of fanship, exemplar type, and time
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Exemplification research in mass communication has examined many facets of the differential influence of exemplars versus base-rate information. Fewer studies have probed how individual differences, such as personality traits for consumption, moderate the influence of exemplars and/or base rate information. This study focuses on the application of exemplification theory within a novel context where certain individual differences are highly salient. Specifically, this experiment examined the influence of sports media statistics (base-rate information) and highlight video (exemplars) by individuals with varying levels of college football fanship to consume these types of information. A convenience sample of 213 subjects participated in the 2 (fanship: high or low) X 2 (exemplar type: modest or positive) X 2 (time of assessment: immediate or delayed) fully-crossed, experimental, online study. Results indicated that those with greater interest in college football were more influenced by the positive exemplars, rating them higher than they were by the athlete with modest exemplars. Also, the study demonstrated that those interested in sports more accurately recall base-rate information than their nonfan counterparts. Findings are discussed and implications for exemplification research and sport media are addressed.