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chelle21689's avatar

Can someone translate this "smart" word talk for me?

Asked by chelle21689 (7648points) May 30th, 2012

I feel like a complete idiot for not understanding some of these words such as “Hypothesized Mediator”. I keep stopping to google these words! I’m not allowed to use any other source. I just copy and pasted some sentences from the article I didn’t understand. What the heck is mediational anyways? Even Fluther or Microsoft word doesn’t know it!

Hypothesized mediators of this effect included college alcohol beliefs (beliefs that drinking is central to college life), positive and negative alcohol expectancies, and descriptive and injunctive norms.

Movie exposure also had significant indirect effects on drinking through all of the hypothesized mediators, with the exception of negative alcohol expectancies.

All mediated movie exposure’‘s effects on drinking consequences, with the exception of injunctive norms. Contrast analyses revealed that college alcohol beliefs had the strongest mediational effects in the relationship between movie exposure and both drinking and consequences.

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7 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

hypothesized means not proven but considered as a possible mediator…mediator means something that affects how we get from point A to point B…so college alcohol beliefs mediate aka affect how whatever you’re reading about affects whatever else you’re reading about…

bookish1's avatar

Academics, especially in the social sciences, love to make up words to make their work sound more important :-/

A “mediator” is a vector, a way by which something is transmitted, in this context, beliefs about alcohol drinking. And “hypothesized” means that these social scientists are guessing that the things that they are studying, such as movies, are in fact “mediators”.

chelle21689's avatar

Thanks everyone! I keep reading it over and I feel so lost. It sucks because my professor is only making us look up scholarly articles for my research paper and SO many of them use big words like these that are difficult for me to understand even if I look in a dictionary.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@chelle21689 It’s a good idea, though…you should learn how to read these kinds of things…you’ll be better able to understand some bullshit study some of us social scientists would be trying to get you buy.

thorninmud's avatar

That text is from the abstract of the study, and abstracts, by their nature, are sparing with details. the expectation is that you will read the full paper to actually see what the hell they’re talking about.

This paragraph from the text of the paper clarifies what your quoted sentences are actually getting at in (slightly) friendlier language:

“We hypothesized that increased exposure to movies that glorify
college drinking impact on viewers’ beliefs about the role of alcohol in
college life. Those with greater exposure to such movies are likely to
develop stronger beliefs that alcohol is an inherent aspect of the
college experience. This in turn leads to higher levels of drinking and
drinking consequences. Moreover, we hypothesized that college
drinking movie exposure impacts viewers’ expectancies about the
effects of alcohol. Movie portrayals tend to emphasize the positive
effects of drinking (e.g., enhanced fun and increased comfort in social
interaction) and minimize its negative consequences (e.g., poor
academic performance, physical injury). These effects in turn lead to
increased drinking and drinking consequences. Finally, we hypothesized
that increased movie exposure leads to perceptions that the
vast majority of college students drink (descriptive norms) and also
that they find drinking to be highly acceptable (injunctive norms),
which in turn leads to increased drinking and drinking consequences.”

chelle21689's avatar

life savers, thanks

Jeruba's avatar

Good job, @thorninmud.

@chelle21689, an abstract will help you get an idea of what an article or paper is about, enough to decide whether it’s what you’re looking for. But it’s no substitute for reading the actual article. Often, though, you can read the beginning and the conclusions and skim over the details of the study in the middle, as long as your task doesn’t involve critiquing the study design or methods.

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