Media portrayal of concussions in sporting matches : influence on observers' perception, knowledge and attitude towards concussion
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine how the media portrayal of potential head injuries in sporting contexts could affect observer’s judgments and perceptions of concussion. First, this study examined whether providing guidelines regarding returning to play after suffering a concussion could affect the likelihood of participants to identify an athlete’s likely concussion. Secondly, this study also examined whether providing feedback on how the concussed athletes were treated after the likely event would change participants’ responses on reporting concussion. Knowledge and attitude towards concussion were also assessed in this study. Finally, personality traits were examined to see if any personality traits have associations with concussion reporting behaviour.
Participants and measurements: A total of 828 participants recruited online were randomly divided into two groups (n = 414 each). Participants were asked a series of questions on concussion knowledge and attitude (cautiousness) and viewed a series of short videos of rugby matches which a concussion may have occurred. Participants were asked whether they think the athletes experienced a concussion. Participants were given feedback on how the athletes were treated (remove, stay or return to play) and asked again if they think the athletes experienced a concussion. Personality traits were measured by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised (EPQ-R) (S. Eysenck, Eysenck, & Barrett, 1985) at the end of the questionnaire.
Conclusion: How athletes were treated after suffering a concussion significantly changed participants’ response to whether or not they think an event of concussion had occurred. The return-to-play guideline did not influence participants’ ability to identify concussions. Psychoticism and Extraversion were negatively correlated with concussion knowledge and attitude. Overall, this study shows that media portrayal of concussions significantly affects individuals’ behaviour towards the management of concussion.