• Seeing, believing and cooking: Visual communication, food-media literacy, and self-efficacy

      Hobbs, Renee; Maynard, Michael L.; Mendelson, Andrew L. (Andrew Lawrence), 1967-; Ray, Krishnendu (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      Food media such as cookbooks, magazines, and television programs have become enormously popular in the last 15 to 20 years, but they have remained relatively unexamined in empirical media research. The focus of this project is the audience's perception of visual food media, specifically the capacity for critical evaluation of such media by adult women. `Food-media literacy' is the term coined in this work to describe such critical competence. The first phase of this project began to conceptualize food-media literacy with a pair of focus groups in which participants examined a series of print food advertisements. Discussion in the groups was guided by several of the core questions of media literacy. In the second phase, an experiment was conducted to examine the influence of a slick, professionally styled photo on an adult woman's interpretation of the recipe it illustrated. The primary hypothesis was that such an image would make the subject less likely to respond with confidence that she could follow the recipe and produce a similar result - a self-efficacious response. Other data collected in the experiment were the subjects' food-media literacy, cooking experience, food media use, experience using digital imaging technology, and cognitive style. The primary statistical analysis did not detect a significant relationship between the quality of the photo illustration and the subjects' self-efficacious response. Secondary analysis revealed that cooking experience was the only factor that influenced self-efficacy. Additional analyses confirmed the validity of the food-media literacy scale, and revealed important insights regarding the role of experience with digital imaging technology, and subjects' perception of food media as a genre.