GE NDE R DIFF E RE NCE S IN TH E USE OF RE MOTE CONTROL DE VICE S

Dou gla s A. F er gu son , P h .D. Depa r t m en t of Ra dio-Television -F ilm Bowlin g Gr een St at e Un iver sit y Bowlin g Gr een , Oh io 43403 (419) 372-6007 BITNE T: fer gu son @ bgsu opie

Com pet it ive pa per su bm it t ed t o t h e Ma ss Com m u n ica t ion Division of t h e Speech Com m u n ica t ion Associa t ion Novem ber 1991

GE NDE R DIFF E RE NCE S IN TH E USE OF RE MOTE CONTROL DE VICE S

Abst r a ct Th e r em ot e con t r ol device (RCD) is a ch oice-fa cilit a t in g elem en t in t h e t elevision en vir on m en t . Th is st u dy exa m in ed a t t it u des a n d beh a vior s a ssocia t ed wit h RCD u se a s a fu n ct ion of gen der differ en ces. Usin g 1990 t eleph on e da t a (N=583), t -t est s fou n d m en ch a ngin g ch a n n els wit h t h e RCD m or e oft en t h a n wom en, even du r in g fa vor it e pr ogr a m s. Bor edom , com m er cia l a voida n ce, a n d wa t ch in g two sh ows (a s m ot iva t ion s for RCD beh avior ) wer e r epor t ed m or e oft en by m en . Wom en r epor t ed cu r iosit y m or e oft en .

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 1 Gen der Differ en ces in t h e Use of Rem ot e Con t r ol Devices P a r t of t he pr om ise of t h e "n ew m edia en vir on men t " is t h a t u n bou n ded ch oice r epla ces t h e h om ogen eit y of t h e "old m edia " (Webst er , 1986). In a ddit ion t o ca ble t elevision a n d t h e videoca sset t e r ecor der (VCR ), t h e r em ot e con t r ol device (RCD) is a ch oice-fa cilit a t in g elem en t in t h e n ew m edia en vir on m en t . Th is st u dy exam in ed a t t it u des an d beh a vior s a ssocia t ed wit h RCD u se, especia lly a s a fu n ct ion of gen der differ en ces. Th e r esea r ch qu est ion h er e sou gh t t o iden t ify wh ich a t t it u des a n d beh avior s sh owed sign ifica n t gen der differ en ces a n d wha t m ot iva t ion s wer e beh in d su ch differ en ces. Ba sed on t h e r eview of lit er a t u r e, it wa s a n t icipa t ed t h a t m en wou ld pr ocess in for m a t ion differ en t ly t h a n wom en , a s in dica t ed b y RCD u se. The im plica t ion s of h ow m en a n d wom en u se RCDs differ en t ly t o view t elevision h a ve pr a ct ica l im pa ct on t elevision pr ogr a m m er s a n d t h eor et ica l im por t a n ce for t elevision ch oice m odels (H eet er , 1985; Webst er & Wa ksh la g, 1983). Th e popu la r m edia (e.g., ca r t oon s, gr eet in g ca r ds, t elevision sh ows) h a ve ta ken n ot e of t h e a ppa r en t differ en ces in RCD beha vior : Men a r e oft en por t r a yed a s ch a n n el-h oppin g t elevision viewer s ("Th e Bat t le," 1991; Kissin ger , 1991). Wom en , for t h eir pa r t , r ea ct t o su ch beh av ior in va r iou s wa ys: a nger , r idicu le, a n d exa sper a t ion . A ser ies of focu s gr ou ps (F er gu son , 1990a ) pr odu ced evoca t ive com m en t s abou t gen der differ en ces su r r ou n din g RCD u se. Sever a l ma le pa r t icipa n t s a dm it t ed t o figh t in g over t h e r em ote con t r ol: My r oom m at es a n d I figh t over t h e r em ot e. When we leave t he r oom we ha n d it off t o a n ot h er gu y t o m a ke su r e som eon e else doesn 't get it .

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 2 Som et im es we'll h ide it . Rem in ds m e of people wh o ca ll t he r em ot e God [beca u se it ] con t r olled t h eir life. Oft en t h er e wa s a sen se of fr u st r a t ion dir ect ed a t t h e per son (a lwa ys ma le, in t h is pu r posive sa m ple of wom en a n d m en ) who con t r olled t h e r em ot e con t r ol: My da d is a cr u iser . H e'll flip it ba ck a n d for t h a n d it get s r ea l ir r it a t in g. My da d does t h a t, ju st som et h in g fier ce. It m akes m e so m a d. 'Ca u se I'll sit down a n d h e'll be wa t ch in g som et h in g a n d I'll wa t ch it a n d ju st a t t h e poin t -- I don 't kn ow h ow h e does t h is -- ju st a t th e poin t wh en I'm get t in g in t o it , h e'll flick it t o som et h in g else. Th en I'll wa t ch t ha t , a n d I'll ju st be get t in g in t o it , a n d h e'll flick t o som et h in g else. E ver yon e gives h im a ha r d t im e, bu t h e t h in ks t h ey'r e kiddin g h im . Th is qua lit a t ive r esea r ch pr odu ced six t h em es abou t viewin g in t h e n ew m edia en vir on m en t : select ive viewin g a s a pu r p osefu l a ct ivit y, t h e u se of t elevision a s a sou r ce of n oise, bor edom a s a pr er equ isit e t o ch oice, RCD ch a n n el flippin g a s a flou r ish in g ph en om en on , a sen se of in t er r u pt ion a s a pa r t of t h e viewin g exper ien ce, a n d a sen se of fr u st r a t ion over con t rol a s a pa r t of RCD u se. F er gu son con clu ded t h a t people a r e u sin g n ew m edia t ech n ologies t o view pr im e-t im e t elevision select ively. Gen der differ en ces in t elevision viewin g h a ve been st u died pr eviou sly. H eet er (1985) r epor t ed t h a t m a les u se viewin g gu ides less, ch a n ge ch a n n els m or e, wa t ch m or e differ en t ch a n n els, en ga ge in less con cen t r a t ed ch a n n el u se, a n d a r e m or e fa m ilia r wit h differ en t ch a n n els. H eet er (1988) a lso n ot ed sever a l gen der differ en ces in t elevision viewin g loya lt y. Ten sepa r a t e st u dies u sin g a va r iet y of m et hods r evea led t h a t fem a les a r e m or e likely t o wa t ch t h e sa m e da ily a n d weekly pr ogr a m s a n d t h at m en a r e less likely t o pla n t h eir

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 3 viewin g befor e t u r n in g on t h e t elevision set . However , H eet er did n ot lin k gen der differ en ces t o t h e u se of r em ot e con t r ol devices. Alt h ou gh pr eviou s r esea r ch h a s sh own t h at m en a n d women wa t ch t elevision differ en t ly a s in dividu a ls, t h e sa m e ma y n ot be t r u e wh en t h e u n it of a n a lysis is fa m ily u sa ge. Lin dlof a n d Sh a t zer (1989) u sed Q -sor t a na lysis t o sh ow gr ea t er per cept u a l sim ila r it ies t h a n differ en ces wh en spou sa l viewin g wa s con sider ed wit h r ega r d t o fa m ily u se of t h e VCR. Th er e h a ve been ma n y st u dies don e on t h e gen der differ en ces bet ween ch ildr en wa t ch in g t elevision . Ha efn er , Met t s, a n d Wa r t ella (1989) n ot ed differ en ces in power st r a t egies bet ween boys a nd gir ls wh en r esolvin g con flict over t elevision pr ogr a m ch oice. Th ey su ggest ed t h a t ma le dom in a n ce in t h e t elevision con t ext m ay be est ablish ed ea r lier in life, expla in in g la t er fa t h er a n d h u sba n d dom in a n ce fou n d by Mor ley (1986). Gen der Resea r ch On e possible expla n a t ion for RCD-r ela t ed gen der differ en ces con cer n s t h e dissim ila r wa ys t ha t ma les a n d fema les pr ocess in for m a t ion a n d r en der ju dgm en t s. Meyer s-Levy (1989) pr esen t ed a n ext en sive r eview of t h e lit er a t u r e on in for m a t ion -pr ocessin g. Meyer s-Levy wa s able t o r econ cile som et im es con t r a dict or y fin din gs by post u la t in g a select ivit y h ypot h esis, ba sed on t h e idea t ha t ma les do n ot com pr eh en sively pr ocess a ll a va ila ble in for m a t ion , r elyin g in st ea d on h igh ly ava ila ble a n d sa lien t h eu r ist ic cu es. Th e select ivit y h ypot h esis su ggest s "fema les gen er a lly a t t em pt t o en ga ge in a r at h er effor t fu l, com pr eh en sive, piecem ea l a n a lysis of a ll a va ila ble in for m a t ion " (Meyer s-Levy, 1989, p. 221). Alt hou gh n eit h er of t h e two st r a t egies a r e su per ior t o t h e ot h er , t h e a ut h or fou n d su ppor t in t h e r esea r ch

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 4 lit er a t u r e for gen der differ en ces on sever a l levels of in for m a t ion -pr ocessin g: in t er pr et a t ion , pla y beha vior , ot h er -dir ect ed in t er a ct ion s, spa t ia l ver su s lin gu ist ic skills, a n d in flu en cea bilit y. Th e r esea r ch focu sed on differ en t st yles of a dver t isin g for m en a n d wom en , bu t cou ld su ggest t h a t m en u se t he r em ot e con t r ol m or e oft en beca u se of t h eir fa st er (t h ou gh n ot n ecessa r ily bet t er ) decision -m a kin g. It is im por t a n t t o note t h a t neit h er a ppr oa ch is in h er en t ly su per ior , bu t ma y ser ve t o expla in gen der differ en ces in in for m a t ion pr ocessin g. At t en t ion spa n h a s been a lso st u died by differ en t r esea r ch er s. An der son (1986) r epor t ed t h at m en looked a t t he t elevision set m or e t h a n wom en . Alt h ou gh Sta u ffer , F r ost , a n d Rybolt (1983) fou n d n o gen der differ en ces in t h e r eca ll of n et wor k t elevision n ews pr ogr a m s, Gou ld (1987) n ot ed t h a t you n ger fema les r eca lled m or e t elevision com m er cia ls t h a n ot h er m a le a n d fema le gr ou ps. Gou ld a t t r ibu t ed su ch fin din gs t o gr ea t er self-con sciou sn ess a m on g you nger fem a les. At t it u din a l a n d beh avior a l differ en ces h a ve been st u died in gen der r esea r ch . Dovidio et a l. (1988) r epor t ed differ en ces in ver ba l a n d n onver ba l displa ys of power . Na dler a n d Na dler (1987) fou n d wom en t o be less su ccessfu l in in t r a or ga n iza t ion a l n egot ia t ion sit u a t ion s, beca u se of su ch va r ia bles a s cogn it ive a n d beh avior or ien t a t ion s t owa r d con flict sit u a t ion s. Con flict in t h e for m of gr ea t er a ggr a va t ion a n d power lessn ess wh ile ch oosin g t elevision pr ogr a m s cou ld be expect ed wit h r egar d t o r em ot e con t r ol a t t it u des for wom en . Mickelson (1989) u sed t h eor ies of socia l power lessn ess t o for m u la t e h ypot h eses r ega r din g wom en 's a ca dem ic a ch ievem en t .

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 5 An ot h er a r ea of gen der r esea r ch con cer n s cr it ica l a ppr oa ch es. Ra kow (1988) a r gu ed t h a t t ech n ology it self expr esses m a in ly m a le va lu es a n d m ea n in gs. Ca r t er a n d Spit za ck (1989) h ave cr it icized t h e pr edom in a t e t h eor ies a n d m et h ods u sed in com m u n ica t ion r esea r ch . Na dler , Na dler , a n d Todd-Ma n cilla s (1987) a lso h ave su m ma r ized cr it ica l wr it in gs, especia lly con cer n in g con flict a n d n egot ia t ion . La Du c (1990) a t t em pt ed t o r econ cile biologica l a n d sociologica l expla n a t ion s by devisin g a con t in u u m of beh avior s. La Du c believed t h a t t h e con t in u u m su ggest ed wa ys "t o over com e ou r fea r of ph ysiologica lly-ba sed r esea r ch t h r ou gh t h e r ea liza t ion t h a t it m ay en r ich ou r sea r ch for expla n a t ion s of sex/gen der differ en ces r a t h er t h a n na r r owly cir cu m scr ibe t h em " (p. 28). Rem ot e Con t r ol Resea r ch Rem ot e con t r ol r esea r ch r epr esen t s a n im por t a n t yet u n der -r esea r ch ed a r ea of t h e n ew m edia en vir on m en t . Rem ot e con t r ol pen et r a t ion in 1990 ha d r ea ch ed 77% of t elevision h ou seh olds in t h e Un it ed St a t es (Sha gr in , 1990), a lt h ou gh t h e in clu sion of VCR r em ot e con t r ol devices h a s r epor t edly in fla t ed su ch Nielsen est im a t es 10 per cen t a ge poin t s (Sylvest er , 1990). H eet er a n d Gr een ber g (1985; 1988) exa m in ed t h e im pa ct of RCDs a m on g ca ble viewer s, poin t in g ou t t h a t viewer s wit h RCDs a r e m or e likely t o za p com m er cia ls du r in g a n d bet ween pr ogr a m s. Ain slie (1988) r epor t ed on "gr a zin g" (flippin g t h r ou gh ch a n n els wit h r em ot e con t r ol devices) a s a n ew way of wa t ch in g t elevision . Dr awin g on a n a t ion a l sa m ple of 650 a du lt r espon den t s su r veyed by F r a n k N. Ma gid Associa t es, Ain slie r evea led t h a t two ma jor mot iva t ion s for gr a zin g wer e bor edom a n d con cer n for m issin g a bett er pr ogr a m on a n ot h er ch a n n el.

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 6 Br own (1989) su m ma r ized t h e fin din gs of t h e Ma gid st u dy, wa r n in g t h at it wou ld be "per ilou s" for br oa dca st er s t o down pla y t h e im por t a n ce of gr a zin g (p. 55). Wa lker a n d Bella m y (in pr ess) wr ot e t h a t t he "neglect of RCDs by com m u n ica t ion r esea r ch er s is u n for t u n a t e" (p. 3). Th eir r esea r ch cen t er ed on a t r a n sa ct ion a l m odel of gr a t ifica t ion s/effect s. Usin g a sa m ple of u n iver sit y st u den t s (N=455), t h ey r epor t ed a fa ct or a na lysis of gr a t ifica t ion s t h a t iden t ified select ive a voida n ce a s a n im por t a n t m ot iva t ion for RCD u se. Wen n er & Den n eh y (1990) r epor t ed eviden ce t h a t t h e RCD is a toy t ech n ology r a t h er t ha n a t ool t ech n ology (for a not h er view, see Bella my & Wa lker , 1990). Th is fin din g su ppor t s Meyer s -Levy's n ot ion t h at ma les u se con cr et e pr ops for pla y beh avior a n d fem a les r ely m or e on fa n t a sy or pr et en din g. Th is m a y be t h e r esu lt of "gr eat er pa r t icipa t ion of boys in low-st r u ct u r e set t in gs a n d gir ls in h igh -st r u ct u r e set t in gs" (Meyer s-Levy, 1989, p. 225). Th er e is a lso eviden ce t h a t women a r e m or e likely t o self-focu s t h a n m en (In gr a m, Cr u et , & J oh n son , 1988). Th er e is n o eviden ce t h a t r eca ll of in for m a t ion is r ela t ed t o gen der (St a u ffer , F r ost , & Rybolt , 1983). Nor is t h er e con clu sive eviden ce r ega r din g left br a in -r igh t br a in gen der differ en ces (e.g., Bower s & La Ba r ba , 1988; Ker t esz, P olk, H owell, & Bla ck, 1987). Th is pr esen t st u dy sou gh t t o iden t ify wh ich a t t it u des a n d beha vior s sh owed sign ifica n t gen der differ en ces. Th e findin gs, like t h ose in t h e Ma gid st u dy, a r e ba sed on a r a n dom t eleph on e su r vey.

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 7 Met h od A t eleph on e su r vey in Spr in g 1990 u sed a r a n dom -digit dia lin g t ech n iqu e t h a t a ssign ed fou r digit s t o t h r ee a va ila ble t eleph on e pr efixes, weigh t ed by t h eir a ct u a l dist r ibu t ion wit h in t h e t own (F r ey, 1983). Th e t a r get popu la t ion wa s a du lt s livin g off-ca m pu s in a u n iver sit y t own in t h e Midwest . Tr a in ed college st u den t s in a n a u dien ce m ea su r em en t cla ss dia led 2452 n um ber s fr om a closely-su per vised cen t r a l loca t ion . Non wor kin g n u m ber s a ccou n t ed for 1364 a tt em pt s, leavin g 1088 va lid a t t em pt s. Ea ch wor kin g r a n dom n u m ber wa s dia led t h r ee t im es a n d ca llba cks wer e u sed. Aft er delet in g 130 bu sin ess n u m ber s a n d 193 n o a n swer s, t h er e wer e 765 ph on e n u m ber s in t h e sam ple. Th er e wer e 583 com plet ion s, wit h 182 r efu sa ls, for a 76.2% com plet ion r a t e. Th e su r vey collect ed in for m a t ion on t ech n ology own er sh ip (TV, ca ble, pa y cable, VCR, sa tellit e dish ) a n d ba sic dem ogr a ph ics pa t t er n ed a ft er t h e Ma gid st u dy (sex, edu ca t ion , a ge, a n d in com e). Beh avior s a ssocia t ed wit h RCD u se (flippin g, ch eckin g TV list in gs, gr a zin g, in cr ea sed u se, a gr eem en t, a n d ver ba l disa gr eem en t ) wer e a sked t o det ect differ en ces. Th e qu est ion n a ir e a lso su r veyed at t it u des t owa r d RCDs t o det er m in e gen der differ en ces r ega r din g decision -m a kin g, a ggr ava tion , feelin gs of power , a n d t elevision en joym en t . F lippin g fr equ en cy wa s det er m in ed by a skin g: "Du r in g a t ypica l h ou r of TV viewin g yest er da y, h ow oft en did you ch a n ge t h e ch a n n el?" If t he r espon den t did n ot wa t ch ed t elevision "yest er day," t h e in t er viewer a sked a bou t "t h e day befor e yest er da y." Th er e wa s no t h ir d ch a n ce given ; ot h er r espon ses wer e coded a s m issin g da t a .

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 8 Respon den t s iden t ified t h eir m ot iva t ion s for flippin g t h r ou gh ch a n n els du r in g pr ogr a m s by verba l fr equ en cies (a lwa ys-u su a lly-r a r ely-n ever ), u sin g st a t em ent s t h a t a lso closely pa r a lleled t h e n a t ion a l dat a fr om t h e Magid st u dy (Br own , 1989). Specifica lly, t h er e wer e six m ot ivat ion s for ch a n gin g ch a n n els du r in g pr ogr a m s: (1) t o esca pe bor edom , (2) t o a void m issin g a bet t er sh ow, (3) t o ch eck ot h er pr ogr a m s ou t of cu r iosit y, (4) t o a void com m er cia ls, (5) t o a void cer t a in per son s on t elevision , a n d (6) t o wa t ch two or m or e cha n n els a t t he sam e t im e. Th ese "flippin g m ot iva t ion s" wer e cr oss-va lida t ed ea r lier in t h e su r vey by a n open -en ded qu est ion r ega r din g t h e r espon den t s' m ajor r ea son (a n d a ny "ot h er r ea son ") for ch a n gin g ch a n n els wit h t h e r em ot e con t r ol. This in for m a l qu a lit y con t r ol wa s don e t o m a ke su r e t h a t r espon den t s wer e r ea lly a wa r e of "wh y" t h ey ch a n ged ch a n n els u sin g RCDs. Th e st a t ist ica l pa cka ge SP SS Ver sion 4.0 wa s used for a ll com pu t a t ion s. Th e a na lysis of gen der differ en ces wa s con du ct ed by m ea n s of t h e t -t est . Resu lt s Despit e a t t em pt s t o in t er view t h at per son wh o h a d t h e "la st bir t h da y" in t h e h ou seh old, 58 per cen t of t h e r espon den t s wer e fem a les. Even so, t he differ en ce in cell sizes for fem a le a n d m a le u sers of RCDs wa s n ever su fficien t ly la r ge t o viola t e t h e a ssu m pt ion s of t -t est com pa r ison s. Nea r ly 76% of t h e 583 r espon den t s (n = 442) own ed a r em ot e con t r ol device for t h eir t elevision set . Th e a vera ge cable pen et r a t ion wa s 67.2% a n d VCR pen et r a t ion wa s 71.1%. Th er e wer e n o gen der differ en ces for t h ese va r ia bles m ea su r in g t ech n ology pr esen ce.

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 9 Rem ot e con t r ol fr equ en cy (n = 350) r a n ged fr om 0 t o 50 ch a n ges per h ou r (M = 4.92, SD = 5.75). Wh en flippin g fr equ en cy wa s exam in ed by gen der , wom en cha n ged ch a n n els a n aver a ge 4.1 t im es per h ou r s (SD = 4.2). Men ch a n ged ch a n n els 5.9 t im es per h ou r (SD = 7.1), sign ifica n t ly m or e oft en t h a n wom en (t = 2.8, p < .01). Th e flippin g m ot iva t ion s (n = 412) wer e coded 4=a lways, 3=u su a lly, 2=r a r ely a n d 1=n ever . In descen din g or der , t h e r espon ses t o t h e qu est ion "H ow oft en do you ch a n ge ch a n n els beca u se . . ." wer e: bor edom (M = 2.85, SD = .78), cu r iosit y (M = 2.73, SD = .81), a void com m er cia ls (M = 2.47, SD = 1.06), a void m issin g a bet t er pr ogr a m (M = 2.39, SD = .81), a void cer t a in people (M = 2.09, SD = .88), a n d wa t ch in g two or m or e sh ows (M = 1.76, SD = .86). Ta ble 1 sh ows t h e gen der differ en ces a ssocia t ed wit h t h e six __________________ Ta ble 1 a bou t h er e __________________

flippin g m ot iva t ion s. All bu t t wo (ch a n gin g ch an n els t o ch eck ot h er pr ogr a m s a n d fea r of m issin g a bet t er sh ow) sh owed sign ifica n t differ en ces (p < .05). Ta ble 2 su m ma r izes t h e differ en ces in RCD beh a vior s bet ween __________________ Ta ble 2 a bou t h er e __________________

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 10 m en a n d wom en . Wom en wer e less likely t o gr a ze du r in g fa vor it e pr ogr a m s (t = 3.13, p < .001). Non e of t h e ot h er beha viors sh owed gen der differ en ces. Th e a tt it u din a l m ea su r es pr odu ced t wo su bst a nt ia l differ en ces __________________ Ta ble 3 a bou t h er e __________________

bet ween wom en a n d m en. Wom en wer e m u ch m or e likely t o expr ess a ggr avat ion wh en a n ot h er per son u sed t h e RCD for gr a zin g (t = -5.46, p < .001). Also, m en wer e m or e likely t o r epor t feelin g m or e power fu l wh en in con t r ol of t h e RCD (t = 3.43, p < .001). Discu ssion Th is st u dy looked a t t h e r ela t ion sh ip between gen der a n d RCD u se. H eet er (1985) fou n d t ha t m en ch a nge ch a n nels m or e oft en , bu t did n ot con n ect t h e beha vior t o RCD u se. Th e m or e im por t a n t fin din g h er e is t h a t m en a r e m or e likely t o ch a n ge ch a n n els wit h a n RCD (som et im es even du r in g t h eir fa vor it e pr ogr a m s) for t h r ee r ea son s: bor edom , a ver sion t o com m er cia ls, a n d t h e desir e t o wa t ch two or m or e pr ogr am s. Wom en a r e m or e likely t o ch a nge ch a n n els wit h a n RCD ou t of cu r iosit y. F u r t h er m or e, t h e RCD a ppa r en t ly gives m en a feelin g of power a n d cr ea t es a sou r ce of a ggr a va t ion for wom en. Th e r esea r ch fin din gs h er e ser ve to focu s on t h e m ot iva t ion s beh in d t h e r ole of gen der in pr ogr a m ch oice m odels (e.g., H eet er , 1985; Webst er & Wa ksh la g, 1983). H eet er (1985) fou n d t h a t gender (a s a viewer a t t r ibu t e) h a d a con sist en t r ela t ion sh ip wit h ch oice pr ocess va r ia bles (su ch a s ch a n n el ch a n gin g fr equ en cy). Th e pr esen t st u dy looked a t possible "u ses a n d

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 11 gr a t ifica t ion s" of t h e ch oice pr ocess. Th e r esu lt s h er e a dd t o t h e u n der st a n din g of t elevision viewin g: t o kn ow wh y ch oices a r e bein g m a de, fr om a fu n ct ion a l poin t of view. Th e differ en ce r ega r din g feelin g of power m a y be m or e r ela t ed t o gen der a n d power in gen er a l (cf. Dovidio et a l., 1988) t ha n t o RCD u se in pa r t icu la r . P ower m ay be a feelin g t h a t m en ar e socia lized t o disclose. H owever , t h er e is in su fficien t eviden ce in t h is st u dy t o su ggest wh y m en a r e m or e likely t o r epor t feelin g m or e power fu l. Mor e r esea r ch n eeds t o be don e in t h is a r ea . Th e fin din gs of t h is st u dy a r e im por t a n t t o sch ola r s a n d pr a ct it ion er s wh o st u dy t h e m u lt ich a n n el en vir on m en t . On a pr a ct ica l level, r em ot e con t r ol devices a r e ch a n gin g t h e wa y people wa tch t elevision , a lt h ou gh a ppa r en t ly t o a lesser degr ee t h a n cable t elevision a n d VCRs. It a lso seem s likely t h a t t h e cu m u la t ive effect s of ch oice-fa cilit a t in g devices a n d pr olifer a t in g ch a n n els m a ke ma le viewer s m or e select ive. Wh y a r e t h er e a ppa r en t gen der differ en ces in RCD u se? Th e expla n a t ion offer ed by Meyer s-Levy (1989) is a ppea lin g bu t fa r fr om cer t a in . P er h a ps wom en pr ocess in for m a t ion differ en t ly t h a n m en do. E ven if t h is is t r u e, wh a t a r e ot h er possible fa ct or s? F u t u r e resea r ch n eeds t o t est su ch expla n a t ion s. Th e fin din gs of t h is st u dy a r e su bject t o t h e u sua l lim it a t ion s of self-r epor t da t a a n d u n iver sit y-t own sa m ples. F u t u r e r esea r ch on r em ot e con t r ol beh a vior n eeds m or e object ive in for m a t ion on ch a n n el select ion , possibly t h r ou gh m et er s in st ea d of dia r ies. Arbit r on a n d Nielsen a lr ea dy m ea su r e VCR r ecor din g a n d pla yba ck; t h e n eed exist s for sim ila r in for m a t ion

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 12 on r em ot e con t r ol u se. Sylvest er (1990) is on e of t h e fir st voices a m on g t h e a dver t isin g com m u n it y t o cajole su ch da t a fr om t h e r a t in gs ser vices. An ot h er con sider a t ion for fu r t h er r esea r ch is t h a t a ll r em ot e con t r ols a r e n ot cr ea t ed equ a lly (see H eet er & Gr eenberg, 1988, pp. 45-47). F or exa m ple, t h er e is a r em ot e con t r ol device fea t u re ca lled Qu ick -View (Con su m er Repor t s, J a n . 1983, p. 36) t ha t m emor izes t h e la st t wo ch a n n els wa t ch ed so spor t s viewer s ca n ea sily wa t ch two ga m es a t t he sa m e t im e. Som e RCDs per m it r a n dom a ccess, wh ile ot h er s ca n on ly st ep u p or st ep down . Also, Ca n a dia n s h ave developed in t er a ct ive u ses for RCDs (Mosh a vi, 1990). Television m a r ket s wit h h igh er VCR a n d cable pen et r a t ion pr odu ce m or e select ive viewer s (F er gu son , 1990b). In a sim ila r wa y, viewer s wit h RCDs a n d en h a n ced ch a n n el r eper t oir es a r e a ctively select in g t h eir own n ew m edia en vir on m en t s (F er gu son , in pr ess). Th e r em ot e con t r ol device is a n im por t a n t elem en t in t h e n ew m edia envir on m en t , despit e a sca r cit y of pu blish ed r esea r ch on RCDs.

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 13 Refer en ces Ain slie, P . (1988, Sept em ber ). Con fr on t in g a n ation of gr a zer s. Ch a n n els, pp. 54-62. An der son , D. R. (1986). Television viewin g a t h om e: Age t r en ds in visu a l a t t en t ion a n d t im e wit h TV. Ch ild Developm en t , 57, 1024-1033. Th e bat t le (za p! click!) of t h e sexes. (1991, J u ly 7). New Yor k Tim es [edit or ia l], sect ion 4, p. 10. Bella m y, R. V. J r ., & Wa lker , J . R. (1990, Novem ber ). Th e diffu sion of a t ool t ech n ology: Th e polit ica l econ om y of t h e r em ot e con t r ol device. P a per pr esen t ed t o t h e a n n ua l m eet in g of t h e Speech Com m u n ica t ion Associa t ion , Ch ica go. Bower s, C. A., & La Ba r ba , R. C. (1988). Sex differ en ces in t h e la t er a liza t ion of spa t ia l a bilit ies: A spa t ia l com pon en t a n a lysis of ext r em e gr ou p scor es. Br a in a n d Cogn it ion , 8, 165-177. Br own , M. (E d.) (1989). H ow Am er ica n s wa t ch TV: A na t ion of gr a zer s. New Yor k: C.C. P u blish in g. Ca r t er , K., & Spit za ck, C. (1989). (E ds.). Doin g resea r ch on wom en 's com m u n ica t ion : P er spect ives on t h eor y a n d m eth od . Nor wood, NJ : Ablex. Dovidio, J . F ., Br own , C. E., H elt ma n , K., E llyson , S. L., et a l. (1988). P ower displa ys bet ween wom en a n d m en in discu ssion s of gen der -lin ked t a sks: A m u lt ich a n n el st u dy. J ou r n a l of P er son alit y a n d Socia l P sych ology, 55, 580-587.

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 14 F er gu son , D. A. (1990a ). Select ive exposu r e t o television : An explor a t or y st u dy of VCR u sa ge. P a per pr esen t ed a t t h e a n n u a l meet in g of t h e Speech Com m u n ica t ion Associa t ion , Ch ica go. F er gu son , D. A. (1990b). Select ive exposu r e t o television : P r edict in g in h er it a n ce effect s fr om VCR a n d ca ble pen et r a tion . P a per pr esen t ed a t t h e a n n ua l m eet in g of t he Speech Com m u n ica t ion Associa t ion , Ch ica go. F er gu son , D. A. (in pr ess). Ch a n n el r eper t oir e in t h e pr esen ce of r em ot e con t r ol devices, VCRs, a n d ca ble t elevision . J our n a l of Br oa dca st in g & E lect r on ic Media . F r ey, J . H . (1983). Su r vey r esea r ch by t eleph on e (pp. 91-104). Bever ly H ills, CA: Sa ge. Gou ld, S. J . (1987). Gen der differ en ces in a dver t isin g r espon se a n d self-con sciou sn ess va r ia bles. Sex Roles, 16(5/6), 215-225. Gr een ber g, B. S., H eet er , C., & Lin , C. A. (1988). P layboy viewin g st yles. In C. H eet er & B. S. Gr een ber g (E ds.), Cableviewin g. Nor wood, NJ : Ablex P u blish in g Com pa n y. H a efn er , M. J ., Met t s, S., & Wa r t ella , E . (1989). Siblin gs' st r a t egies for r esolvin g con flict over t elevision pr ogr a m ch oice. Com m u n ica t ion Qu a r t er ly, 37(3), 223-230. H eet er , C. (1985). P r ogr a m select ion wit h abu nda n ce of ch oice: A pr ocess m odel. H u m a n Comm u n ica t ion Resea r ch , 12(1), 126-152. H eet er , C. (1988). Gen der differ en ces in viewin g st yles. In C. H eet er & B. S . Gr een ber g (E ds.), Cableviewin g. Nor wood, NJ : Ablex.

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 15 H eet er , C., & Gr eenber g, B. S. (1985). P r ofilin g t h e za pper s. J ou r n a l of Adver t isin g Resea r ch , 25(2), 15-19. H eet er , C., & Gr eenber g, B. S. (1988). Cableviewin g. Nor wood, NJ : Ablex. In gr a m , R. E ., Cr u et , D., & J oh n son , B. R. (1988). Self-focu sed a t t en t ion : Gen der , gen der r ole, a n d vu ln er abilit y t o n ega t ive a ffect . J ou r n a l of P er son a lit y a n d Socia l P sych ology, 55, 967-978. Ker t esz, A., P olk, M., H owell, J ., & Bla ck, S. E . (1987). Cer ebra l dom in a n ce, sex, a n d ca llosa l size in MRI. Neu r ology, 37, 1385-1388. Kissin ger , D. (1991, F ebr u a ry 25). Za p -h a ppy fella s widen r a t in gs gen der ga p. Va r iet y, pp. 59, 63. La Du c, L. M. (1990, Novem ber ). F r om "sex differ en ces" t o "gen der differ en ces": Towa r d a n in t egr a t ed m odel of t h e r ela t ion sh ip bet ween com m u n ica t ion beh avior , cogn it ion , a n d n eu r oph ysiology. Pa per pr esen t ed a t t h e con vent ion of t h e Speech Comm u n ica t ion Ass ocia t ion , Ch ica go. Lin dlof, T. R., & Sha t zer , M. J . (1989). Su bject ive differ en ces in spou sa l per cept ion s of fa m ily video. J ou r n a l of Br oa dca st in g & E lect r on ic Media , 33, 375-395. Meyer s-Levy, J . (1989). Gen der differ en ces in in for m a t ion pr ocessin g: A select ivit y in t er pr et a t ion . In P . Ca ffer a t a & A. M. Tybou t (E ds.), Cogn it ive a n d a ffect ive r espon ses t o a dver t isin g (pp. 219-260). Lexin gt on , MA: Lexin gt on Books. Mickelson , R. A. (1989). Wh y does J a n e r ea d a n d wr it e so well? Th e a n om a ly of wom en 's a ch ievem en t . Sociology of E du ca t ion , 62(1), 47-63.

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 16 Mor ley, D. (1986). Fa m ily t elevision : Cu lt u r a l power a n d dom est ic leisu r e . Lon don : Com edia . Mosh a vi, S. D. (1990, Augu st 13). Mon t r ea l ca ble offer s in t er a ct ive opt ion s. Br oa dca st in g, pp. 60, 62. Na dler , L. B., Na dler , M. K., & Todd-Ma n cilla s, W. R. (1987). Adva n ces in gen der a n d com m u n ica t ion r esea r ch . La n h am , MD: Un iver sit y P r ess of Am er ica . Na dler , M. K., & Na dler , L. B. (1987). Comm u n ica t ion , gen der , a n d in t r a or ga n iza t ion a l n egot ia t ion abilit y. In L. P . St ewa r t a n d S. Tin g-Toom ey (E ds.), Com m u n ica t ion , gen der , an d sex r oles in diver se in t er a ct ion con t ext s (pp. 119-134). Nor wood, NJ : Ablex. Ra kow, L. F . (1988). Gen der ed t ech n ology, gen der ed pr a ct ice. Cr it ica l St u dies in Ma ss Com m u n ica t ion , 5(1), 57-70. St a u ffer , J ., F r ost , R., & Rybolt , W. (1983). Th e a t t en t ion fa ct or in r eca llin g n et wor k t elevision n ews. J ou r na l of Com m u n icat ion , 33(1), 29-37. Sylvest er , A. K. (1990, F ebr ua r y). Con t r ollin g r em ot e. Ma r ket in g & Media Decision s, p. 54. Wa lker , J . R., & Bella m y, R. V. J r . (in pr ess). Th e gr a t ifica t ion s of gr a zin g: An explor a t or y st u dy of r em ot e con t r ol u se. J ou r n a lism Qu a r t er ly. Webst er , J . G. (1986). Au dien ce beh avior in t h e n ew m edia envir on m en t . J ou r n a l of Com m u n ica t ion , 36(3), 77-91. Webst er , J . G., & Wa ksh la g, J . (1983). A t h eor y of t elevision pr ogr a m ch oice. Com m u n ica t ion Resea r ch , 10, 430-447. Wen n er , L. A., & Den n ehy, M. (1990, November). In ou r lives, in ou r h a n ds: Towa r ds a n d u n der st a n din g of r em ot e con t r ol u se. Pa per pr esen t ed a t

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 17 t h e a n n ua l m eet in g of t he Speech Com m u n ica t ion Associa t ion , Ch ica go.

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 18 Ta ble 1 Gen der Differ en ces for RCD Mot iva t ion s F lippin g Mot iva t ion s Avoid bor edom Avoid m issin g bet t er sh ow Ch eck ot h er sh ows (cu r iosit y) Avoid com m er cia ls Avoid people Wa t ch t wo or m or e sh ows Wom en 2.74 2.46 2.84 2.27 2.02 1.61 Men 2.99 2.32 2.64 2.72 2.18 1.95 t 3.21 1.73 2.51 4.43 1.84 3.95 p .00 .09 .01 .00 .07 .00

Not e. Motiva t ions defin ed a s h ow oft en t h e ch a n n el wa s cha n ged beca use of t he given rea son (4=a lwa ys, 3=usu ally, 2=r a r ely, 1=n ever )

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 19 Ta ble 2 Gen der Differ en ces for RCD Beh a vior s

F lippin g Beh a vior s F lip ba ck t o or igin a l sh ow Use RCD a s list in gs su bst it u t e Gr a ze du r in g fa vor it e pr ogr a m Wa t ch m or e TV if wit h RCD Agr ee wit h RCD con t r oller Voice opin ion s (disa gr eem en t s)

Wom en 2.43 2.56 1.55 2.62 2.54 2.71

Men 2.52 2.69 1.76 2.77 2.55 2.76

t 1.15 1.35 3.13 1.73 .07 .61

p .28 .18 .00 .09 .95 .54

Not e. Beh a vior s defined a s h ow oft en t he beh a vior occur r ed (4=a lwa ys, 3=u su ally, 2=r a r ely, 1=n ever)

Rem ot e Con t r ol & Gen der 20 Ta ble 3 Gen der Differ en ces for RCD At t it u des

RCD At t it u des RCD con t r oller m a kes decision Aggr a va t ion at RCD gr a zin g F eel m or e power fu l wit h RCD TV m or e en joyable wit h RCD

Wom en 2.71 3.12 2.21 3.03

Men 2.72 2.63 2.60 3.15

t .07 -5.46 3.43 1.53

p .94 .00 .00 .13

Not e. At t it u des were m easu red on a n a gr eem ent scale (4=st r on gly a gr ee, 3=a gree, 2=disa gr ee, 1=str on gly disa gr ee)