Effects of Pandemic Related Media Coverage
According to Aron and Aron (1997), fifteen to twenty percent of the population has the personality trait of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS). Those with SPS can easily become overwhelmed by stimuli causing a negative emotional response (Greven et al., 2019). The aim of this research project is to study how people who are high in SPS are affected by COVID-19 media coverage compared to people who score low in SPS in order to better understand how media consumption may affect the mental health of people high in SPS during a pandemic. Participants included 308 undergraduate students who completed the Fear of COVID-19 Scale prior to and after watching a video clip about COVID-19 (Ahorsu et al., 2020). Participants who scored higher in SPS were more fearful of COVID-19 than participants who scored lower. This held true before and after being exposed to a randomly assigned video about COVID-19.
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