Motion Pictures and the Social Attitudes of Children

Authors' Preface

Ruth C. Peterson & L. L. Thurstone

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THIS series of experimental studies on the effect of motion pictures on social attitudes, made possible by a grant from the Payne Fund, has been carried out under the general direction of Professor W. W. Charters of Ohio State University. We are especially indebted to him for Isis continued interest and support. We wish to acknowledge the assistance of Mr. W. H. Short, Director of the Motion Picture Research Council (formerly the National Committee for the Study of Social Values in Motion Pictures).

The success of these studies was dependent upon the interest and cooperation of a large number of people. We wish to thank Professor W. C. Reavis of the University of Chicago for suggesting the superintendents and principals who cooperated with us in this study. The suggestions and helpof Thelma Gwinn Thurstone have been most valuable. We wish to acknowledge the assistance of Helen Liebermann, Leone Chesire, Catherine Hawkins Opler, and Dorothy Blumenstock in the tabulation and calculation of the data. All of the motion-picture distributing agencies in Chicago assisted us greatly by giving us press sheets of their films and by making special arrangements for bookings and previews. Mr. Nelson L. Greene, Editor of The Educational Screen, suggested a number of films for our studies. We wish to thank Mr. F. M. Clarke of Clarke-McElroy Printing Company and the University of Chicago Press for facilitating the experiments by prompt printing of the necessary forms.


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We wish to express our appreciation to the following superintendents and principals for their generous interest and co÷peration in this study.

Mr. H. B. Loomis, Principal of Hyde Park High School, Chicago, Illinois.

Sister De Lellis, Principal of Thomas Aquinas High School, Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Cloy S. Hobson, Principal of Genoa Township High School, Genoa, Illinois.

Mr. M. E. Steele, Principal of Mendota Township High School, Mendota, Illinois.

Mr. O. V. Shaffer, Principal of Princeton Township High School, Princeton, Illinois.

Mr. H. M. Coultrap, Superintendent of Geneva Public Schools, Geneva, Illinois.

Mr. C. C. Byerly, Principal of West Chicago Community High School, West Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. James D. Darnall, Principal of Geneseo Township High School, Geneseo, Illinois.

Mr. H. C. Storm, Superintendent of Batavia Public Schools, Batavia, Illinois.

Mr. Albert Britt, President of Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois.

Mr. Rutledge T. Wiltbank, Professor of Psychology, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois.

Mr. E. W. Powers, Principal of Watseka Community High School, Watseka, Illinois.

Mr. John J. Swinney, Principal of Paxton Community High School, Paxton, Illinois.

Mr. L. C. McCarty, Superintendent of Aledo Public Schools, Aledo, Illinois.

Mr. R. E. Dahl, Principal of Aledo Junior High School, Aledo, Illinois.


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Mr. H. A. Dean, Superintendent of Crystal Lake Public Schools, Crystal Lake, Illinois.

The experiments conducted at Mooseheart were made possible through the interest and assistance given by Mr. Ernest N. Roselle, Superintendent, Mr. Martin L. Reymert, Director of Mooseheart Laboratory for Child Research, Mr. V. Q. Bird, Director of Education, and Mr. L. A. Meyer, Research Assistant.

Mr. Burton Holmes and the manager of the Burton Holmes Lectures assisted us in arranging for the experiment carried on with the co÷peration of Thomas Aquinas High School.

The following theater owners and managers have assisted us greatly by making special arrangements for motionpicture films and by changing their bookings for our convenience.

Mr. Ezra Levin, Tower Theatre, Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Albert Awe of Genoa Theatre, Genoa, Illinois.

Mr. A. M. Robertson of The Strand Theatre, Mendota, Illinois.

Mr. Jerome Rieth of The Apollo Theatre, Princeton, Illinois.

Mr. Paul Polka of Polka Brothers Theatres, Maywood, Illinois.

Mr. Jack Greene of Geneseo Theatre, Geneseo, Illinois.

Mr. Joe Burke of Vanity Theatre, Batavia, Illinois.

Mr. T. J. McSpadden of West Colonial Theatre, Galesburg, Illinois.

Mr. F. E. Fanning of Crystal Theatre, Watseka, Illinois.

Mr. C. O. Greenwood of Paxtonian Theatre, Paxton, Illinois.

Mr. J. W. Edwards of Aledo Opera House, Aledo, Illinois.

Mrs. Butler of El Tovar Theatre, Crystal Lake, Illinois.


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The following attitude scales were used in this study by permission of the authors:

1. The scale, Attitude toward War, which was used in the experiment at Genoa, Illinois, was constructed by Mr. D. D. Droba.

2. The scale, Attitude toward War, which was used in the experiments at Batavia, Paxton, and Mooseheart, Illinois, was constructed by Ruth C. Peterson.

3. The scale, Attitude toward the German People, which was used in the experiment at Genoa, Illinois, was constructed by Ruth C. Peterson.

4. The scale, Attitude toward Prohibition, which was used in the experiment at Princeton, Illinois, was constructed by Hattie Nesbitt Smith.

5. The scale, Attitude toward Chinese, which was used in the experiments at Geneva and West Chicago, Illinois, was constructed by Ruth C. Peterson.

6. The scale, Attitude toward Punishment of Criminals, which was used in the experiments at Geneseo, Galesburg, Watseka, and Mooseheart, Illinois, was constructed by Charles K. A. Wang and L. L. Thurstone.

7. The scale, Attitude toward Capital Punishment, which was used in the experiment at Medo, Illinois, was constructed by Ruth C. Peterson.

8. The scale, Attitude toward the Negro, which was used in the experiment at Crystal Lake, Illinois, was constructed by Mr. E. D. Hinckley.

R. C. P.
L. L. T.
Chicago, Illinois January, 1933

Notes

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