Script for Hosting
the Theater Test


Good evening. I'm____________________________________and I'd like to thank you all for coming today (tonight). I think we're all going to have a good time. Just a few more words of introduction and we'll get started. We've asked you here because we feel that it's very important to get your ideas about new television program material. So consider this your chance to give the TV program producers your opinions . . . before the program gets to your home screens.

Keep in mind that what we're interested in is your own personal views. We don't want you to tell us what you think we want to hear or what your spouse thinks or anyone else-- we need your own opinions.

There are no right answers and no wrong answers. So, please don't discuss the program or your answers with the people around you.

Also, please make sure that you write your answers clearly in the space provided on the questionnaire we've given you, and be sure that you don't move to a new section of the questionnaire until I tell you to.

Do you have any questions about this procedure? I'll answer any other questions you have at the end of the test session. Okay? Now enjoy the show.

(Play the pretesting program videotape)

Reactions to the Program

All right. Now we'd like to find out about your reactions to the program-- what parts you liked and what parts you didn't like. Now, I'd like you to turn to the first page of the questionnaire and answer the questions. Please don't go on to the next page until I tell you to.

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Appendix E

Attention. A pretesting measure to describe a message's ability to attract listener or viewer attention; this is often called "recall."

Attitudes. A persons predispositions toward an object, person, or group, which influence his or her response to be either positive or negative, favorable or unfavorable, etc.

Baseline study. The collection and analysis of data regarding a target audience or situation before intervention.

Central location intercept interviews. Interviews conducted with respondents who are stopped at a highly trafficked location that is frequented by individuals typical of the desired target audience.

Channel. The route of message delivery (e.g., mass media, community, interpersonal).

Closed-ended questions. Questions that provide respondents with a list of possible answers from which to choose; also called multiple-- choice questions.

Communication concepts. Rough artwork and statements that convey the idea for a full message.

Communication strategy statement. A written statement that includes program objectives, target audiences, an understanding of the information needs and perceptions of each target audience, what actions they should take, the reasons why they should act, and the benefits to be gained. This document provides the direction and consistency for all program messages and materials.

Comparison group. A control group randomly selected and matched to the target population according to characteristics identified in the study to permit a comparison of changes between those who receive the intervention and those who do not.

Comprehension. A pretesting measure to determine whether messages are clearly understood.

Convenience samples. Samples that consist of respondents who are typical of the target audience and who are easily accessible; not statistically projectable to the entire population being studied.

Diagnostic information. Results from pretesting research that indicate the strengths and weaknesses in messages and materials.

Focus group interviews. A type of qualitative research in which an experienced moderator leads about 8 to 10 respondents through a discussion of a selected topic, allowing them to talk freely and spontaneously.

Formative evaluation. Evaluative research conducted during program development. May include state-of-the art reviews, pretesting messages and materials, and pilot testing a program on a small scale before full implementation.

Frequency. In advertising,used to describe the average number of times an audience is exposed to a specific media message.

Gatekeeper. Someone you must work with before you can reach a target audience (e.g., a schoolteacher) or accomplish a task (e.g., a television public service director).

Goal. The overall improvement the program will strive to create.

Impact Evaluation. Research designed to identify whether and to what extent a program contributed to accomplishing its stated goals (here, more global than outcome evaluation).

In-depth interviews. A form of qualitative research consisting of intensive interviews to find out how people think and what they feel about a given topic.

Intermediaries. Organizations, such as professional, industrial, civic, social or fraternal groups, that act as channels for distributing program messages and materials to members of the desired target audience.

Objective. A quantifiable statement of a desired program achievement necessary to reach a program goal.

Open-ended questions. Questions that allow an individual to respond freely in his or her own words.

Outcome evaluation. Research designed to account for a program's accomplishments and effectiveness; also called "impact" evaluation.

Over recruiting. Recruiting more respondents than required to compensate for expected "no-shows."

Polysyllabic words. Words that contain two or more syllables.

Pretesting. A type of formative research that involves systematically gathering target audience reactions to messages and materials before they are produced in final form.

Probe. Interviewer technique used to solicit additional information about a question or issue. Probe should be neutral (e.g., "What else can you tell me about_____?") not directive ("Do you think the pamphlet was suggesting that you take a particular step-- such as changing your diet?")

Process evaluation. Evaluation to study the functioning of components of program implementation; includes assessments of whether materials are being distributed to the right people and in what quantities, whether and to what extent program activities are occurring, and other measures of how and how well the program is working.

PSA. Public service announcement, used without charge by the media.

Qualitative research. Research that is subjective in that it involves obtaining information about feelings and impressions from small numbers of respondents. The information gathered usually should not be described in numerical terms, and generalizations about the target populations should not be made.

Quantitative research. Research designed to gather objective information from representative, random samples of respondents; results are expressed in numerical terms (e.g., 35 percent are aware of X and 65 percent are not). Quantitative data are used to draw conclusions about the target audience.

Random sample. A sample of respondents in which every individual of the population has had an equal chance of being included in the sample.

Reach. In advertising, used to describe the number of different people or households exposed to a specific media message during a specific period of time.

Readability testing. Using a formula to predict the approximate reading grade level a person must have achieved in order to understand written material.

Recall. In pretesting, used to describe the extent to which respondents remember seeing or hearing a message that was shown in a competitive media environment; usually centers on main idea or copy point recall.

Segmentation. Subdividing an overall population into homogeneous subsets of target audiences in order to better describe and understand a segment, predict behavior, and formulate tailored messages and programs to meet specific needs. Segments may be demographic (e.g., age, sex, education, family life cycle), geographic (e.g., Southeastern, U.S., rural, north side of town) or psychographic (e.g., personality, lifestyle, usage patterns, risk factors, benefits sought).

Self-administered questionnaires. Questionnaires that are filled out by respondents themselves; mailed directly to the respondent, or filled out by respondents gathered at a central location.

Social marketing. A discipline that addresses an issue with particular regard to those affected by it (the target audience), considering their perspectives and perceived wants and needs to develop strategies toward change.

Summative evaluation. Evaluation conducted to identify a program's accomplishments and effectiveness; also called outcome or impact evaluation.

Target audience. The desired or intended audience for program messages and materials (see segmentation). The primary target audience consists of those individuals the program is designed to affect. The secondary target audience is that group (or groups) that can help reach or influence the primary audience.

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