Communication Studies alumnus Amanda Gubbins (2012) finished her senior year presenting original research to an audience of peer scholars. Her senior project “Marriage Portrayals in Situational Comedies, 2011 Season” was accepted at the Undergraduate Honors Research Conference of the Central States Communication Association (CSCA) in Cleveland, Ohio, March 28-31.
Gubbins sampled the first four episodes of major network TV sitcoms to discover patterns in how couples interacted. She coded and examined behaviors such as “disrespect”, “conflict” and “affection” in character’s dialogue to see how they varied between the four major television networks. Her presentation was part of panel of presenters looking at family-related issues in communication.
It was Gubbins second trip to the CSCA Conference, both times presenting media content-related studies derived from theories studied in her IWU Communication classes.
“If the theories are true, the couples we watch regularly on sitcoms have an impact on the way we approach relationships, which may not always be a healthy thing for our interpersonal relationships,” she said. “The bottom line is it’s important that we understand the impact of television in our lives and that we make sure to watch it responsibly.”
Following graduation in April, Gubbins moved to Southern California with her family.