Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Neuendorf, Kimberly

Subject Headings

Foreign films, Ethnocentrism, Foreign film, Ethnocentrism, Cultural values


This study looked at the relationship between foreign film exposure and ethnocentrism by both considering individual differences factors and motives to watch foreign films, based on the uses and gratifications theoretical model. The individual differences factors include cosmopoliteness, access to foreign films and environmental ethnic diversity. The uses and gratifications theory posits that social and psychological factors influence individuals' motives to use media and ultimately lead to different media effects. Accordingly, this research investigated how individual differences related to motives to view foreign films and how foreign film exposure affected people's attitudes to other cultures. A pilot study was conducted first to check whether there was enough variance in foreign film exposure for American college student viewers, considering the limited release of foreign movies in the American market. Finally an online survey was conducted at an urban college in the US, where 205 undergraduate students participated. The individual difference factors cosmopoliteness and access were found to significantly and positively correlate with motives, while no significant relationship was found between environmental ethnic diversity and motives. These results indicate that individual differences in diversity of communication network and media content, and interests in other cultures, as well as accessibility of foreign films, do influence motivations to watch foreign movies. Also, motives and foreign film exposure were found to be related significantly, suggesting that different uses of foreign films lead to varying levels of exposure. Most interestingly, a negative relationship between foreign film exposure and ethnocentrism was significantly supported by the study. However, additional work needs to examine how foreign film exposure may reduce ethnocentrism. Furthermore, environmental ethnic diversity is not related to ethnocentrism either, suggesting physical integration with ethnic minorities cannot guarantee actu

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