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Description of Student Expectations on the Use of Film Vs. Text to Teach Bioethics: The Spheres of Ethics Teaching Using Film (SOETUF) College Study

Purpose: The overall goal of this analysis of our Spheres of Ethics Teaching Using Film (SOETUF) study was to assess whether college students, in approaching new information on bioethics presented using either a film or a written text, anticipated that one medium (film vs. text) would be more effective for addressing certain issues or would have different impacts on their emotions.

Methods: This aspect of the SOETUF study consisted of 48 NYUAD college student volunteers who took the SOETUF Sans-Trigger (S-T) Questionnaire, as developed for this study: 1) the 11-item ‘Anticipated Types of Situation Domainof- Interest (ATOS-DOI); and 2) the 23-item ‘Anticipated Emotions Domain-of-Interest’ (AE-DOI). The study was approved by the NYUAD IRB as an Expedited Review category study.

Results: The results for the ATOS-DOI revealed the students anticipated that text would be a more effective medium regarding thought provoking situations and would be more likely to create a cool analytical thinking situation and to create a lasting impact on them while they thought that film would be the superior medium for portraying violence, humour and hot empathy. For the AE-DOI, the students reported anticipating that film would be much better for evoking the emotions of terrified, frightened, anger, scared, disturbed, threatened, fearful and uncomfortable, as well as for feeling energetic.

Conclusion: The SOETUF S-T Questionnaire demonstrated that it could detect meaningful differences in college students’ anticipated reaction to the use of a film trigger versus a text trigger in the teaching of bioethics.


Ralph V Katz, Amos E Katz, Rueben C Warren, Hala Aqel, Daniil Ilin and Richard McGowan

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