The effect of media reporting on college student opinions towards Waste Management, Inc
Fricker, Alan B.
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This work will report the results of a small-scale study of college students at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. The study is designed to measure existing opinions and opinion shifts as the result of reading a magazine article about Waste Management, Inc., Oak Brook, Illinois. One article is favorable about the company; the other is not. Both articles come from major national business magazines. There are six hypotheses which will be examined to determine whether or not they test true or false. One hypothesis is the students surveyed will not have any teal knowledge of solid or hazardous waste disposal practices. They may have heard of some of the methods used, but will not have any specific knowledge about the methods themselves. The second hypothesis is that despite their lack of knowledge, college students will have definite opinions about solid and hazardous wastes. This study will attempt to find out what and how strongly held their opinions are. The third hypothesis is that most students will have a neutral or negative opinion about the company before taking the survey. Not many students are expected to have positive opinions about the company. The fourth hypothesis is that those students who start with a neutral opinion and read the positive article are expected to have a positive opinion about the company afterwards. The fifth hypothesis is those students who start with a neutral opinion and read the negative article will change to a negative opinion. The sixth hypothesis is the students with negative opinions before the survey are not expected to change their opinions after reading either article. The negative article is expected to reinforce their beliefs about the company. The work includes a brief history of federal environmental legislation and a history of Waste Management, Inc.