A Kernel of truth? The impact of television storylines exploiting myths about organ donation on the public's willingness to donate

Susan E. Morgan, Andy J. King, Jessica Rae Smith, Rebecca Ivic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


In this study, 580 participants viewed one of the 30 full-length entertainment television episodes. Fifteen of these episodes centered on an organ donation storyline (ODS) where facts about the process were portrayed inaccurately; the remaining 15 were matched by program, but did not feature organ donation, and served as controls. Results indicated nondonors were significantly impacted by negative organ-donation-related content. ODSs produced more negative attitudes, less accurate knowledge, and perceptions of social and descriptive norms less supportive of organ donation among nondonors. However, participants who had already declared a willingness to donate organs after death were not significantly impacted by entertainment television's depiction of myths about donation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-796
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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