The present study aimed to explore whether media consumption influenced participant attitudes toward athletes. Although there are numerous research studies on attitude formation and media, a gap in the literature exists between media influences of attitudes toward athlete populations. Three hundred and forty-seven participants (122 males, 222 females) completed demographics, media exposure, and prototypical athlete questionnaires. The data indicated that there were significant gender and athlete status differences in sports-related media exposure. Results also revealed a pattern of participant attributions of prototypical athlete ratings. Specifically, male athlete participants consistently rated their prototypical athlete as possessing the most favorable personality characteristics. Male non-athlete participants typically attributed the least favorable ratings. Hypotheses for these patterns and limitations are also discussed.
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