Appreciation as audience response: Exploring entertainment gratifications beyond hedonism

Mary Beth Oliver, Anne Bartsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

465 Scopus citations


This article elaborates upon the notion of media enjoyment in the context of film viewing by proposing a complementary type of gratification that we conceptualize as appreciation. Three studies were conducted to tap into the multidimensionality of viewers' entertainment gratifications with a special focus on the domain of more serious, poignant, and pensive media experiences typically associated with genres such as drama, history, documentary, or art films. These studies provide evidence of and measurement for gratifications related to fun and suspense, but also gratifications related to moving and thought-provoking entertainment experiences, with all three gratifications leading to perceptions of entertainment having a more long-lasting or enduring effect. The results are discussed with regard to the theoretical conceptualization of entertainment gratification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-81
Number of pages29
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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