Profiling the Audience for Self-Transcendent Media: A National Survey

Arthur A. Raney, Sophie H. Janicke, Mary Beth Oliver, Katherine R. Dale, Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This article reports the findings from a national survey of self-transcendent (or inspiring) media audience members in the United States. Exposure to self-transcendent content is socially significant because, theoretically, it can orient users toward matters beyond themselves, ultimately promoting connections with others and altruistic behaviors. However, to date, little is known about the daily audiences for such fare. Four primary questions guided the investigation: (a) What are the media sources and contents identified as “inspiring” by the audience? (b) Who makes up the current U.S. audience for self-transcendent media content? (c) What personality traits and viewer characteristics are associated with self-transcendent media consumption? and (d) What prosocial and altruistic behaviors are associated with self-transcendent media consumption? To address these questions, a nationally representative survey (n = 3,006) was conducted. The findings are discussed in relation to the growing body of scholarship on positive media psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-319
Number of pages24
JournalMass Communication and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Profiling the Audience for Self-Transcendent Media: A National Survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this