Tender affective states as predictors of entertainment preference

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Four studies were conducted to explore how tender affective states (e.g., warmth, sympathy, understanding) predict attraction to entertainment that features poignant, dramatic, or tragic portrayals. Studies 1 and 2 found that tenderness was associated with greater interest in viewing sad films. Studies 3 and 4 found that tender affective states were associated with preferences for entertainment featuring not only sad portrayals but also entertainment featuring drama and human connection. Results are discussed in terms of how these forms of entertainment may provide viewers the opportunity to contemplate the poignancies of human life - an activity that may reflect motivations of media use related to meaningfulness or insight rather than only the experience of pleasure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-61
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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