The Moods Meaningful Media Create: Effects of Hedonic and Eudaimonic Television Clips on Viewers’ Affective States and Subsequent Program Selection

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Abstract

Typically, research on enjoyment motivations for media selection has centered on hedonic, or pleasure-seeking, motivations. Recently eudaimonic, or truth-seeking, motivations have also received attention. Most investigations into hedonic and eudaimonic motivations for media consumption have conceptualized these motivations as traits, rather than as states, using surveys to determine that long-standing hedonic and eudaimonic motivations influence entertainment preferences. This experiment explored the possibility that more temporary hedonic and eudaimonic states can also be induced by media exposure. A laboratory experiment successfully manipulated hedonic and eudaimonic states using clips with either hedonic or eudaimonic tone from 3 different TV programs, with clip tone affecting participants’ reports of hedonic and eudaimonic states as well as meaningful and fun affect. The experiment also found partial evidence that clip tone might influence subsequent program selection, but only with 1 program of 3 in the study. Implications for an understanding of TV consumption motivations are discussed.

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