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An Integrative Model of Entertainment-Education Processes and Outcomes
Unformatted Document Text:  EE theory, 1 Abstract The uses of entertainment-education (E-E) programs to promote planned social change have grown in popularity in recent years (see Singhal & Rogers, 2002). However, theories mapping the underlying psychological processes and effects of entertainment-education programs are borrowed and adapted from traditional persuasion theories and models of health belief changes. While a general “trans-theory” of E-E effects may be useful in practice, no new theory of communication has been advanced, and questions about the uses of suspense, drama and humor, and receiver’s reactions of sympathy, empathy and modeling, go unanswered. We propose integrating persuasion and behavior change theories with theories on mass media effects, specifically suspense, to propose a new model of E-E processes and outcomes. The advantages of the proposed model, over current practices in E-E theorizing, include more emphasis on heuristic processing and cultivation effects, a more active role of receiver’s in accepting or rejecting emotional portrayals, and a separation of outcomes that are limited to mere attitude change effects, versus changes in both attitudes and behaviors. How E-E programs bridge cultural borderlands, or are written to adapt to different cultural values, is also addressed.

Authors: Wilkin, Holley. and Fernandes, Sangeeta.
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EE theory,
1
Abstract
The uses of entertainment-education (E-E) programs to promote planned social change
have grown in popularity in recent years (see Singhal & Rogers, 2002). However, theories
mapping the underlying psychological processes and effects of entertainment-education
programs are borrowed and adapted from traditional persuasion theories and models of health
belief changes. While a general “trans-theory” of E-E effects may be useful in practice, no new
theory of communication has been advanced, and questions about the uses of suspense, drama
and humor, and receiver’s reactions of sympathy, empathy and modeling, go unanswered. We
propose integrating persuasion and behavior change theories with theories on mass media
effects, specifically suspense, to propose a new model of E-E processes and outcomes. The
advantages of the proposed model, over current practices in E-E theorizing, include more
emphasis on heuristic processing and cultivation effects, a more active role of receiver’s in
accepting or rejecting emotional portrayals, and a separation of outcomes that are limited to mere
attitude change effects, versus changes in both attitudes and behaviors. How E-E programs
bridge cultural borderlands, or are written to adapt to different cultural values, is also addressed.


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