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An Integrative Model of Entertainment-Education Processes and Outcomes
Unformatted Document Text:  EE theory, 17 explanation for why E-E might work better in some genres than others. For example, soap operas, which involve cliffhangers for added suspense, are a popular genre for including E-E messages. More research is needed to determine if soap operas and other dramas and programs with high action and suspense make better E-E programs than situational comedies. Unintended Reactions Despite the attraction to the program and the optimal amount of absorption, there are factors that may hinder message processing and consequently attitude and behavior change as well. Avoidance and Selective Bias Individuals may sometimes refrain from processing information that is inconsistent with their values, attitudes, or beliefs. Theories such as cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957) state that individuals will avoid messages that conflict with their cognitive framework in order to reduce dissonance, which is a negative psychological state. This theory further states that individuals seek out information that is consistent with their cognitive framework. Hence E-E programs must take into consideration the possibility that embedded messages may be incongruous to the socio-cultural norm and therefore may not be processed. In addition, individuals may not entirely refrain from processing a message, but rather they may engage in selective processing. This implies that individuals who like a program on the whole may focus on aspects of the program or characters that they enjoy or may interpret information in a manner that is consistent with their cognitive framework. It is therefore important to embed messages as unambiguously as possible to minimize contrary interpretations. Similarly, cognitive biases may influence whether or not one remembers an embedded message. Even if a message is clearly presented, individuals may not remember those messages

Authors: Wilkin, Holley. and Fernandes, Sangeeta.
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background image
EE theory,
17
explanation for why E-E might work better in some genres than others. For example, soap
operas, which involve cliffhangers for added suspense, are a popular genre for including E-E
messages. More research is needed to determine if soap operas and other dramas and programs
with high action and suspense make better E-E programs than situational comedies.
Unintended Reactions
Despite the attraction to the program and the optimal amount of absorption, there are
factors that may hinder message processing and consequently attitude and behavior change as
well.
Avoidance and Selective Bias
Individuals may sometimes refrain from processing information that is inconsistent with
their values, attitudes, or beliefs. Theories such as cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957) state
that individuals will avoid messages that conflict with their cognitive framework in order to
reduce dissonance, which is a negative psychological state. This theory further states that
individuals seek out information that is consistent with their cognitive framework. Hence E-E
programs must take into consideration the possibility that embedded messages may be
incongruous to the socio-cultural norm and therefore may not be processed.
In addition, individuals may not entirely refrain from processing a message, but rather
they may engage in selective processing. This implies that individuals who like a program on the
whole may focus on aspects of the program or characters that they enjoy or may interpret
information in a manner that is consistent with their cognitive framework. It is therefore
important to embed messages as unambiguously as possible to minimize contrary interpretations.
Similarly, cognitive biases may influence whether or not one remembers an embedded
message. Even if a message is clearly presented, individuals may not remember those messages


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