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An Integrative Model of Entertainment-Education Processes and Outcomes
Unformatted Document Text:  EE theory, 6 creators to consider the personality traits of the target audience in order to design a program and characters that will best attract their attention. While there are some programs that we routinely watch, many programs are chosen by an unconscious desire to manage our moods. Zillmann’s mood management theory “projects message choices as a function of affective states and for the purpose of regulating these states” (Zillmann, 1988, p. 328). The goal is to choose programming that will decrease or eliminate bad moods and maintain or increase good moods. One characteristic of message types that influences our entertainment choice is its excitatory potential (Zillmann, 1988). People who want to manage their moods and are currently suffering from boredom or another low-arousal states, will tend to pick a program with high excitatory potential, whereas those suffering from stress and high arousal are going to consume something soothing and non-excitatory (Zillmann, 1988). Absorption is another characteristic of entertainment considered when mood-managing. As will be illustrated in the next section, absorption is a key factor in how people process a message and therefore, whether or not they are persuaded. According to mood-management theory, people will choose highly absorbing message when they wish to change their current mood and will avoid absorption in order to maintain current states (i.e., they will avoid stimulus that might potentially alter their current mood state). Unlike the other characteristics that influence choice of programming, E-E producers cannot predict the mood of their audience, and thus build the program in order to best help their audience manage moods. All the program creators can do is rely on the other factors (age, gender, and the like) to determine what type of program they can get the audience to watch. Some entertainment programs become part of their routine and they will watch them regardless of their mood state. The goal of an E-E program

Authors: Wilkin, Holley. and Fernandes, Sangeeta.
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background image
EE theory,
6
creators to consider the personality traits of the target audience in order to design a program and
characters that will best attract their attention.
While there are some programs that we routinely watch, many programs are chosen by an
unconscious desire to manage our moods. Zillmann’s mood management theory “projects
message choices as a function of affective states and for the purpose of regulating these states”
(Zillmann, 1988, p. 328). The goal is to choose programming that will decrease or eliminate bad
moods and maintain or increase good moods. One characteristic of message types that
influences our entertainment choice is its excitatory potential (Zillmann, 1988). People who
want to manage their moods and are currently suffering from boredom or another low-arousal
states, will tend to pick a program with high excitatory potential, whereas those suffering from
stress and high arousal are going to consume something soothing and non-excitatory (Zillmann,
1988). Absorption is another characteristic of entertainment considered when mood-managing.
As will be illustrated in the next section, absorption is a key factor in how people process a
message and therefore, whether or not they are persuaded. According to mood-management
theory, people will choose highly absorbing message when they wish to change their current
mood and will avoid absorption in order to maintain current states (i.e., they will avoid stimulus
that might potentially alter their current mood state). Unlike the other characteristics that
influence choice of programming, E-E producers cannot predict the mood of their audience, and
thus build the program in order to best help their audience manage moods. All the program
creators can do is rely on the other factors (age, gender, and the like) to determine what type of
program they can get the audience to watch. Some entertainment programs become part of their
routine and they will watch them regardless of their mood state. The goal of an E-E program


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