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An Integrative Model of Entertainment-Education Processes and Outcomes
Unformatted Document Text:  EE theory, 7 that is going to be more than a one-shot deal (i.e., a series, not a movie) is to make sure that it appeals in such a way to keep the audience coming back. One important aspect that affects enjoyment is humor. Humor is essential in maintaining audience attention and interest in a program, even if the general theme of the E-E program is serious. Humor provides a way to release tension that may be created through vicariously experiencing a stressful situation in the E-E program. A funny character is more likely to become an audience favorite and therefore increases the chances of attracting a regular audience to the program. This helps ensure audience regularity and therefore makes successfully communicating a message through E-E program easier. People who feel entertained “are more interested, more attentive, and therefore more eager to select, to follow, and to process the information given by a program than those who are not (Vorderer, Ritterfeld, & Klimmt, 2001).” (Vorderer & Ritterfeld, in press). The key to entertainment education is how the information contained in a program is processed. HOW MEDIA MESSAGES ARE PROCESSED As we have just described, in countries with great media saturation, the first step in determining if an E-E message is going to be effective has to do with whether or not the targeted audience is attracted to and watches the program. Once the audience is attending to the program, the effects of the E-E program depend on how the person is processing the message. Theorists have suggested different levels of attention will be paid to a program based on factors such as the depth of processing, engagement, involvement, mindfulness, mindlessness, and the like (Anderson & Burns, 1991). Slater and Rouner (2002) show how the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) can be expanded to help in the understanding of E-E effects. Similarly to Slater

Authors: Wilkin, Holley. and Fernandes, Sangeeta.
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background image
EE theory,
7
that is going to be more than a one-shot deal (i.e., a series, not a movie) is to make sure that it
appeals in such a way to keep the audience coming back.
One important aspect that affects enjoyment is humor. Humor is essential in maintaining
audience attention and interest in a program, even if the general theme of the E-E program is
serious. Humor provides a way to release tension that may be created through vicariously
experiencing a stressful situation in the E-E program. A funny character is more likely to become
an audience favorite and therefore increases the chances of attracting a regular audience to the
program. This helps ensure audience regularity and therefore makes successfully communicating
a message through E-E program easier. People who feel entertained “are more interested, more
attentive, and therefore more eager to select, to follow, and to process the information given by a
program than those who are not (Vorderer, Ritterfeld, & Klimmt, 2001).” (Vorderer & Ritterfeld,
in press). The key to entertainment education is how the information contained in a program is
processed.
HOW MEDIA MESSAGES ARE PROCESSED
As we have just described, in countries with great media saturation, the first step in
determining if an E-E message is going to be effective has to do with whether or not the targeted
audience is attracted to and watches the program. Once the audience is attending to the program,
the effects of the E-E program depend on how the person is processing the message. Theorists
have suggested different levels of attention will be paid to a program based on factors such as the
depth of processing, engagement, involvement, mindfulness, mindlessness, and the like
(Anderson & Burns, 1991). Slater and Rouner (2002) show how the Elaboration Likelihood
Model (ELM) can be expanded to help in the understanding of E-E effects. Similarly to Slater


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