Does tragic drama have hedonic value?: the social aspects of hedonic motivations and media enjoyment

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dc.contributor Phelps, Joseph
dc.contributor Zhou, Shuhua
dc.contributor Bissell, Kimberly L.
dc.contributor Guadagno, Rosanna E.
dc.contributor.advisor Bryant, Jennings Ahn, Dohyun 2017-02-28T22:21:39Z 2017-02-28T22:21:39Z 2009
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0000124
dc.identifier.other Ahn_alatus_0004D_10217
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract The hedonic principle, approaching pleasure and avoiding pain, governs human behaviors including media selection. However, the enjoyment of tragic drama poses a challenge to the hedonic principle. Two questions arise from this challenge: (1) why do people, particularly lonely individuals, select tragic content, and (2) why is the intensity of sadness positively associated with the degree of enjoyment of such negatively valenced content? Study 1 examined the first question, the selection of tragic drama. Study 2 investigated the second question, the enjoyment of tragic drama. In Study 1, compared to moderate-lonely individuals, high-lonely individuals selected more tragic drama of which the main theme is positive human relationship that can meet the need for relatedness. Low-lonely individuals did not vary from either high- or moderate-lonely individuals in selecting tragic drama. The treatment of social isolation had effects on the selection of tragic drama among moderate lonely individuals, but not among high- and low-lonely individuals. Moderate-lonely individuals in the inclusion condition watched more tragic drama than did individuals in the neutral condition. In Study 2, individuals were placed in two conditions: self- and other-focused motivations. After watching a sad film, other-focused individuals felt more other-centered sadness, experienced more enjoyment, and had better self-regulation than did self-focused individuals. Other-centered sadness correlated with self-centered sadness and enjoyment, whereas self-focused sadness did not correlate with enjoyment. The two studies suggest that other-focused sadness represents the hedonic value of tragic drama. Theoretical implications and limitations were discussed.
dc.format.extent 100 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Mass Communications
dc.subject.other Psychology, Social
dc.subject.other Psychology, General
dc.title Does tragic drama have hedonic value?: the social aspects of hedonic motivations and media enjoyment
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. College of Communication and Information Sciences Communication & Information Sciences The University of Alabama doctoral Ph.D.

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