Entertainment as Depletion or Replenishment

Monday, October 5, 2020 (3:45 PM – 5:00 PM)

Allison Eden

Associate Professor, Department of Communication
Michigan State University

Media entertainment consumes an increasing amount of leisure time, and can help us restore vitality, combat depletion, and contribute to psychological well-being. Yet, entertainment media is often considered a “guilty pleasure” or an “addictive” behavior. In this talk I present a program of research demonstrating how perceptions (and selection) of entertainment media vary with a) the ability of the user to self-regulate and b) features of the media content. When we are low on self-regulatory resources, we are drawn to media choices which may appeal in the moment but be out of sync with long term goals. This may lead to negative perceptions of media use and impair the recreation potential of media. Results are discussed in terms of the “Recreation/Challenge model of media use” examining the functional role of entertainment in psychological well-being.


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