Entertainment and politics revisited: How non-escapist forms of entertainment can stimulate political interest and information seeking.
Bartsch, A., & Schneider, F. M. (2014). Entertainment and politics revisited: How non-escapist forms of entertainment can stimulate political interest and information seeking. Journal of Communication, 64(3), 369–396. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12095
This article revisits the controversial relationship of entertainment and political communication. On the basis of a theoretical integration of entertainment theory with theories of motivated information processing, we suggest that entertainment consumption can either be driven by hedonic, escapist motivations that are associated with a superficial mode of information processing, or by eudaimonic, truth-seeking motivations that prompt more elaborate forms of information processing. Results of two experiments indicate that eudaimonic forms of emotional involvement (characterized by negative valence, moderate arousal, and feeling moved) stimulated reflective thoughts about politically relevant content, issue interest, and information seeking. This pattern was consistent across two types of entertainment stimuli (fictional films and soft news) and two types of affect manipulations (moving film music and moving exemplars).