transfer 17(3) » Rezeptions- und Wirkungsforschung

At the Cross-Roads of Enjoyment and Appreciation

How Do Entertainment Orientations and Moral Ambiguity Influence the Entertainment Experience?

The thesis broadens the scope of entertainment by looking at different gratifications of the entertainment experience. It examines effects of entertainment orientations and moral ambiguity on the entertainment experience. The entertainment experience is conceptualized as a two-factor process (hedonic and eudaimonic entertainment, e.g. summarized in Vorderer & Reinecke, 2012). Entertainment orientations are derived from Oliver and Raney’s (2011) measure of hedonic and eudaimonic motivations to select entertainment. Moral ambiguity is argued to elicit both a hedonic, as well as a eudaimonic gratification of the entertainment experience. Taken together, it is hypothesized that morality increases the effect that entertainment orientations have on the entertainment experience. A 2×2 online experiment (morality x entertainment orientation) was conducted (N = 148). Results show that entertainment orientations do not provide an explanation as to which type of experience is elicited more strongly in individuals. However, findings indicate an intercultural difference between samples from the United States and Germany. Moral ambiguity is suited to predict eudaimonic entertainment experiences. It seems that hedonic and eudaimonic entertainment experiences depend on different factors. Intercultural differences with regards to entertainment should be taken into account in entertainment theory.