Attracted But Unsatisfied: The Effects of Arousing Content on Television Consumption Choices

26 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2011 Last revised: 8 Jun 2013

See all articles by Luca Stanca

Luca Stanca

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Marco Gui

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS)

Marcello Gallucci

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Psychology

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper investigates experimentally the effects of arousing content on viewing choices and satisfaction in television consumption. We test the hypothesis that the portrayal of arousing content combines high attraction and low satisfaction and is thus responsible for sub-optimal choices. In our experiment, subjects can choose among three programs during a viewing session. In the experimental condition, one of the three programs portrays a violent verbal conflict, whereas in the control condition the same program portrays a calm debate. A post-experimental questionnaire is used to assess subjects' satisfaction with the programs and the overall viewing experience. The results support the hypothesis: the presence of arousing content causes subjects to watch more of a given program, although they experience lower content-specific and overall satisfaction. Arousing contents also significantly increase the discrepancy between actual and desired viewing.

Keywords: Rational Choice, Audience, Television, Satisfaction, Arousing content, Laboratory Experiments

JEL Classification: D63, C78, C91

Suggested Citation

Stanca, Luca and Gui, Marco and Gallucci, Marcello, Attracted But Unsatisfied: The Effects of Arousing Content on Television Consumption Choices (February 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1807803 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1807803

Luca Stanca (Contact Author)

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo, Nuovo I
Milan 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Marco Gui

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Marcello Gallucci

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Psychology ( email )

Piazza della Scienza, 3
Milan, 20126
Italy

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