Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fact or fiction: Which do moviegoers prefer?

Date:
August 26, 2014
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Do you feel sadder watching a documentary about war or a drama about a young person dying of cancer? According to a new study, consumers mistakenly believe they will have stronger emotional reactions when stories are based on true events rather than fiction.

Do you feel sadder watching a documentary about war or a drama about a young person dying of cancer? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers mistakenly believe they will have stronger emotional reactions when stories are based on true events rather than fiction.

Related Articles


"Consumers may choose to read a tragic fictional story because they assume that knowing it was fictional would make them less sad than reading a less dramatic, but true story," write authors Jane E. J. Ebert (Brandeis University) and Tom Meyvis (New York University). "However, the fictional nature does not alter the impact of the tragic story, leaving them more emotionally distraught than if they had read the true story instead."

In the midst of emotional experiences, consumers are so absorbed by the actual experience that they might be unable to take into account the fictional nature of the story. The authors tested this in one study by informing viewers that a film they were about to see was fictional. These viewers did feel less sad after watching this fictional movie, but only when breaks were provided, allowing the viewers to mull over the fact that the story was not true.

In another study, participants read a tragic story and were asked how they would have felt if they had known that the event in the story really happened or was completely fictional. Not surprisingly, participants indicated they would have felt substantially sadder had they known the story was real. Another group of participants was asked to read the same story and told that the event was either real or fictional. These participants felt sad after reading the story regardless of whether the event actually happened.

Publishers and movie studios should note that underestimating the emotional impact of fictional stories may lead consumers to choose less enjoyable books and movies just because they are based on a true story. "Emphasizing realism may indeed make consumers more likely to choose these options, as consumers tend to believe that true stories will have a greater emotional impact than fictional stories. However, our results suggest that while emphasizing realism may increase sales, it does not necessarily increase satisfaction," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jane E. J. Ebert, Tom Meyvis. Reading Fictional Stories and Winning Delayed Prizes: The Surprising Emotional Impact of Distant Events. Journal of Consumer Research, 2014; 794 DOI: 10.1086/677563

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Fact or fiction: Which do moviegoers prefer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826121058.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2014, August 26). Fact or fiction: Which do moviegoers prefer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826121058.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Fact or fiction: Which do moviegoers prefer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826121058.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Labour Party Warns Britain's Health Service 'on Life Support'

Labour Party Warns Britain's Health Service 'on Life Support'

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — Britain&apos;s opposition Labour Party Monday claimed the National Health Service (NHS) was &apos;on life support&apos; as it turned its attention to the state-run service, which is a key issue for the UK&apos;s May 7 general election. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pending Comcast-Time Warner Merger Has DOJ, FCC Concerned

Pending Comcast-Time Warner Merger Has DOJ, FCC Concerned

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) — The Department of Justice reportedly has concerns a Time Warner-Comcast merger would create an entity too large in the cable and broadband markets. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins