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A New Account of Entertainment Processes: Boundary Expansion

by Benjamin on May 19th, 2015

In two recent articles, I collaborated with Michael Slater and David Ewoldsen at OSU to describe and test a novel account of entertainment processes: “temporarily expanding the boundaries of the self” (TEBOTS).

First of all, in last year’s special issue on entertainment in Journal of Communication, we describe how threats to and strains on the self-concept may act as a fundamental motivation for narrative consumption.

More recently, we report an experiment in Media Psychology that uses ego-depletion (loss of self-control) to examine whether TEBOTS processes might be at work during narrative exposure. We found that depletion of the self increased engagement with short stories, across a range of measures.

We’ll be presenting the results of a new TEBOTS experiment at AEJMC this fall, looking at other situational factors as well as moderating and mediating variables.

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