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This experiment investigated relationship satisfaction and attachment orientations as moderators of emotional responses to and enjoyment of typical movie and television relationship portrayals. The effects of comedy versus drama exposure were also examined. Participants were 306 adults. Results showed that participants with higher relationship satisfaction experienced more amusement in response to the comedies and hope in response to the romantic movies than those with less satisfaction. Participants with higher attachment avoidance experienced less romantic feeling and hope in response to the romantic movies and less amusement in response to the comedies than those with less avoidance. Main effects of relationship satisfaction and attachment orientations were also found. Additionally, relationship satisfaction and attachment anxiety led to greater enjoyment whereas attachment avoidance led to lesser enjoyment. Higher relationship satisfaction led to more hopeful feelings, which led to greater enjoyment in the romantic movie conditions only. Results are discussed in light of social comparison theory and differential susceptibility to media effects.
Iowa Journal of Communication
television, romance, movie, mass media, emotional response
Kretz, Valerie E., "Who Feels All the Feels? Individual Differences in Emotional Responses to and Enjoyment of Depictions of Romantic Relationships" (2020). Faculty Creative and Scholarly Works. 36.