Entertainment as a creature comfort: self-control and selection of challenging media

Allison Eden*, Benjamin K. Johnson, Tilo Hartmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A between-subjects experiment examined selective exposure to films in an imagined self-control scenario, and if exposure would be systematically related to perceptions of the film content as challenging, enjoyable, and a should versus a want choice. Across 3 measures of selective exposure—using open-ended choice, closed-ended choice, and prospective ratings—participants in the depletion condition were less likely to select films that were cognitively challenging, affectively challenging, or a should choice. In contrast to nondepleted participants, depleted participants were more likely to select films they expected being fun, suspenseful, and less appreciated. These results provide support for the proposition that users’ momentary self-control capacity and their perception of challenge provided by content predict media choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-376
Number of pages25
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date4 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Entertainment as a creature comfort: self-control and selection of challenging media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this