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Media Enjoyment as Need Satisfaction: The Contribution of Hedonic and Nonhedonic Needs

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Most early research on entertainment defines media enjoyment in functional terms as the satisfaction of hedonic needs. Two studies demonstrate the value of including nonhedonic and hedonic need satisfaction in defining enjoyment. Both studies find support for a need‐satisfaction model showing that hedonic (arousal and affect) and nonhedonic (competence and autonomy) need satisfaction account for unique variance in enjoyment experienced during video game play. Study 2 extends the findings of Study 1 to account for noninteractive media entertainment enjoyment. Results show hedonic and nonhedonic need satisfaction to be distinct but complementary components of media enjoyment. Discussion focuses on the advantage of a needs‐based approach for understanding positive valuations of media and offers a new perspective on the enjoyment–appreciation distinction.
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA 2: Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 30582, USA 3: Department of Media and Communication Studies, University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany 4: Department of Communication Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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