Telecommunications | Topical Seminar in Media & Society
T451 | 26113 | Weaver, A

TEL-T451: The Psychology of Media Entertainment

Entertainment is a bigger part of our lives today that it has been
for humans at any point in our recorded history.  The average
American now spends more time consuming entertainment media than
doing any other activity besides breathing.  In this course we will
examine this extraordinary hold that media entertainment has on our
lives.  What is it that gives media entertainment the power to make
us laugh or cry?  Why do we occasionally seek negative emotional
reactions (fear, disgust, sadness) from our entertainment choices?
In an increasingly crowded media world, how do individuals decide
what media products to consume?  Is it possible to become addicted
to entertainment?  How could entertainment media serve us better?
We will attempt to shed some light on these issues using theories
and research from a variety of fields including psychology,
sociology, and communication studies.

This is a seminar course and as such, students will be expected to
come prepared to discuss and debate the issues we will cover.
Grades will be based on class participation, two exams, reaction
papers, and a final project.  The readings for the class will come
from one required book (Media Entertainment: The Psychology of Its
Appeal, edited by Dolf Zillmann and Peter Vorderer) and from a
collection of articles that will be available through the library’s

To see which requirements, in the College of Arts and Sciences, this
course will fulfill consult the College Bulletin at
If you have questions, or need additional help, see your academic