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Bartsch, Anne (2012): As time goes by. What changes and what remains the same in entertainment experience over the life span? In: Journal of Communication, Vol. 62, No. 4: pp. 588-608


Across all age groups, entertainment is one of the most important motivations for media use. Relatively little is known, though, about the development of entertainment experience over the life span. Does entertainment actually mean the same thing to young and older people? Based on theories of adult emotional development, affect regulation, and well-being, this study predicted and found that in terms of entertainment gratifications sought, young adults were more interested than older adults in emotionally intense entertainment experiences such as thrilling and tear-jerking experiences, whereas older adults were more interested in contemplative entertainment experiences. However, in terms of gratifications obtained, ratings of film scenes showed that the same types of gratifications obtained predicted more positive evaluations independent of age.