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Rieger, Diana; Frischlich, Lena; Oliver, Mary Beth (2018): Meaningful entertainment experiences and self-transcendence: Cultural variations shape elevation, values, and moral intentions. In: International Communication Gazette, Vol. 80, No. 7: pp. 658-676


Previous research reported that meaningful entertainment experiences are associated with elevation, mixed affect, physical indicators, and moral motivations. The importance of values, particularly altruistic values and self-transcendence, was thought to play a central role. Although the importance of values has been found to vary across cultures, little research so far has examined cultural variations in the response towards meaningful entertainment. The present study, therefore, investigated how cultural variations in self-construals and the importance of values (self-enhancement, conservation, and self-transcendence) in movies are related to meaningful entertainment experiences. An online experiment in Germany and the United Arab Emirates (N = 245) confirmed that meaningful entertainment elicited elevation. Elevation was associated with conservation and self-transcendence values and, via this path, increased moral motivations. An interdependent self-construal was related to elevation and to moral motivations. The results are discussed in light of current conceptualizations of inward- and outward-oriented gratifications of meaningful entertainment and the impact of values.