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Int. J. Arts and Technology, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2011

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Influence of interactivity on emotions and enjoyment during consumption of audiovisual fictions María Teresa Soto-Sanfiel*, Laura Aymerich-Franch and F. Xavier Ribes-Guàrdia Departament de Comunicació Audiovisual i Publicitat I, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus UAB, Edif. I, Bellaterra 08193, Barcelona, Spain E-mail: [email protected] E-mail: [email protected] E-mail: [email protected] *Corresponding author

J. Reinaldo Martínez-Fernández Departament de Psicologia Evolutiva i de l’Educació, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus UAB, Edif. B, Bellaterra 08193, Barcelona, Spain E-mail: [email protected] Abstract: The effect of interactivity, content and type of instructions on emotions and enjoyment in audiovisual fictions was observed in order to obtain data on interactive entertainment 310 university students were randomly assigned to one of six experimental situations, combining: modality of consumption (interactive or non-interactive), content (happy or sad ending) and type of instructions (operative or affective). Then, all subjects were asked about the emotions, enjoyment and gratification they experienced while watching the film. Main results show the existence of differences in some emotions depending on the modality of film perception. The interactive modality produces higher levels of interest, surprise and guilt compared to the conventional modality. Besides, the analysis shows that interactivity, in itself, does not affect enjoyment. These and other findings are discussed in relation to media entertainment. Keywords: interactivity; emotions; communication; motivation; enjoyment; narratives; audiovisual narratives. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Soto-Sanfiel, M.T., Aymerich-Franch, L., Ribes-Guàrdia, F.X. and Martínez-Fernández, J.R. (2011) ‘Influence of interactivity on emotions and enjoyment during consumption of audiovisual fictions’, Int. J. Arts and Technology, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp.111–129.

Copyright © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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María T. Soto-Sanfiel et al. Biographical notes: María Teresa Soto-Sanfiel is a Professor in the Departament de Comunicació Audiovisual i Publicitat I at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). She holds Bachelors in Social Communication (UCAB), and Information Sciences (UAB), a Master in Interactive Communication, (Telecommunications and Multimedia) and a PhD in Audiovisual Communication (UAB). Laura Aymerich-Franch is a Doctoral Candidate in the Departament de Comunicació Audiovisual i Publicitat I at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). She is a Bachelor in Audiovisual Communication (UAB). F. Xavier Ribes-Guàrdia is a Professor in the Departament de Comunicació Audiovisual i Publicitat I at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). He holds a Bachelor in Information Sciences (UAB) and a PhD in Audiovisual Communication (UAB). J. Reinaldo Martínez-Fernández is a Professor in the Departament de Psicologia Evolutiva i de l’Educació at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He holds a Bachelor in Pedagogy, a Master in Education (UCV) and a PhD in Psychology (UAB).

1

Introduction

It has been indicated that much of the enjoyment audiences experience during the consumption of audiovisual fictions is associated to emotions (Zillmann and Bryant, 2002). However, most of the refered studies explore situations of media consumption in which audiences are passive receivers. Because technological progress has enabled the incorporation of interactivity in the current media offer, some authors claim the need to study the emerging audiovisual user-product relationships (e.g. Grodal, 2000; Prado et al., 2006; Soto, 2001; Vorderer, 2000, 2003). It is suggested that the inclusion of interactivity may modify the experience of media consumption. Nevertheless, given that interactive communication is so new, there is still a lack of sufficient data on how, or to what extent and in what conditions, that influence might be manifested. The objective of this study was to analyse the effect of interactivity on emotions and enjoyment during the reception of audiovisual fiction. To do this, we used interactive narratives, an audiovisual genre in which the user can influence, change or define the story by selecting one of the plotlines that the system offers as options while viewing. By deciding on the outcome of the story, the receiver assumes responsibility for the circumstances that the characters experience (Larose et al., 2005; Laurel, 1991; Meadows, 2003; Murray, 1997; Soto, 2001; Vorderer et al., 2001). Interactive fictions lie halfway between the greater participation of receivers required by videogames and the passivity of the typical media consumption, making them ideal for a preliminary approach to the study of the emotional relationships that receivers establish with narratives, their new formats and interactivity itself. The questions underlying the formulation of this study are: 1

Does the possibility of deciding the outcome of the story have an effect on the emotions experienced by its receivers? Might active implication in the configuration

Influence of interactivity on emotions and enjoyment

113

of the plot make the emotional experience felt by receivers any different to a conventional viewing? 2

Does interactivity affect audiences’ enjoyment and entertainment?

Perhaps active participation not only affects emotions, but also the gratification gained from the experience. We do not know of any studies that have advanced in both lines.

2

On the interactivity in this study

The digital media that promote interactivity foster greater capacity and greater interest for audiences in terms of altering and manipulating the content of this media; users seek coparticipation in the authorship, which redefines the traditional author-text-audience relationship (Cover, 2006). It is believed that the transition from passive receivers to active ones could entail emotional, cognitive and behavioural consequences, although research into interactivity is still in development. Before continuing, it is essential to delimit the concept of interactivity in the context of this study, because the term is widely used and defined heterogenically in the academic literature (Bucy, 2004; Hanssen et al., 1996; Heeter, 1989; Huhtamo, 1999; Miller et al., 1997; Schultz, 2000; Smethers, 1998; Sohn and Lee, 2005). Interactivity is understood to be the possibility that an audiovisual system provides to users of being able to intervene in the emission of a production. As commented earlier, in this study, interactivity is conceived as the capacity receivers have of deciding, during the consumption process, on the development of the audiovisual fiction on the basis of a series of predesigned navigation options. Previous research has indicated that interacting with the content can promote experiences of cognitive involvement in audiences (Liu and Shrum, 2003) and that perceived interactivity can positively influence the involvement of the user (Johnson et al., 2006). Also, being able to interact with the content can have an effect on the emotional and cognitive processing of the content to the user (Wise and Reeves, 2009), cause an increase in attention (Hoffman and Novak, 1996; Liu and Shrum, 2003), or in motivation to process the information and use of cognitive resources (Ariely, 2000; Hupfer and Grey, 2005; Tremayne and Dunwood, 2001). It is also known that it causes greater positive evaluations, liking of the content (Ko et al., 2005; McMillan et al., 2003; Sicilia et al., 2005) and excitement during consumption (Fortin and Dholakia, 2005). Studies that analyse the reception of interactive audiovisual fictions have observed perception of characters, stories and gratification of consumption (Soto, 2001). Also have explored the perception of entertainment in interactive fictions as a product of the cognitive capacity of its receivers (Vorderer et al., 2001). Some others have studied the relationship between the mode of consumption (group or individual), in interactive and non-interactive fictions (Larose et al., 2005).

3

Emotions and audiovisual narratives

The Uses and Gratifications Theory sustains that there is a need to identify the motivation to consume in order to explain the communicative relationships that audiences establish with media and its messages (Blumler, 1979; Katz et al., 1974; Katz and Lazarsfeld,

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1955; Perse and Courtright, 1993; Swanson, 1977). Emotions are considered to be a type of motive by researchers of basic psychological process. In fact, some authors consider them to be the primary motivational system (Izard, 1977; Tomkins, 1962, 1963). However, there has been very little systematic research into emotions in media processing (Nabi, 2007), even though they have been considered to be variables of crucial influence (Fox et al., 2006; Lang, 2000; Lang et al., 2004; Yegiyan et al., 2005). In a similar cultural context, there have been previous empirical studies of the mediation of emotions in audiovisual fiction using a version of Izard’s Differential Emotions Scale (Igartua and Páez, 1998; Igartua et al., 1994). Specifically, the study by Igartua and Páez (1998) recognises that the induction of emotions in spectators is related to the content of the fiction. The aforementioned researchers found those film sequences that display contents associated to positive valence emotions produce greater intensity in positive emotions (interest or curiosity, happiness, shame and embarrassment), while film segments with unpleasant content induce negative valence emotions (disgust, repugnance, distress, fear, contempt, anger and sadness) (Igartua and Páez, 1998). Also, by studying the identification and empathy with the characters in film segments (based on Davis et al., 1987), these researchers found differences between the responses given by their receivers depending on whether they received instructions related to distance or to empathy (identification). When the receivers received instructions suggesting identification they displayed higher rates of empathy with the characters. This leads us on to other questions: 1

Is the magnitude of the influence of interactivity any different depending on whether the content leads to a happy ending or to a sad one?

2

Does the mode of instructions for interaction have an influence on the emotions experienced by the receivers?

We should remember that users of interactive narratives decide how the story will continue. However, the instructions to navigate through the system that they receive could be designed to make them: 1. moving towards involvement by being asked to take decisions that will affect the lives of the characters (affective), or 2. know how to consume the message correctly by being asked to take decisions in a neutral and totally functional manner (operative).

4

Study objectives

Given what has been exposed above, the study aims: 1

to analyse the relation between the emotions sensed depending on the possibility or not of interacting (interactive or non-interactive modality) with the content

2

to determine the differences in emotions depending on the instructions (operative or affective) and content (sad ending or happy ending)

3

to explore emotions depending on the modality of consumption (interactive or noninteractive) and enjoyment.

Influence of interactivity on emotions and enjoyment

5

115

Hypothesis

H1: The capacity to interact with the plot of a piece of fiction influences the emotions sensed by its receivers. H1a: There must be differences in the emotions sensed depending on the modality of a piece of fiction (interactive or non-interactive). H2: The type of instruction (affective or operative) for interaction and the plot (happy ending or sad) of a piece of fiction influence the emotions sensed by its receivers. H2a: Affective instructions influence emotions more intensely than instructions with operative (functional) content. H2b: The content (the storyline) affects the emotions sensed regardless of the modality of the fiction. H3: Differences are expected in the emotions associated to enjoyment and entertainment, depending on how a piece of interactive or non-interactive fiction is viewed.

6

Method

6.1 Participants The participants were 310 students from the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona who collaborated voluntarily in the experience. The mean age of the participants was 20.16 years (DT = 2.34). Out of the total sample, 228 (73.5%) were female and 82 (26.5%) were male.

6.2 Materials The emotions sensed were evaluated by means of the scale employed by Igartua and Páez (1998) to explore the relation between the emotional experience of audiences and their identification with the characters in audiovisual fiction (see Annex A). The scale is a version of Izard’s Differential Emotions Scale that was also used by Igartua et al. (1994) for the experimental study of the relation between music, images and emotion. It was considered ideal because it had been used in similar cultural contexts to that of this study. The participants were asked: how intensely did you feel the following emotions while viewing? They were then presented with 11 emotions (interest or curiosity, happiness, shame or embarrassment, repugnance or disgust, distress, fear, contempt, anger, sadness, surprise and guilt) in a Likert type 5-point scale (from 1 = I did not feel that emotion; to a maximum score of 5 = I felt that emotion very intensely). To measure the other dependent variables (enjoyment and entertainment) we also used Likert type 5-point scales (from 1 = none; to 5 = a lot). The subjects were asked to answer questions related with how much they enjoyed consuming the film. They were then offered the items that were to be valued: 1

I enjoyed the film

2

I was entertained by the film.

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We decided to use single items to measure the enjoyment and entertainment for two reasons. First because of the unavailability of measurement instruments validated in similar cultural contexts; second due to enjoyment and entertainment have also been measured as a single item (Vorderer et al., 2004).

6.3 Procedure The subjects were voluntarily and randomly asked to watch a 15 min film. It was a version of a German commercial film dubbed into Spanish (manipulated and reedited) by the researchers for the purposes of the experiment. The film was chosen because the story enabled adaptation to the different experimental conditions without undermining any aspects of its aesthetics or plot. A total of six experimental versions were created, of identical length, as shown in Table 1. The general plot of the film revolved around the protagonist’s attempts to obtain a large sum of money to help her boyfriend, who was in debt to a mafia member. In the content with a happy ending, the couple managed to repay the money and also received an extra reward; in the sad ending, they did not manage to repay the money, and the boy ended up being run over and killed. In terms of the instructions, in the operative mode the subjects were told in a neutral fashion how they were supposed to make decisions in the interactive versions. So, the instructions were functional in nature: ‘in this film you must decide between options to continue the story. The options you choose will enable you to construct your own version of the story. You decide upon the plot of the film’. However, in the affective mode, the instructions hinted that the destiny of the characters depended on the decisions made by the subjects. The indications were of the following type: ‘in this film you must decide the characters’ destiny. The options you choose will determine whether they face certain circumstances or others, the future of the characters is in your hands, it is your responsibility’. In the lineal (non-interactive) versions, the subjects watched the film in conventional fashion. In the interactive versions, the subjects had to choose between various options that determined the storyline of the film. When decisions were required, the film paused and waited for the viewer to opt for one of the proposals offered. The plot selection that the subjects made was simulated, the choices were programmed in such a way that they all led to the same content, even though the questions were formulated in such a way that the subjects got the impression that they really were deciding the plot. The subjects assigned to interactive consumption experimental conditions ‘chose’ the plot four times during the course of the film. On each of these selection screens they chose between two different options. The experiment was conducted in groups of 20 subjects, although the consumption took place individually, whereby each of the participants had a computer screen and headphones. Once the experience was over, the subjects, using the same computer system, completed the test designed to evaluate the emotions sensed during the consumption of the fiction and their degree of enjoyment and entertainment (see Annexes B and C). The total duration of the experiment was 40 min.

Influence of interactivity on emotions and enjoyment Table 1

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Experimental versions

Experimental version

Modality of fiction

Type of content

Mode of instructions for interaction

1

Interactive

Happy ending

Operative

2

Interactive

Happy ending

Affective

3

Interactive

Sad ending

Operative

4

Interactive

Sad ending

Affective

5

Non-interactive

Happy ending

6

Non-interactive

Sad ending

6.4 Analysis In the first phase, the different means were analysed for the emotions sensed, depending on the effect of the different factors of each of the independent variables (modality of the fiction, instructions and type of content). Then, we analysed the relations between different combinations of the independent variables (versions) and the different means for emotions sensed depending on the different types of combination. In the second phase, we analysed the relation between interactivity, enjoyment and the emotions sensed. The employed statistical tests were t-student, ANOVA and Pearson correlation analysis.

7

Results

We found significant differences in some emotions depending on the modality of the fiction (see Table 2). The participants of the interactive condition affirmed that they felt interest or curiosity (t = 2.822; p = 0.005), surprise (t = 3.325; p = 0.001) and guilt (t = 3.646; p < 0.001) with greater intensity than participants of the non-interactive condition. We also detected a tendency to show fear with greater intensity in the interactive than in the non-interactive experience (t = 1.830; p = 0.068). H1 is accepted but only for 3/11 of the evaluated emotions. In relation to the type of instructions for interaction, significant differences were observed only for one of the emotions sensed (see Table 3). The participants experienced fear with greater intensity when the instructions were affective than when they were operative (t = 2.049; p = 0.042). H2a of this study is rejected almost totally, as it was only accepted for 1/11 of the evaluated emotions. In terms of the content, the existence of significant differences was observed in 2/11 of the evaluated emotions depending on the type of content (see Table 4). The participants expressed that they had felt happiness with greater intensity when the content led to a happy ending (t = 2.675; p = 0.008) and sadness with greater intensity when it led to a sad ending (t = 4.235; p < 0.001). In this sample, the content affected the experience of happiness and of sadness. H2b is partially accepted for 2/11 of the evaluated emotions.

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Table 2

Emotions and modalities (interactive and non-interactive) (t-student) Modality

Emotions

t

Interact. (n = 205) MSD Non-interact. (n = 105) MSD

p

Interest–curiosity

4.09(0.83)

3.80(0.93)

2.822

0.005

Happiness

2.47(0.98)

2.33(1.04)

1.124

0.262

Shame–embarrass

1.50(0.82)

1.52(0.77)

0.272

0.786

Repugna–disgust

1.75(1.02)

1.63(0.84)

1.063

0.289

Distress

3.20(1.14)

3.00(1.29)

1.399

0.163

Fear

2.13(1.09)

1.90(0.99)

1.830

0.068

Contempt

1.86(1.04)

1.95(1.06)

0.707

0.480

Anger

1.81(1.01)

1.72(1.05)

0.740

0.460

Sadness

2.41(1.22)

2.33(1.16)

0.564

0.573

Surprise

3.69(0.94)

3.30(1.09)

3.325

0.001

Guilt

1.82(1.16)

1.42(0.76)

3.646

0.000

Table 3

Emotions depending on instructions (affective and operative) (t-student) Instructions

Emotions

Affective (n = 104) MSD Operative (n = 101) MSD

Interest–curiosity

4.13(0.77)

t

4.06(0.88)

0.567

p 0.571

Happiness

2.50(1.06)

2.44(0.89)

0.471

0.638

Shame–embarrass

1.49(0.84)

1.50(0.81)

0.127

0.899

Repugna–disgust

1.70(0.92)

1.80(1.11)

0.699

0.485

Distress

3.32(1.00)

3.08(1.26)

1.495

0.136

Fear

2.28(1.08)

1.97(1.07)

2.049

0.042

Contempt

1.85(1.02)

1.88(1.07)

0.240

0.811

Anger

1.88(1.03)

1.75(0.98)

0.870

0.385

Sadness

2.33(1.14)

2.50(1.30)

1.041

0.299

Surprise

3.79(0.94)

3.59(0.94)

1.479

0.141

Guilt

1.82(1.10)

1.82(1.23)

0.027

0.978

Table 4

Emotions depending on content (happy ending or sad ending) (t-student) Type of ending

Emotions

Sad (n = 164) MSD

Happy (n = 146) MSD

t

p

Interest–curiosity

3.91(0.92)

4.08(0.82)

1.690

0.092

Happiness

2.28(0.98)

2.58(1.00)

2.675

0.008

Shame–embarrass

1.57(0.87)

1.44(0.72)

1.425

0.155

Influence of interactivity on emotions and enjoyment Table 4

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Emotions depending on content (happy ending or sad ending) (t-student) (continued) Type of ending

Emotions

Sad (n = 164) MSD

Happy (n = 146) MSD

t

p

Repugnance–disgust

1.72(0.97)

1.70(0.96)

0.191

0.849

Distress

3.09 (1.22)

3.18(1.16)

0.733

0.464

Fear

2.01(1.07)

2.10(1.05)

0.745

0.457

Contempt

1.94(1.11)

1.84(1.07)

0.809

0.419

Anger

1.77(1.05)

1.79(0.99)

0.173

0.863

Sadness

2.65(1.24)

2.09(1.08)

4.235

0.000

Surprise

3.52(1.05)

3.60(0.97)

0.733

0.464

Guilt

1.77(1.11)

1.58(1.00)

1.598

0.111

On analysing the differences in emotions depending on the combination of modality (interactive/non-interactive) and type of content (happy ending/sad ending) – combinations that hereinafter we shall call version of the fiction – we observed a greater number of significant differences than those reported up until now (see Table 5). So, there are differences in terms of happiness (F = 3.477; p = 0.016), sadness (F = 6.071; p = 0.001) and guilt (F = 5.105; p = 0.002). Specifically, a later analysis (Scheffé) indicates that the participants state a feeling of: 1

Happiness with greater intensity when the end was happy and the modality was interactive than when the end was sad and the modality was non-interactive (p < 0.042).

2

Sadness with greater intensity when the content was sad and interactive than when it was happy and interactive (p = 0.008), and when it was happy and non-interactive (p < 0.018).

3

Guilt with greater intensity in the interactive modality than the non-interactive one when the content had a sad ending (p < 0.010). Also, guilt was more intense when the participants viewed sad interactive content than when they viewed the noninteractive content with a happy ending (p < 0.038).

Also, differences were found for surprise (F = 3.895; p = 0.009), although the effect was not clear between the different combinations of modality and content. Nevertheless, observing the absolute means, it is detected that there was less surprise when the content corresponded to a sad non-interactive ending than when it was happy and interactive. Similarly, when aggregating the mode of the instructions to the analysis of the differences in the emotions sensed, we detected some differences (see Table 6). Specifically, in happiness (F = 2.595; p = 0.26), surprise (F = 2.041; p = 0.013), sadness (F = 3.883; p = 0.002) and guilt (F = 3.086; p = 0.010) depending on the version. Despite all these inter-group differences, in general, they were not specified in the a posteriori analysis (Sheffé) for any of the different combinations. However, interesting data was observed in the intensity of some emotions, thus:

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1

In happiness: the participants in the non-interactive version with a sad ending stated they felt less happiness ( x = 2.09) than those that were exposed to the interactive version with a happy ending and operative instructions ( x = 2.65). The possibility of operatively deciding the plot, along with the happy ending content, seems to increase happiness.

2

In surprise: the participants in the interactive version with sad content in which affective instructions were given declared they had felt surprise with greater intensity ( x = 3.80) than those that were exposed to sad non-interactive content ( x = 3.29).

3

In sadness: the analysis showed that there is a tendency towards difference between the intensity of the sadness manifested by the participants exposed to the version with sad interactive content and operative instructions ( x = 2.79) and that manifested by those exposed to happy content with affective instructions ( x = 2.04). Meanwhile, the analysis showed that the version with sad interactive and operative content generated greater sadness than the happy non-interactive content ( x = 2.04).

4

In guilt: the participants in the interactive version with sad content and affective instructions manifested a greater degree of guilt ( x = 2.00) than those in the noninteractive version with sad content ( x = 1.39). That is to say, the subjects seem to feel more guilt when they interact affectively than when they do not interact in deciding the lives of the characters.

Meanwhile, as suggested earlier, in the second phase, an analysis was made of the relation between the emotions sensed, enjoyment, entertainment and the modality of the fiction. Table 5

Differences in emotions depending on type of content and modality of the fiction (ANOVA) Version

Emotions

Sad interact. Sad non-inter. Happy interact. Happy non-interact. (n = 108) MSD (n = 56) MSD (n = 97) MSD (n = 49) MSD

F

sig.

Happiness

2.38(0.96)

2.09(1.00)*

2.57(0.99) (1)

2.61(1.04)

3.477

0.016

Shame– embarrass

1.58(0.90)

1.54(0.81)

1.40(0.72)

1.51(0.74)

0.900

0.442

Repugnan– disgust

1.79(1.04)

1.59(0.80)

1.71(1.00)

1.67(0.88)

0.546

0.651

Distress

3.16(1.20)

2.95(1.26)

3.25(1.07)

3.06(1.33)

0.827

0.480

Fear

2.14(1.07)

1.75(1.03)

2.11(1.11)

2.06(0.92)

1.887

0.132

Contempt

1.96(1.12)

1.89(1.09)

1.75(0.95)

2.02(1.03)

0.982

0.402

Anger Sadness Surprise Guilt

1.86(1.04)

1.61(1.07)

1.76(0.98)

1.86(1.02)

0.861

0.462

2.69(1.24) (1)

2.5(1.25)

2.11(1.14)*

2.04(0.98)*

6.071

0.001

3.64(1.04)

3.29(1.04)*

3.75(0.83) (1)

3.31(1.16)

3.895

0.009

1.97(1.22) (1)

1.39(0.73)*

1.65(1.08)

1.45(0.79)*

5.105

0.002

Note: * p < 0.05; (1) p < 0.01.

Influence of interactivity on emotions and enjoyment Table 6

Emotions Happiness Shame– embarrass Repugnan– disgust Distress Fear Contempt Anger Sadness Surprise Guilt

121

Relation between modality of fiction, type of content and mode of instructions for interaction (ANOVA)

2.595 0.543

0.026 0.744

2 1 (n = 56) (n = 55) MSD MSD 2.51(1.03) 2.09(1.00) 1.58(0.94) 1.54(0.81)

0.654

0.659

1.67(0.88) 1.59(0.80)

0.915 2.025 1.779 0.743 3.883 2.941 3.086

0.472 0.075 0.117 0.592 0.002 0.013 0.010

3.29(0.99) 2.29(1.05) 2.11(1.12) 1.96(1.12) 2.58(1.15) 3.80(1.01) 2.00(1.19)

F

p

Version 4 3 (n = 49) (n = 53) MSD MSD 2.25(0.88) 2.49(1.10) 1.58(0.87) 1.39(0.70)

6 5 (n = 48) (n = 49) MSD MSD 2.61(1.04) 2.65(0.86) 1.51(0.74) 1.42(0.74)

1.91(1.18)

1.67(0.88) 1.69(1.04)

1.73(0.97)

2.95(1.26) 3.02(1.38) 3.35(1.01) 3.06(1.33) 3.15(1.13) 1.75(1.03) 1.98(1.08) 2.27(1.13) 2.06(0.92) 1.96(1.07) 1.89(1.09) 1.81(1.11) 1.55(0.82) 2.02(1.03) 1.96(1.03) 1.61(1.07) 1.75(0.94) 1.78(0.92) 1.86(1.02) 1.75(1.04) 2.59(1.25) 2.79(1.34) (1) 2.04(1.08)* 2.04(0.98)* 2.19(1.20) 3.29(1.04) 3.47(1.05) 3.78(0.87) 3.31(1.16) 3.73(0.79) 1.39(0.73) 1.94(1.26) 1.61(0.98) 1.45(0.79) 1.69(1.06)

Note: Versions: 1 – Introbaf; 2 – Non-introb; 3 – Introbop; 4 – Intlotaf; 5 – Non-intlot; 6 – Intlotop.

In the interactive modality (see Table 7), a significant relation was observed between enjoyment and interest or curiosity (r = 0.507; p < 0.010), happiness (r = 0.455; p < 0.010), distress (r = 0.209; p < 0.010), fear (r = 0.143; p < 0.050), sadness (r = 0.205; p < 0.010) and surprise (r = 0.322; p < 0.010). The greater the intensity of these emotions, the greater the degree of enjoyment. Similarly, we observed a significant relation between these same emotions – interest or curiosity (r = 0.632; p < 0.010), happiness (r = 0.331; p < 0.010), distress (r = 0.285; p < 0.010), fear (r = 0.231; p < 0.010), sadness (r = 0.158; p < 0.050) and surprise (r = 0.316; p < 0.010) – with entertainment. We also found that there was a pair of significant negative relations between enjoyment and repugnance (r = 0.252; p < 0.050), and contempt (r = 0.203; p < 0.010), i.e.: the lower the intensity of these emotions, the greater the enjoyment. Finally, we also detected that there is a significant relationship between guilt and entertainment (r = 0.142; p < 0.050): the greater the intensity of guilt, the greater the entertainment. In the non-interactive modality (see Table 8), we observed a significant relationship between enjoyment and interest or curiosity (r = 0.526; p < 0.010), happiness (r = 0.412; p < 0.010), distress (r = 0.322; p < 0.010), fear (r = 0.238; p < 0.050) and surprise (r = 0.400; p < 0.010). The greater the intensity of these variables, the greater the enjoyment. Also, we observed a significant relationship between said variables – interest or curiosity (r = 0.554; p < 0.010), happiness (r = 0.355; p < 0.010), distress (r = 0.322; p < 0.010), fear (r = 0.260; p < 0.010) and surprise (r = 0.400; p < 0.010) – and entertainment. The greater the intensity of these variables, the greater the entertainment. We also observed a relationship between anger and entertainment (r = 0.200; p < 0.050). The greater the anger, the greater the entertainment. Similarly, we observed a relationship between shame and enjoyment (r = 0.358; p < 0.010) or entertainment (r = 0.310; p < 0.010), but in a negative sense: the greater the intensity of shame, the lower the enjoyment and entertainment.

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Table 7

Emotions, entertainment and enjoyment in interactive modality (n = 205)

Variables

1

2

1

Enjoyment

2

Entertainment

0.750***



3

Interest–curiosity

0.507***

0.632***

4

Happiness

0.455***

0.331***



5

Shame–embarrassment

6

Repugnance–disgust

7

Distress

0.209**

0.285***

8

Fear

0.143*

0.231**

9

Contempt

0.004

0.013

0.252***

0.106

0.203**

0.090

10 Anger

0.044

0.049

11 Sadness

0.205**

0.158*

12 Surprise

0.322***

0.316***

13 Guilt

0.099

0.142*

*p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. ***p < 0.001. Table 8

Emotions, entertainment and enjoyment in noninteractive modality (n = 105)

Variables

1

2

1

Enjoyment

2

Entertainment

0.810***



3

Interest–curiosity

0.526***

0.554***

4

Happiness

0.412***

0.355***



5

Shame–embarrassment

0.358***

0.310**

6

Repugnance–disgust

0.186

0.134

7

Distress

8

Fear

9

Contempt

0.322** 0.238*

0.397*** 0.260**

0.051 0.125

0.063 0.200*

11 Sadness

0.140

0.119*

12 Surprise

0.400***

0.428***

13 Guilt

0.074

0.095

10 Anger

*p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. ***p < 0.001.

Having compared the results obtained for both modalities, it was observed that in the interactive modality, entertainment was related to guilt and surprise in a positive sense:

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123

the greater the guilt or surprise, the greater the entertainment that was manifested; it was related with shame–embarrassment in a negative sense: the greater the shame– embarrassment, the lower the entertainment; with no significant relation being observed with anger. In the interactive modality, unlike the non-interactive one, enjoyment was related with shame–embarrassment, repugnance and contempt in a negative sense: the greater the shame–embarrassment or repugnance, the lower the enjoyment; it is related with sadness in a positive sense: the greater the sadness, the greater the enjoyment. These results allow us to partially confirm H3. In each modality, only 4/11 of the emotions observed were associated to enjoyment or entertainment.

8

Discussion

Regarding to its first objective, this study found evidence that, when applied to audiovisual fictions, interactivity (understood to be the possibility of affecting the content of the piece) exercises relative influence on the emotions felt by audiences. The term relative influence describes the effect that does not alter the fundamental direction (the valence) of the emotional experience, but does affect other of its dimensions. Specifically, this study found that interaction with fiction affects the intensity with which only some emotions are manifested. The results revealed that the receivers of interactive fiction state that they have experienced a greater degree of interest–curiosity (positive valence), surprise (neutral valence), fear and guilt (negative valence) than those of noninteractive fiction. All of the above means that, as has been suggested by some researchers of communication (e.g. Grodal, 2000; Prado et al., 2006; Soto, 2001; Vorderer, 2000, 2003), interactivity modifies the experience of consuming fiction. It follows Nabi’s (2007) about the need to study each emotion during media consumption in more depth too. Also, and confirming Igartua and Páez (1998), this research corroborated the existence of a coherent relation between the content (the storyline) and the emotions shown. However, it adds to their work the idea that said relation is independent of interactivity: in general, the possibility of interacting with the plot does not alter the direction of the emotional experience produced by the content, showing the plot to be a more influential element on the consumption of fiction than interactivity. Despite the above, the possibility of interacting with the plot does cause differences in the manifested intensity of happiness, sadness, guilt and surprise, depending on the content: 1

If consumera view a sad ending that have contributed to creating, they feel significantly sadder than they feel happy if they have seen a happy ending (whether or not they helped create it). The intensity of emotions is higher with sad interactive content than happy interactive content.

2

Consumer feel significantly more guilty when have chosen a sad ending for characters or story.

3

Surprise is an emotion associated to the responsibility for deciding happy contents.

The second of the objectives of this research was to analyse the differences in the emotions sensed depending on the instructions (operative or affective) for interaction.

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The results support the idea that the content of instructions does not affect, in general, the intensity of the emotions sensed by the participants, who tend to experience most of the emotions in a similar way, whether they have received operative or affective instructions. This finding, contemplated in the light of those made by Davis et al. (1987), and confirmed by Igartua and Páez (1998), who support the existence of an effect of the instruction given to receivers on empathy with film characters, adds that, in general, the affectivity of instructions does not produce effects, in itself, on the emotions of the receivers of interactive films and that the experience of emotions is not related to the instructions. However, the study supports the fact that subjecting the subjects to affective instructions increases the intensity of the manifestation of one particular emotion: fear. So, in the light of existing knowledge, later studies could observe in depth whether there is a relation between empathy with characters and the perception of fear in interactive fiction. Meanwhile, in relation to the third of the objectives (analysing the relation between interactivity and the manifestation of enjoyment and entertainment), this study found evidence that, applied to audiovisual fiction, interactivity exercises, as was the case with emotions, a relative influence on said factors, such that, in some way, it modifies the consumer experience, as has been suggested by some researchers (e.g. Prado et al., 2006; Soto, 2001; Vorderer, 2000, 2003). By relating emotions with the perception of entertainment and enjoyment, it is observed that interactivity caused entertainment to be positively related with guilt and surprise. The participants stated that they felt more entertained the more they said they felt guilt and surprise. Also, the participants positively related the other variable, enjoyment, to sadness: the greater the perception of sadness in interactive versions, the greater the enjoyment. Meanwhile, interactivity also causes an increase in the influence of negative emotions (sadness and guilt) or neutral emotions (surprise) associated to the gratification of consumption. An increase in the intensity of sadness or guilt as a result of interactivity pleases and gratifies the participants. It also causes a rejection of an association of shame–embarrassment with enjoyment or entertainment. In fact, when these emotions are sensed with greater intensity in interactive consumption, there is less enjoyment. This study was made in awareness that emotions are complex phenomena and hopes to offer evidence to stimulate the interest of researchers. However, it is recommended that future studies should use combined procedures for the obtainment of data in three specific terrains: conscious sentiment or experience, psycho-biological processes and manifest behaviours. It is also considered to be of interest for emotions to be studied through the manipulation of levels of participation in the modification of audiovisual fiction applications, in particular through control of the degree to which the participants affect the content or form (as proposed by Steuer (1992)). This research can be applied to different areas. On the one hand, it is of interest to communication theorists or those with an interest in offering tentative explanations of the motivations underlying the consumption of media for leisure purposes. In this sense, the study supports evidence aimed at determining the psychological variables related with the satisfaction of the need to experience entertainment in different manifestations. At the same time, this study offers results regarding the effect of the context of audiovisual reception on specific emotions (a specific aspect of the motivation) meaning that the results could be of interest to psychologists of motivation and emotion. We should remember that, following the theory of uses and gratifications, audience motivations can

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explain the experience of exposure to media for entertainment purposes and, in this sense, emotions are offered as variables for understanding them. Also, from a functional perspective, the results of this study could be applied to the design and creation of audiovisual products, given that it relates specific elements of the design of these messages to the receivers’ specific perceptions of emotions and their relation with gratification.

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Appendix A Scale of the emotions during film consumption by Igartua and Páez (1998) How intensely did you feel the following emotions while watching? (1 = I did not feel this emotion/5 = I felt this emotion very intensely) 1

2

3

4

5

Interest or curiosity Happiness Shame or embarrassment Repugnance or disgust Distress Fear Contempt Hate Sadness Surprise Guilt

Appendix B Tests by mode of instructions A For the ‘Affective Instructions’ condition Thank you for taking part in this study by researchers from the Grup de Recerca en Imatge, So i Síntesi (GRISS) at the UAB. This study seeks to obtain information on the consumption of fiction. Please answer the questions sincerely. The data you give us will only be used for research purposes. Your participation will be completely anonymous. Your collaboration will last approximately three quarters of an hour. First, you will watch a film. When it has finished, we will ask for your opinion on aspects of the consumption of fiction. Please think about your physical reactions as you watch the film, as we will be asking you about them afterwards. You need to use the mouse to answer the questions: put the pointer over your chosen answer box and click to check it. Make sure that the box you selected is checked. The system will not let you move on until you have answered all of the questions. This is an individual consumer experience. We are interested in your personal responses. Although the system will guide you through the process, if you need help, please ask the researcher who will be present in the room. We are now going to show you the film. Remember to pay attention to your feelings and emotions as you watch it. In this film you will have to decide the lives of the characters. The options you choose will cause them to face certain circumstances instead of others. The future of the characters is in your hands. It is your responsibility.

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Tests by mode of instructions (continued) B For the ‘Operative Instructions’ condition Thank you for taking part in this study by researchers from the Grup de Recerca en Imatge, So i Síntesi (GRISS) at the UAB. This study seeks to obtain information on the consumption of fiction. Please answer the questions sincerely. The data you give us will only be used for research purposes. Your participation will be completely anonymous. Your collaboration will last approximately three quarters of an hour. First, you will watch a film. When it has finished, we will ask for your opinion on aspects of the consumption of fiction. Please think about your physical reactions as you watch the film, as we will be asking you about them afterwards. You need to use the mouse to answer the questions: put the pointer over your chosen answer box and click to check it. Make sure that the box you selected is checked. The system will not let you move on until you have answered all of the questions. This is an individual consumer experience. We are interested in your personal responses. Although the system will guide you through the process, if you need help, please ask the researcher who will be present in the room. We are now going to show you the film. Remember to pay attention to your feelings and emotions as you watch it. In this film, you will have to decide between options in order to continue watching the story. The options you choose will enable you to construct your own version of the story. You decide the film’s storyline.

Appendix C Common test for all conditions Question 1: How intensely did you feel the following emotions while watching? (1 = I did not feel this emotion/5 = I felt this emotion very intensely) 1

2

3

4

5

Interest or curiosity Happiness Shame or embarrassment Repugnance or disgust Distress Fear Contempt Hate Sadness Surprise Guilt Question 2: Answer the following questions about your enjoyment of the film (1 = none/5 = a lot) 1 I enjoyed the film I was entertained by the film

2

3

4

5

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