Understanding the role of entertainment-education in promoting prosocial behaviour

Entertainment-education as a persuasive strategy to influence health behaviour is gaining in popularity because it is assumed to sidestep several of the disadvantages (e.g., perceived persuasive intent, reactance) that traditional persuasive messages induce. The placement of educational messages in entertainment contexts may serve as a reliable source of health information and is a promising technique for influencing audiences’ knowledge, attitudes, and behavior towards health-related issues.  As there is more and more consensus that purely informational and educational approaches to crafting health messages are ineffective, this technique, referred to as entertainment-education, is gaining in popularity. In this project we investigate how audiences react to entertainment-education programs when disclosures are used to reveal the persuasive intent of these programs, and we explore the effects of framing in entertainment-education. Moreover, the effectiveness and ethical evaluations of different persuasive strategies that are used in entertainment-education programs are examined.

Research team: Elsbeth Asbeek Brusse (PhD student)
Dr. Marieke Fransen (copromotor)
Prof. Edith Smit (promotor)
Status: Ongoing since 1 November 2008
Funding: Amsterdam School of Communication Research/ASCoR