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The effect of background music in documentaries on viewers' mood states, risk perception and retention of content

Peters, M.C. (2021) The effect of background music in documentaries on viewers' mood states, risk perception and retention of content.

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Abstract:This study investigates a factor that might contribute to people’s emotional response to, and retention of, video content: background music. The study uses a documentary to investigate the impact of different kinds of background music (or none). The research question is: “What is the effect of different types of background music in documentaries on viewers’ mood, risk perception and retention?” This study searched for an answer to this research question by conducting an experiment containing three conditions. The two experimental conditions had to watch a video clip about climate change set to either ominous or uplifting background music, while the control condition heard no music at all. Questionnaires were administrated to determine respondents’ mood states, and risk perception of climate change. Retention was assessed with a knowledge test. A key finding was that background music had a significant effect on mood states. Participants who had viewed the video with ominous music gave higher ratings for their negative mood states than did participants in the two other conditions. A significant effect of background music on risk perception was found only when investigating a so-called moderator effect. The results showed no direct effect of background music on retention.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87899
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