Media enjoyment as need satisfaction: The contribution of hedonic and nonhedonic needs

Ron Tamborini, Matthew Grizzard, Nicholas David Bowman, Leonard Reinecke, Robert J. Lewis, Allison Eden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Most early research on entertainment defines media enjoyment in functional terms as the satisfaction of hedonic needs. Two studies demonstrate the value of including nonhedonic and hedonic need satisfaction in defining enjoyment. Both studies find support for a need-satisfaction model showing that hedonic (arousal and affect) and nonhedonic (competence and autonomy) need satisfaction account for unique variance in enjoyment experienced during video game play. Study 2 extends the findings of Study 1 to account for noninteractive media entertainment enjoyment. Results show hedonic and nonhedonic need satisfaction to be distinct but complementary components of media enjoyment. Discussion focuses on the advantage of a needs-based approach for understanding positive valuations of media and offers a new perspective on the enjoyment-appreciation distinction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1042
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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