Enjoyment and Appreciation as Motivators for Coping: Exploring the Therapeutic Effects of Media Messages on Perceived Threat

Jinhee Kim, Mina Tsay-Vogel


This study explores how experience-based media messages featuring victims, survivors, and outperformers provide therapeutic benefits through the enjoyment and appreciation of the messages. Using the economic crisis as a context, our findings indicate that whereas distressed individuals were more likely to appreciate threat-related stories featuring victims and survivors over outperformers, nondistressed individuals were more likely to enjoy such stories featuring outperformers over victims and survivors. Appreciation and enjoyment of these threat-related stories predicted effective coping outcomes: positive reappraisal of the economic situation that also led to increased perceived control over the threat through positive affect. Health implications for enjoyment and appreciation of experience-based stories as motivators for coping outcomes are also discussed.


perceived threat, enjoyment, appreciation, social comparison, coping

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