ERIC Number: ED208450
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Movie Ratings and Their Effect on Movie Attendance.
Austin, Bruce A.
A study was conducted to examine how the motion picture Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating system (G-PG-R-X) affects movie attendance. The study also tested the validity of two behavioral theories: (1) reactance theory, which predicts that when a behavioral freedom is restricted or eliminated an individual is motivated to restore that freedom, and (2) commodity theory, which predicts that individuals attach greater value to objects that are in scarce supply than to objects in greater supply. Four film plot synopses, each assigned one of the four ratings, were given to 383 college students, who were asked to read them and decide if they were likely to attend the films. Additional information on frequency of movie attendance and movie attitudes was gleaned from questionnaires returned by 170 of the subjects. The MPAA ratings, with which all the subjects were familiar, were found to significantly affect likelihood of movie attendance. Likelihood of attendance to both PG- and R-rated movies was found to be significantly greater than for both G- and X-rated. No significant difference in likelihood of attendance was found between PG and R ratings, or between G and X ratings. The results did not support either the commodity theory--in that the two least prevalent movie ratings, G and X, were least preferred--or the reactance theory, because both PG- and R-rated movies were preferred over G- and X-rated films. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Response; Film Viewing; Motion Picture Ratings
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (67th, Anaheim, CA, November 12-15, 1981).