A Scene From Shared Experience And Personality in Arthouse Theaters
Authors: Sara Cureton MA, M.Ed. & Elizabeth Murphy MMR, MA – Fielding Graduate University
Original Publication Site & Date:Cutting Edge Research from Emerging Psychological Scientists: Late-Breaking Poster Session” / APA August 2019, Chicago, IL
Abstract:As technology evolves to make film more accessible and on-demand, movie theater attendance worldwide has fallen. The niche market of independent arthouse theaters, however, is thriving. In a pilot study conducted for FilmBar, an arthouse theater in Phoenix, Arizona, a 28-question quantitative survey was used to gain insight into patrons’ moviegoing habits, preferences, and decision-making process as well as self-identified “Big Five” personality dimensions using the Ten-Item Personality Measure (TIPI). In total, 87 theater patrons aged 18-69 with various socioeconomic, educational, and ethnic backgrounds responded. Comments from survey participants were coded and analyzed for insight into the motivated patronage of this particular theater. Significant findings include an overall desire for shared experience of film viewership, a correlation between Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and theater attendance as well as correlation between certain movie genres and personality dimensions. Future research is warranted in the area of individual films and/or genres, uses and gratifications of film, and the intersection of film, identity and personality.
Patrons with high Agreeableness may be more willing to go to a movie for the experience or community instead of the film itself.
The relationship between frequent movie-going and agreeableness found in this study are not surprising. Patrons with high Agreeableness may be more willing to go to a movie for the experience or community instead of the film itself, which is supported by uses and gratifications theoretical framework (Katz, Blumler, & Gurevitch, 1973). A low frequency movie-goer may be more selective and rely on the draw of a particular film. As a high Openness to Experience score was positively correlated to thrillers, one could assume these patrons are more open to new experiences or intense, emotional experiences. Those seeking shared experience also prefer Thriller/Suspense movies. These films are enhanced by seeing with others and can create a feeling of safety and security, according to narrative/meaning-making theory (Goldstein, 2009).
The researchers conclude that not just one type of personality or demographic is prone to arthouse movie-going, but instead a shared experience can be created despite our differences.
Sara Cureton MA, M.Ed.
Media Psychology, School of Psychology
Fielding Graduate University
#arthouse #movies #mediapsychology #fielding