Chick FlicksThis morning's Canada AM show included an amusing interview (available at the moment on CTV Broadband at that site) about how women can get their boyfriends to watch chick flicks. The interviewee, Jennifer Arno, a business prof at the University of Alberta, reported that convincing the male that the story is fictional opens him up to enjoying the story. Apparently women prefer to believe the chick flick is realistic.
A little Google work found an abstract for a paper roughly saying the same thing. I love the academic language:
Three studies investigate the influence of empathy and the level of fictionality of short stories on consumers' evaluations of emotional melodramatic entertainment. We find that high empathizers' evaluations are more favorable when the story is low in fictionality (i.e., real) versus high. In contrast, low empathizers' evaluations do not differ, regardless of the level of fictionality, except when these individuals (i.e., males) are provided with an excuse to become involved in the story; in this case a story that is high (i.e., make-believe) as opposed to low in fictionality is evaluated more favorably. Finally, transportation (i.e., absorption into a narrative) with the story is found to both moderate and mediate the effects.
Note above also the confusion between "i.e." and "e.g."; although maybe these are truly sexist authors.
The interviewer suggested there was something frivolous about the study but I can see far-reaching consequences. It was clear that Professor Argo was less sure about getting the girlfriends to enjoy Chuck Norris films.
As for me, I have generally always enjoyed chick flicks, though I have also always assumed they were fictional.
Labels: chick flicks academic language