Season of birth and media use

Klaus Schoenbach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates the influence of season of birth on media use and media genre preferences later in life. An impressive body of research in Europe and Japan shows that the month of birth has a significant impact on one's temperament: People born in the winter of the northern hemisphere, for instance, tend to be less cheerful, lively and self-assured. Reasons seem to be the experience of less light, of coldness and of living mostly inside the home. Mood-management theory suggests that media entertainment may be used to compensate for that lack of cheerfulness and liveliness. In this explorative study, we assume that in countries north of the equator, but with extremely hot temperatures, summer is the season with fewer outdoor activities. So, there, individuals with more summer months in their first half year of life should be comparatively less cheerful - which they may regulate by using more media entertainment. Indeed, a secondary analysis of large-scale surveys in six countries in the Middle East and North Africa in 2016 supports this assumption, albeit conditionally: In the countries with particularly hot summers, but also for younger people in general, the duration of summer directly after birth is correlated significantly with consuming more media entertainment as well as with preferring comedy and drama as genres on TV and online video.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-550
Number of pages16
JournalCommunications
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 8 2018

Keywords

  • media genres
  • media use
  • MENA
  • mood-management theory
  • season of birth
  • selective exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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