Effects of content label type and style on movie audiences’ perceived



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Controversy surrounding media content labeling has long occurred between industry and government officials, parents, and researchers alike. Even though much debate has ensued, little change to content labeling makeup has emerged. This research explored how different label types (information and warning) and label styles (graphic and textual) affected audience interest in movies. Results from this experimental inquiry (N = 190) indicated that the simple inclusion of a label did increase viewer expectations of the type of content that would be portrayed in a movie, i.e. drug use, sexuality, and violence. Affixing information labels to movie synopses was shown to increase a viewer’s desire to see them relative to warning labels, and graphic labels were seen to affect viewer expectations of content within movies. Finally, graphic labels impacted served as greater perceived threat to freedom of viewing content. According to interaction effects of label style and type, graphic warning labels elicited this effect.