The Wonderful World of Disney:The Impact of the Meaningful Movie Coco on Cultural Openness and Global Citizenship

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The aim of this study was to examine whether children and parents both experience more meaningfulness after watching a meaningful movie compared to a pleasurable movie. Children and parents were exposed to either the meaningful movie Coco or the pleasurable movie Despicable Me 3. Moreover, after watching the meaningful movie, levels of cultural openness for children and parents and global citizenship for parents were compared to the pleasurable condition. This experiment involved 142 participants, of whom 83 children and 59 parents. Participants were invited to come to the theatre to watch a movie. Participants in the experimental condition watched Coco, a meaningful movie, while participants in the control condition watched the pleasurable movie Despicable Me 3. Afterwards, children’s and parents’ level of cultural openness and parents’ level of global citizenship were assessed by a questionnaire. A regression analysis revealed that parents who watched Coco held higher levels of valuing diversity, social and environmental sustainability, and intergroup helping (prosocial values of global citizenship) in comparison with parents who watched the pleasurable movie. No significant effects were found for cultural openness, neither for the children as the parents. Findings of the study indicate an effect of watching a meaningful movie on parents’ feelings of connectedness towards humanity. Keywords: Disney; animated movies; cultural openness; global citizenship; prosocial values; positive media psychology
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen