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Message Sensation Value

  • By: Glenn Leshner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Message sensation value (MSV) is a characteristic of a media message regarding its audio and visual content that potentially elicits sensory, affective, and arousal responses. The concept was developed by Phillip Palmgreen, Lewis Donohew, and their colleagues. Messages with high sensation value tend to be novel, arousing, intense, dramatic, and fast-paced. Messages vary in the types and amounts of structural and content features they contain, and these features can vary in the types and amounts of sensory, affective, and arousal responses they cause. Hence, MSV has evolved to represent a composite of features thought to impact emotional and arousal responses.

The sensation value of a message is distinguished from perceived message sensation value (PMSV), which is the experience an individual has upon exposure to a message. ...

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