Volume 23, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


The fierce struggle for television audiences is greatest when the content shown is not strictly entertainment, such as, for example, when specialized knowledge is brought to a wide audience. However, the appearance of new television formats has enabled scientific and technical contents to be brought closer to an unprepared and very diverse audience. What resources do these programs use to achieve this? Is emotionalization, which is increasingly dominant in the media, an important strategy in programs that seek to spread scientific knowledge among the general public? Do they use the pluri-locutionary nature of their discourse to promote understanding of the contents and to capture the viewers’ attention? Our research, which forms part of a broader study of new television formats and the communication of knowledge, is the first study on the discourse of the mediatization of knowledge in Spain. The topic is of particular interest because it coincides with the production of innovative television formats that endeavor to capture the interest of sections of the population that usually do not access this type of content. They have an important social function since, as Semir (2011: 19) points out, the knowledge of the world they promote reduces the fear generated in human beings by that which is opaque or unknown, thereby increasing the ability to make decisions and increasing efficiency. Through the linguistic analysis of the statements uttered by the diverse voices of a popular communication program, (Whatwhohow), we will determine which emotions are more present in the program and, therefore, contribute towards its communicative success, and which speakers (presenters, experts or affected individuals) use them more. Determining the resources leading to the success of this program can provide effective tools for other programs with very diverse aims. Studies of this type in Spain have focused on the press but very little on television. This study forms part of a wider research project on new television formats and the communication of knowledge to different audiences and diverse levels of specialization. It has been proven that emotions join together to provide a dramatic progression, based on the tension-relaxation binomial, a progression that holds the audience’s interest, in a similar manner to dramatic fiction programs. Moreover, the emotions can be examined in three ways: they can be referred to as a fact in the reality being narrated, expressed by the speakers or triggered in the audience. Lastly, it was also observed that the emotional charge that justifies the presence of affected individuals or witnesses in the majority of television programs spreads to the voices of the presenters themselves. The transmission of emotions is almost as important as that of knowledge.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aristotle
    (1995) Poétique. Paris: Les Belles Arts.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barlett, Ch.P. , and D.A. Gentile
    (2011) Affective and emotional consequences of the mass media. In K. Döveling , Ch. von Scheve , Christian and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 60-78.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bassols, Margarida
    (coord.) (2012) La divulgació en els nous formats televisius. Bellaterra: Publicacions de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Berger, Seymour M
    (1962) Conditioning through vicarious instigation. Psychological Review69: 450-466. doi: 10.1037/h0046466
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0046466 [Google Scholar]
  5. Boyd-Barrett, O. , and P. Braham
    (eds.) (1987) Media, Knowledge and Power. London: Croom.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bryant, J. , and D. Zillmann
    (1994) Media Effects. Advances in Theory and Research. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Calsamiglia, H. , and C. López Ferrero
    (2003) Role and position of scientific voices: Reported speech in the media. Discourse Studies5.2: 147–73. doi: 10.1177/1461445603005002308
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461445603005002308 [Google Scholar]
  8. Calsamiglia, H. , and T. Van Dijk
    (2004) Popularization discourse and knowledge about the genome. Discourse and Society15.4: 369–89. doi: 10.1177/0957926504043705
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0957926504043705 [Google Scholar]
  9. Carmona, Ramón
    (1996) Cómo se comenta un texto fílmico. Madrid: Cátedra.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Casetti, F. , and F. de Chio
    (1991) Cómo analizar un film. Barcelona: Paidós.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Charaudeau, Patrick
    (2008) La médiatisation de la science. Clonage, OGM, manipulations genètiques. Bruxelles: De Boeck.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Chaume, Frederic
    (2004) Cine i traducción. Madrid: Cátedra.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Condry, John
    (1989) The Psychology of Television. Hillsdale. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Cosmides, L. , and J. Tooby
    (2000) Evolutionary psychology and the emotions. In M. Lewis , and J.M. Haviland-Jones (eds.), Handbook of Emotions. New York, NY: Guilford, pp. 91-115.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Cros, A. , M. Bassols , G. Brunat , and C. Gónzalez
    (2012) Television and the mediatization of knowledge: Discursive strategies in new TV formats. Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, Volume 4Number 1.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. De Semir, Vladimir
    (2011) Metaanálisis: comunicación científica y periodismo científico. La crisis de los medios de comunicación. Madrid: Fundación Española de la Ciencia y la Tecnología.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Detenber, B.H. , and A. Lang
    (2011) The influence of form and presentation attributes. In K. Döveling , Ch. von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 275-293.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Döveling, K. , Ch. von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn
    (eds.) (2011) The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Ewoldsen, D.R. , J.H. Yu , and N. Rhodes
    (2004) Fear appeal messages effect accessibility of attitudes toward the threat and adaptive behaviors. Communication Monographs71: 49-69. doi: 10.1080/0363452042000228559
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0363452042000228559 [Google Scholar]
  20. Fredrickson, Barbara L
    (1998) What good are positive emotions?Review of General Psychology2.3: 300-19. doi: 10.1037/1089‑2680.2.3.300
    https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.2.3.300 [Google Scholar]
  21. Friestad, M. , and E. Thorson
    (1986) Emotion - eliciting advertising - effects on long-term-memory and judgment. Advances in Consumer Research13: 111-16.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Frijda, Nico H
    (1988) The laws of emotion. In J. Jenkins , K. Oatley , and N. Stein (eds.), (1998)Human Emotions: A Reader. Malden: M.A. Blackwell Publishers, pp. 271-287.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Galati, D. , B. Sini , S. Estaún Ferrer , O. Soler Vilageliu , and P.M. Mateos García
    (1998) The emotion lexicon in Neo-latin languages. In A.H. Fisher (ed.), ISRE’98Proceedings of the Xth Conference of the International Society for Research on Emotion. Wursburg I.S.R.E. Edition, pp. 214-218.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Gerbner, George
    (1998) Cultivation analysis: An overview. Mass Communication and Society3/4: 175-194. doi: 10.1080/15205436.1998.9677855
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.1998.9677855 [Google Scholar]
  25. Gerbner, G. , L. Gross , M. Morgan , and N. Signorielli
    (1986) Living with television: The dynamics of the cultivation process. In J. Bryant , and D. Zillman (eds.), Perspectives on media effects. Hilldale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 17-48.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. (1994) Growing up with television: The cultivation perspective. In J. Bryant , and D. Zillmann (eds.), Media Effects. Advances in Theory and Research. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 17-41.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Hamilton, V. , G.H. Bower , and N.H. Frijda
    (eds.) Cognitive perspectives on emotion and motivation. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Kleinginna, P.R. , and A.M. Kleinginna
    (1981) A categorized list of emotion definitions, with suggestions for a consensual definition. Motivation and Emotion5.4: 345-379. doi: 10.1007/BF00992553
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992553 [Google Scholar]
  29. Konijn, E.A. , and J.M. ten Holt
    (2011) «From noise to nucleus». Emotion as key construct in processing media messages. In K. Döveling , Ch. Von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 37-59.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Lang, A. , P. Bolls , R.F. Potter , and K. Kawahara
    (1999) The effects of production pacing and arousing content on the information processing of television messages. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media/Fall, pp. 451-475.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Lang, A. , and D.R. Ewoldsen
    (2011) The measurement of positive and negative affect in media research. In K. Döveling , Ch. von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 79-98.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Lazarus, Richard S
    (1993) from psychological stress to the emotions: A History of changing outlooks. Annual Review of Psychology44: 1-21. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ps.44.020193.000245
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ps.44.020193.000245 [Google Scholar]
  33. (1966) Psychological Stress and the coping process. New York: McGraw-Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Lewis, M. , and J.M. Haviland-Jones
    (eds.) Handbook of Emotions, 2nd edn. New York City, NY: Guilford.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Miceli, M. , and C. Castelfranchi
    (2003) Crying: Discussing its basic reasons and uses. New Ideas in Psychology21: 247-73. doi: 10.1016/j.newideapsych.2003.09.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.newideapsych.2003.09.001 [Google Scholar]
  36. Moirand, Sophie
    (2007) Les discours de la presse quotidienne. Observer, analyser, comprendre. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Myers, Greg
    (2003) Discourse studies of scientific popularization: Questioning the boundaries. Discourse Studies 5.2: 265–79. doi: 10.1177/1461445603005002006
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461445603005002006 [Google Scholar]
  38. Nabi, R.L. , D.R. Ewoldsen. and F.D. Carpentier
    (2008) Subjective knowledge and fear appeal effectiveness: Implications for image design. Health Communication23: 191-201. doi: 10.1080/10410230701808327
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10410230701808327 [Google Scholar]
  39. Oliver, M.B. , and J.K. Wooley
    (2011) Tragic and poignant entertainment. The gratifications of meaningfulness as emotional response. In K. Döveling , Ch. von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 134-147.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Ortony, A. , G.L. Clore , and A. Collins
    (1988) The Cognitive Structure of Emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511571299
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511571299 [Google Scholar]
  41. Raney, Arthur A
    (2011) Media enjoyment as a function of affective dispositions toward and moral judgment of characters. In K. Döveling , Ch. von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 166-178.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. (2006) The psychology of disposition-based theories of media enjoyment. In J. Bryant , and P. Vorderer (eds.), Psychology of entertainment. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 137-150.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Russell, James A
    (1980) A circumflex model of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology39: 1161-78. doi: 10.1037/h0077714
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0077714 [Google Scholar]
  44. Santamaria, L. , and G. Brunat
    (2012) Discurs televisiu i multimodalitat. In M. Bassols (ed.), La divulgació en els nous formats televisius. Bellaterrra: Publications de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, pp. 133-152.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Santamaria, L. , M. Bassols , and A.M. Torrent
    (2011) Television programs for teenagers and the use of multimodality in knowledge popularisation. Journalism and Mass Communication 1.2: 79-87.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Scherer, Klaus R
    (1998) Emotionsprozesse im Medienkontext: Forschungsillustrationen und Zukunftsperspectiven. Medienpsychologie 10.4: 276-293.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. (1988) Criteria for emotion-antecedent appraisal: A review. In V. Hamilton , G.H. Bower , and N.H. Frijda (eds.), Cognitive perspectives on emotion and motivation. Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 89-126. doi: 10.1007/978‑94‑009‑2792‑6_4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-2792-6_4 [Google Scholar]
  48. Schmitz, B. , and U. Lewandrowski
    (1993) Trägt das Fernsehen zur Regulierung von Stimmungen bei? Intraindividuelle Analysen zur “Mood Management”. Hypothese auf der Grundlage eines dinamisch-transaktionalen Modells. Medienpsychologie5.1: 64-84.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Schwab, F. , and C. Schwender
    (2011) The descent of emotions in media. Darwinian perspectives. In K. Döveling , Ch. von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 15-36.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Searle, John
    (1969) Speach Acts: An Essay on the philosophy of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139173438
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173438 [Google Scholar]
  51. Stotland, Ezra
    (1969) Exploratory investigations of empathy. In L. Berkowitz (ed.), Advances in experimental social psychologyVol. 4: 271-313. doi: 10.1016/S0065‑2601(08)60080‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60080-5 [Google Scholar]
  52. Turner, Monique M
    (2011) Emotion in persuasion and risk communication. In K. Döveling , Ch. von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 237-258.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Unz, Dagmar C
    (2011) Effects of presentation and editing on emotional responses on viewers. In K. Döveling , C. von Scheve , and E.A. Konijn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Emotions and Mass Media. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 294-309.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Van Leeuwen, Theo
    (1991) Conjunctive structure in documentary film and television. Continuum5.1: 76-114. doi: 10.1080/10304319109388216
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10304319109388216 [Google Scholar]
  55. Vorderer, P. , and S. Knobloch
    (2000) Conflict and suspense in drama. In D. Zillmann , and P. Vorderer (eds.), Media entertainment: The psychology of its appeal. Mahwah, NJ /London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 56-68.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Wirth, W. , and H. Schramm
    (2005) Media and Emotions. Communication Research Trends. Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture. 24.3: 1-39. cscc.scu.edu/trends/v24/v24_3.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Zillmann, Dolf
    (1996) The psychology of suspense in dramatic exposition. In P. Vorderer , W.J. Wulff , and M. Friedrichsen (eds.), Suspense: Conceptualizations, theoretical analyses, and empirical explorations. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp199-231.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. (1998) Does tragic drama have redeeming value?Siegener Periodikum für Internationale Literaturwissenschaft16: 1-11.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. (1991) Empathy: Affect from bearing witness to the emotions of others. In J. Bryant , and D. Zillmann (eds.), Responding to the screen: Reception and reaction processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 135-168.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Zillmann, D. , and J. Bryant
    (1975) Viewer’s moral sanction of retribution in the appreciation of dramatic presentations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology11: 572-82. doi: 10.1016/0022‑1031(75)90008‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(75)90008-6 [Google Scholar]
  61. Zillmann, D. , and J.R. Cantor
    (1972) Directionality of transitory dominance as a communication variable affecting humor appreciation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology24: 191-198. doi: 10.1037/h0033384
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0033384 [Google Scholar]
  62. (1977) Affective responses to the emotions of a protagonist. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology13: 155-165. doi: 10.1016/S0022‑1031(77)80008‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1031(77)80008-5 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Emotions; Media discourse; Popularization; Television
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error