Do cold consumers like to warm up to romance movies?

Feb 14, 2012

Do romance movies warm people up? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that yes, consumers choose romance movies over other genres when they feel cold.

"We often think of love as being warm. This link between love and warmth appears in everyday language, songs, and poems," write authors Jiewen Hong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and Yacheng Sun (University of Colorado, Boulder). "But is the connection between romantic love and warmth just a metaphor or is there indeed a direct link between and physical warmth?"

In their study, the authors examined the association between romance and warmth in the context of movie preference. The research involved four laboratory studies and an analysis of data from an online movie rental company. In their studies, the authors tested a prediction that romance movies are more desirable when people are physically cold, because coldness activates a need for psychological warmth.

In one study, the authors found that participants who drank cold tea were more likely than people who drank warm tea to choose romance movies over movies from other genres. In another study, the researchers varied the temperature in the room where participants were seated and found the same results.

Interestingly, when participants were made aware of their physical coldness before being asked to make a movie choice, the for romance movies disappeared.

To show that the laboratory findings also exist in the real world, the authors analyzed a set of movie rental data from an online DVD rental company. They matched customers' rental records with historical temperature information and found that, after controlling for customers' movie genre preferences, people were more likely to rent romance movies when the temperature outside was lower.

"This research offers implications for the ," the authors write. "Movie studios might be better off releasing their romance movies in the winter season, when the temperatures are low."

Explore further: Researchers urge early help for kindergarten students with low self-regulation

More information: Jiewen Hong and Yacheng Sun. "Warm It Up with Love: The Effect of Physical Coldness on Liking of Romance Movies." Journal of Consumer Research: August 2012 (published online October 7, 2011).

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Zediva taps loophole, offers new movies online

Mar 16, 2011

A California startup is making new hit movies such as "The Fighter" available for instant viewing online through a loophole: It lets customers rent a DVD and a player that are actually located in the Silicon Valley.

YouTube to offer online movie rentals

Sep 02, 2009

YouTube is considering streaming movies for rental, a move that would see the free video-sharing site charging for content for the first time, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Recommended for you

World population likely to peak by 2070

Oct 23, 2014

World population will likely peak at around 9.4 billion around 2070 and then decline to around 9 billion by 2100, according to new population projections from IIASA researchers, published in a new book, World Population and ...

Bullying in schools is still prevalent, national report says

Oct 23, 2014

Despite a dramatic increase in public awareness and anti-bullying legislation nationwide, the prevalence of bullying is still one of the most pressing issues facing our nation's youth, according to a report by researchers ...

Study examines effects of credentialing, personalization

Oct 23, 2014

Chris Gamrat, a doctoral student in learning, design and technology, recently had his study—completed alongside Heather Zimmerman, associate professor of education; Jaclyn Dudek, a doctoral student studying learning, design ...

User comments : 0