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Red light or green light? Netflix series’ Squid Game influence on young adults’ gambling-related beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, and the role of audience involvement

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Media exposure for dark consumption products mostly shows glamorized and positive portrayals, rarely showing the negative consequences of consuming those products. However, the Netflix series Squid Game addresses the issue of gambling in its most extreme forms and shows the negative consequences related to it in a shocking manner, which begs the question whether watching the series could act as a preventive tool to increase risk perceptions, de-normalize gambling and reduce gambling behavior. A pre-registered survey study (N = 271) examined whether watching the Netflix series Squid Game affected young adults' (18 to 35 years old) gambling intentions and play behavior through risk perceptions, subjective norms and attitudes toward gambling, and what role audience involvement plays. Although the results show that watching Squid Game increased young adults' subjective norms of gambling (i.e. belief that significant others approve of the behavior in question) and further increased their positive attitudes toward gambling and gambling intention, the study also found an important impact of audience involvement. Audiences who were more involved with the series saw greater risks of gambling and perceived gambling to be less common. This resulted in more negative attitudes toward gambling and further less gambling intention and more motivation to change gambling behavior due to watching Squid Game.
ISSN: 1532-7027
Issue: 12
Volume: 38
Pagina's: 2640 - 2651
Jaar van publicatie:2023