Home / In the Spotlight / Film Can Have a Measurable Impact on Audience Behavior


LOS ANGELES – As Academy Award voters mark their ballots, researchers at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center released a study measuring a movie’s power to change the behavior of people who see it. Using an innovative instrument developed by the Lear Center, the study of more than 20,000 people found that those who saw the 2010 Oscar® nominee Food, Inc. had significantly changed their eating and food shopping habits.

Food, Inc. viewers were significantly more likely to:

  • encourage their friends, family & colleagues to learn more about food safety
  • shop at their local farmers market
  • eat healthy food
  • consistently buy organic or sustainable food

This was compared to non-viewers who were virtually identical in 17 traits, including their degree of interest in sustainable agriculture and their past efforts to improve food safety.

The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center studying and shaping the impact of entertainment and media on society. Its projects on the impact of entertainment include Journeys in Film, which creates classroom study guides based on feature films and trains teachers to use movies in their language arts, social studies, math and science lesson plans. For more information on the Lear Center, visit www.learcenter.org.

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com

Funding for the study, which was independently designed, conducted and released by the Norman Lear Center, was provided by Participant Media, which co-financed Food, Inc., as well as 2012 Best Picture nominee The Help. The Lear Center will use this new tool for similar surveys on the Participant Media films Waiting for “Superman” and Contagion.


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