Zillmann's mood-management theory (Zillmann, 1988) has acquired a prominent place in media psychology and makes reliable predictions about people's hedonistically motivated mood regulation via entertainment offerings. However, the full potential for explaining affect regulation through media usage has not been exhausted so far. Therefore, we aim at an integrative view of the field based on empirical findings from communication studies as well as on the background of contemporary theories of mood (regulation) and emotion (regulation). The purpose of this analysis is to argue towards an integrative theoretical perspective which considers both unconscious and conscious/reflected processes of affect regulation through media, supplements the hedonistic motive with other non-hedonistic, instrumental motives of affect regulation, looks at selection behavior as well as at other behavioral and cognitive strategies of affect regulation, and encompasses individual attributes (particularly those with affinity to affects).
© Walter de Gruyter