This article proposes that syntactic features of newscasts can act as learned motivational stimuli determining both viewers’ attention and memory for information. An experiment was conducted in which we manipulated the presence of stings (a type of widely used audiovisual connector) and the arousal levels of stories, while participants’ attention and recall of information were measured. The results suggest that stings elicit motivational activation among viewers; however, differences in motivational activation were observed depending on whether it was due to arousing content or to stings. These results highlight the relevance of accounting for learned motivational processes in media information processing research.
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