Methods Used to Study Audience Experience of Screen-Based Media: A Scoping Review

Mike Richardson*, Felix Carter, Ana Levordashka, Alexandra Voinescu, Iain D Gilchrist, Danae Stanton Fraser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review


The consumption of film, television, and virtual reality are major global art forms. The methods employed to study the audience experience of these temporal arts are diverse and originate from multiple fields, including psychology, media studies, human-computer interaction, and neuroscience. In this scoping review, we aimed to explore the methods used and to identify how methods are typically combined to understand audience experience. We also aimed to highlight potential gaps in audience research methods. We peer-reviewed articles related to three criteria: 1) audiences, 2) screen-based media, and 3) experience, engagement, or immersion; searching the following databases: Web of Science, PsycInfo, ACM digital library, and IEEE Xplore. Articles published in English were assessed. Our final sample included 489 articles. Questionnaire-based methods were the most frequently used to assess audience experience, with many studies relying on unvalidated psychometric instruments. Interviews and focus groups were the most used in qualitative designs, and social media analysis was frequently used regardless of the design. This review emphasizes the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to studying audience experience of the arts. By demonstrating the current links between methods and scoping the underused techniques, this review provides a ‘state-of-play’ for the field, offering a catalog to identify methodological gaps for future work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • audiences
  • research methods
  • scoping review
  • film
  • television
  • virtual reality


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