Media Effects Research Lab - Research Archive

The Role of Affordance Based Gratifications in the Selection of Media Content and Devices

Student Researcher(s)

Erica Bailey (Ph.D Candidate); Chun Yang (Ph.D Candidate)

Faculty Supervisor

Dr. S. Shyam Sundar


This research sought to examine the relationships between media content selection affordance- based gratifications of technology. We employed a survey in which participants answered questions about perceived affordance-based gratifications of laptops, tablets, cell phones, and televisions. Results lent support to prior technological affordance-based gratifications differ for various devices. Further, different gratifications were predictive of different media content on the four devices examined, suggesting psychological and technological affordances should be considered together. Televisions were the lowest across all four types of gratifications among the four devices. On the contrary, laptops were considered to be able to provide most agency, interactivity, and navigability-based gratifications, more than smartphones and tablets. Smartphones and tablets didn’t differ in interactivity and navigability-based gratifications, manifesting the similar features that related to both interactivity and navigability on smartphones and tablets. There were no differences in modality-based gratifications between smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Lastly, smartphones were rated higher in agency-based gratifications than tablets. Implications for communication technology designers as well as communication technology researchers are discussed.

For more details regarding the study contact

Dr. S. Shyam Sundar by e-mail at or by telephone at (814) 865-2173

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