Fundamental Communication & Education Theories & Pedagogy Used in the Field

Entertainment-Education uses a blend of core communication theories and fundamental entertainment pedagogy to guide the preparation of the programming. Additionally the CDC has a tip sheet available on its web site that provides additional guidance for writers and producers:

The major communication theories that influence Entertainment-Education include:

Persuasion Theory: (Aristotle, Petty, Cacioppo) Psychological characteristics effect the response of a person to messages. Also indicates the message and source factors that influence a person's response such as the credibility, attractiveness, and expertise of the source.

Theory of Reasoned Action: (Ajzen, Fishbein) Social influences effect behavior, including beliefs and perceived social norms.

Social Learning Theory: (Bandura) People learn by observing others and the consequences of their behavior. If the person so chooses, they then emulate the behavior by rehearsing the action, taking action, comparing their experiences to the experiences of others, and then adopting the new behavior.

Diffusion Theory: (Rogers) Behavior spreads through a community or group over a period of time. Television may plant the idea, but social networks reinforce it and cause it to grow.

Major education pedagogy involved with Entertainment-Education include:

Relevance: Learning is more likely when people can see the usefulness of the knowledge they are given.

Incremental Learning: Learning is most effective when people can learn at their own pace.

Distributed Learning: (Fossard) Different people learn in different ways over different periods of time. It is important to present information differently so that people can absorb it.