Youtube is the second biggest website on the entirety of the internet. As a platform it has proven itself to possibly be very profitable. Many individuals and organizations create content with the sole intention to attain a following and make a living off of creating videos. Over the past years, many have discovered the profitability and aim to seek their own wealth on the platform. A recent rise in terms of view count on negative / dramatic videos was discovered on Youtube. Based on insights from the Mood Management Theory, the Uses and Gratifications Theory and the Disequilibrium Theory, hypotheses concerning the impact of emotional valence were constructed. Thus, the aim of the current research is to investigate whether or not a difference exists in the likelihood for people to click on new videos, based on the positive or negative valence put within videos. Felt arousal within the participants was implemented in the model as a mediating variable in determining the impact of video valence on viewing behavior. An online experiment was conducted, in which all the participants were given one of three valenced to watch, whilst not knowing of the existence of the other two videos. The video that was shown was determined by the (close to equal) randomization algorithm of Qualtrics. Participants were then asked questions, which were based on the video they were shown. Viewer behavior of the participants was measured by paying attention to the likeliness for them to watch similar video content, as well as they likeliness to click on each of three presented (neutral, negative and positive) thumbnails. Data analyses had been conducted on 160 participants. The data was cleaned prior to analyses by removing the participants that had not completed the experiment. To test the relationships between video valence, arousal and viewer behavior, one-way ANOVA tests, simple linear regression analyses and PROCESS tests were conducted. Even though some of the conducted ANOVA tests and regression analyses seemed to indicate an impact of negative valence on viewer behavior to some extent, the significance of the mediating model as a whole was rejected. The research paper and the results are then discussed by highlighting the discovered limitations concerning the wide range of researched emotions, as well as shortcomings within both the chosen sample and the used video stimuli. The research paper is then finalized by providing suggestions for future research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, business, Youtube, arousal, valence, clickbait, viewing behavior, Disequilibrium Theory
Thesis Advisor C. Billedo
Persistent URL
Series Media & Business
K. Hussainali. (2019, June 24). When Youtube Makes You Feel Bad The impact of emotional valence on video consumption. Media & Business. Retrieved from