Date of Submission
Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Katherine N Parrish
From a young age people are infatuated with lovable representations of wildlife through childhood cinema, cartoons, children’s books, and other media. We crave the dose of serotonin we receive when we are in close proximity to these amazing creatures, and if we cannot be near them in-person, we turn to the screen to learn about their lives and behavior. There is a sense of ambivalence surrounding animals in captivity; we itch to see them, yet some scholars have even compared the captivity of animals to colonialism. As adults, people are introduced to these concerning realities when animal activist documentaries reveal the problems surrounding captive animals in environments they have grown up attending regularly.
A psychological lens is used to analyze how captive animal documentaries attempt to construct negative emotion arousal and attitude/behavioral change. First, existing literature involving fear, cognitive dissonance theory and negative state relief model is reviewed. Then, theories from these concepts are applied specifically in order to dissect two captive animal documentaries: Blackfish and The Ghosts in Our Machine.
Parrish, Kate, "Negative Emotion Arousal for Attitude and Behavioral Changes in Captive Animal Documentary" (2021). CMC Senior Theses. 2549.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.