Mood-management theory is based on the premise that people, in their seemingly continual efforts at improving affective and emotional experience, follow a hedonistic impulsion toward pleasure maximization (Zillmann, 1988a, 1988b). Specifically, this theory posits that persons tend to arrange their stimulus environments so as to increase the likelihood that bad moods are short-lived and their experiential intensity is reduced, that good moods are prolonged and their experiential intensity is enhanced, and that bad moods are terminated and superseded by

good moods of the highest possible experiential intensity. Focusing on such arrangements within the media environment, it can be considered to have been demonstrated that the indicated hedonistic objective is best served by selective exposure to material that (a) is excitationally opposite to prevailing states associated with noxiously experienced hypo-or hyperarousal, (b) has positive hedonic value above that of prevailing states, and (c) in hedonically negative states, has little or no semantic affinity with the prevailing states (see Fenigstein & Heyduk, 1985; Wakshlag, 1985; Zillmann, 1985, 1988b; Zillmann & Bryant, 1985, 1997; Zillmann & Wakshlag, 1985).