London: Intellectual class prefers to watch drama, while working class opts for comedy, a new study has found.
The Spanish study analysed the theatre demand of society according to the socioeconomic status of the different types of the public viewing found that wealthy class are influenced by professional reviews when they have paid for a ticket.
Researchers found that theatre is not just enjoyed by the intellectual classes. While they do prefer drama, the working class opts for comedy and the wealthier are swayed by reviews.
Theatre arts are loss-making services that require subsidies to stay afloat. This type of practice has frequently come under fire as it is thought that theatre is consumed mainly by society's economic elite.
The study published in the Journal of Cultural Economics proves this notion wrong. According to its results, the so-called "intellectual class" prefers dramas, the "working class" opts for comedies and the wealthier are influenced by professional reviews when they have paid for a theatre ticket.
"The aim was to analyse theatre demand. It was based on a type of models used in microeconomics that analyses how individuals make their decisions. These models are used frequently in transport and marketing and go by the name of discrete choice models," said JM Grisolía, co-author of study and researcher at the University of Las Palmas de GranCanaria.
The experts worked with the 3,000 observations obtained from a survey performed on 300 people. They combined different variables for obtaining multiple interactions until arriving at ten choice scenarios.
The model clearly identifies three different classes that attend the theatre: a "well-off" class that represents 43.1 percent of the sample and is characterised by preference for classic theatre venues, enjoying all types of theatre and showing more willingness to pay, especially when reviews were good.
The "working" class includes more young theatre goers (25.4 percent of the sample) who are mainly interested in comedy, consulting non-professional reviews more frequently and displaying less willingness to pay.
The model identifies an "intellectual" or "cultural" class (31.5 percent) with high willingness to pay for theatre productions that have a special preference for drama and form their opinion more independently of the reviews.


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