In this entertainment world, it seems obvious that entertainment media would be used to educate. However this is a relatively new phenomenon that stemmed from several communication theories.
Albert Bandura's social learning theory came from studying violence in children. This was the first theory to measure "self efficacy", or the extent that an individual feels they have the power to perform a specific behavior. This study on violence was groundbreaking because it was the first time people considered how media can affect behavior, and often for the worse. Later, social learning theory became social cognitive theory which suggests that attitudes and norms can affect behavioral intentions. Social cognitive theory is one of the main theories considered when using entertainment media to educate, as in the field of health communication.
The study of Jasoos Vijay was intended to educate Indians on HIV/AIDS. India has 2.4 million people living with AIDS, and many social norms dictate that HIV/AIDS should not be mentioned in public or spoken about at all.
Jasoos Vijay, a drama series about a detective with HIV, proved effective. This was for a number of reasons, one being that the entertainment aspect attracted viewers and then provided them with simple information. An engaging storyline allowed the viewers to get emotionally involved with the characters who they then began to identify with. Many of the respondents to the study's focus groups said they identified with either the main character or the character of his wife. This show allowed couples to feel like they could openly talk about prevention and protection from HIV/AIDS, which displays a clear change in behavior.
The study shows that not only was behavior affected by watching Jasoos Vijay, attitudes were as well. The majority of the participants in the study said that they believed people affected with HIV/AIDS should be treated as a normal person. This could be groundbreaking in changing the social stigma of HIV/AIDS in India.
The study was a case where "edutainment" was proven effective. However, a knowledge of the culture and cultural norms are essential for making a health communication campaign effective. These communication theories need to make sure to consider the social aspect of a culture and individual, as this heavily weighs a person's perceptions, attitudes and behaviors, especially in more high context cultures.