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A E J M C Morality Heroes & Villains ( Meghan Sanders)


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Abstract: In his reformulation of disposition theory, Raney (2004) put forth moral disengagement as an important cognitive process in forming an impression. This discussion revolves around the addition of moral disengagement to entertainment theories, focusing on the process’ application to the hero-villain dichotomy.

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A E J M C Morality Heroes & Villains ( Meghan Sanders)

  1. 1. August 2011 Meghan S. Sanders Assistant Professor Deputy Director, Media Effects Lab Manship School of Mass Communication [email_address] @LSUMediaMEL
  2. 2. 09/22/11
  3. 5. <ul><li>Having relationships is necessary to enjoyment (Vorderer, Klimmt & Ritterfeld, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Can be equally transporting, suspenseful and cognitively engaging (Krakowiak & Oliver, 2009) </li></ul>
  4. 6. Connections with Characters: What We Know <ul><li>Viewers care less about what happens to disliked characters (Hoffner & Cantor, 1991) , and distance themselves from them (Konijn & Hoorn, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Identification, social attraction, and strength of parasocial relationship can influence dispositions (Konijn & Hoorn, 2005; Tian & Hoffner, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Individual differences factor into the dispositions formed and the enjoyment (Oliver, 1996; Raney, 2002; Raney, Schmid, Niemann, & Ellensohn, 2009;Weber et al., in press) </li></ul><ul><li>Our own personalities can interact with the type of character, to influence identification levels and enjoyment (Sanders, 2003) </li></ul>
  5. 7. <ul><li>Anti-hero’s actions similar to hero’s when it comes to moral judgment (Raney et al., 2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identification rather than moral judgment drives enjoyment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Morally ambiguous characters are just as realistic, and emotionally enjoyable and transporting as heroes, and just as cognitively enjoyable as both (Krakowiak & Oliver, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Prolonged exposure more strongly polarizes virtue perceptions of heroes and villains, while neutral characters less virtuous (Tamborini, Weber, Eden, Bowman, & Grizzard, 2010) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The consequences influence how righteous the outcomes are perceived to be </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived righteousness is more in line with more conventional values </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Within character type, variability in perceptions and responses exist (Sanders, 2005) </li></ul>Connections with Characters: What We Know
  6. 8. Where do we go from here? 09/22/11
  7. 9. <ul><li>Do we need a hero and a villain for enjoyment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewers may impose a moral category on characters, when they aren’t explicitly present </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Story schemas at play </li></ul></ul>09/22/11
  8. 10. Wilks’  =.91, F(2,86)=4.45, p<.05, p  2 =.09 Condition 1 N=27 Condition 2 N=30 Condition 3 N=32 Strong dissimilarity No justification for bad behaviors M=2.67 ->M=6.04
  9. 11. Wilks’  =.94, F(2,86)=2.95, p=.06, p  2 =.07
  10. 12. F(2,86)=.14, p>.05, p  2 =.003
  11. 13. <ul><li>Can we change allegiances? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can a hero become a villain, and a villain a hero? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At what point does moral disengagement turn into engagement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it depend on the infraction? </li></ul></ul>09/22/11
  12. 14. <ul><li>Moral continuum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encompass the stringent moral virtues, amorality, and everything in between </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Which characters lead viewers to deitecally shift (Busselle & Blandzic, 2008) ? </li></ul><ul><li>How is morality used in the cognitive process? (Raney 2002, 2004; Sanders, 2010) </li></ul>09/22/11 Sanders & Tsay, in progress: