Explaining the role of character development in the evaluation of morally ambiguous characters in entertainment media
Number of pages
SourcePoetics, 60, (2017), pp. 16-28
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OW MAW [owi]
SubjectCommunication and Media
The current project aims at better understanding how narrative characteristics in stories function in the liking, moral evaluation, and enjoyment of narratives featuring morally ambiguous characters (MACs). Shafer and Raney (2012) found that viewers differently enjoyed a heroic versus MAC-centered narrative. Building on this approach, a mixed-method design was used to investigate character development in two morally ambiguous narratives. Results of both a qualitative content analysis and an experiment provide support for the claim that character development is a central mechanism to explain viewer responses to MACs in narrative content. Thus, this study provides new directions for understanding characters in media research.
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