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Narratives And Morality Analysis

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COM673: Thought Paper Narratives and Morality There are many reasons why audience members favor a certain character over the other especially in narratives. Bilandzic (2011) argues that if a narrative provides individuals with all the necessary information needed to form moral judgments, infer causality, represent meaningful experiences and have plausible emotions, then the characters are believable. These readers or viewers are able to recreate the cognitive and emotional processes that the character/s are experiencing. According to Krakowiak and Oliver (2012) when a character's behavior reveals their moralities and personalities, audience members are able to identify or like that character more. Likewise, viewers are consistently…show more content…
Tamborini (2011) argues that when the story outcomes are consistent and promote positive effects, then an individual will experience enjoyment. It is also important to point out that the audience's enjoyment is based on the interaction between the character's liking and outcomes. Konijn and Hoorn (2005) reference Zillmann's disposition theory which state that an individual's outlook towards characters (i.e. good or bad) mediate moral judgment that explains the individual's response to the character. In other words, a good character (i.e. a hero) should be rewarded, while the bad character should be punished (i.e. a villain). Bilandzic (2011) states that narratives do not only provide examples of people who act morally good or morally bad, but also a character who verbally expresses the moral truth. Similarly, Krakowiak and Oliver (2012), shed light on another type of character, morally ambiguous characters (MAC). MACs are morally ambiguous because they exhibit both good and bad qualities; they are also the most believable characters in narratives. They are realistic because individuals in the real world are not purely good or bad, but consist of both characteristics. Moreover, characters perceived to be more realistic have been found to be more…show more content…
Krakowiak and Oliver (2012) state that when narratives provide audience members with narrative engagement, they are less likely to argue and/ or reason when watching a film or reading a book. In fact, individuals that perceive characters to be realistic are likely to experience more positive affective responses and identification. According to Konijn and Hoorn (2005), the perceived similarity between the self and a character (i.e. fictional) will increase involvement in a narrative. In other words, if an audience identifies or takes on the roles of the character he/she will experience a greater involvement with the narrative. In addition, the results from the Krakowiak and Oliver (2012) add a new point regarding perceived realism of the characters and audiences' involvement. Narratives featuring more realistic characters (i.e. good and MACs) were more transporting (engagement with a narrative) and enjoyable. However, Konijn and Hoorn (2005) state that unrealistic features may also enhance involvement because they serve as entertainment. In closing, despite this prediction, the results from Konijn and Hoorn (2005) study demonstrate that realistic characters (p=0.29) indeed elicit stronger involvement than unrealistic characters. There are many reasons why individuals like some characters more than others. As mentioned previously, audience members may identify more with a particular
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