When is it for good for characters to be bad?

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Cover Stories, Sport and Entertainment | 0 comments

Meghan S. Sanders

Meghan S. Sanders

To study film viewers’ engagement with narratives featuring morally good and bad characters, and ones in between, associate professor and MEL director Meghan Sanders asked individuals about their perceptions of different Harry Potter characters, going beyond past research that suggests people like happy, and just endings. The study examined how much exposure to the narrative, identification, and moral judgment about characters all influence the degree to which individuals may morally disengage during mediated entertainment experiences. Additionally, this study expanded theories about the role of moral disengagement in the entertainment experience by more subtle moral distinctions between characters as they exist within the same narrative, along a continuum of perceived morality. Sanders’ research interests include the psychological effects of mass media, enjoyment and appreciation of entertainment, and role mediated, parasocial relationships have on psychological and subjective well-being. Read her article.