This article presents three studies examining the importance of identification with characters in research on media entertainment. In Study 1 it was found that identification with characters was associated with spectators' degree of enjoyment of feature films of different genres. Study 2 showed that identification with characters predicts the affective impact of a dramatic film and, also, it was associated with greater cognitive elaboration and a more complex reflexive process during the viewing of the dramatic film. In Study 3 it was observed that identification with characters predicted the incidental impact of a full length fictional film on attitudes and beliefs. These results support the centrality of the construct of identification with characters in narrative persuasion research.
© 2010 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York