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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 2, 2015

Exploring the role of identification and moral disengagement in the enjoyment of an antihero television series

Sophie H. Janicke and Arthur A. Raney
From the journal Communications


Affective disposition theory explains well the process of enjoying hero narratives but not the appeal of narratives featuring antiheroes. Recent antihero studies suggest that character identification and moral disengagement might be important factors in the enjoyment of such fare. The current study builds on this work. A sample of 101 self-identified fans and nonfans of the television series 24 viewed a condensed version of Season 1, providing evaluation of various protagonist perceptions, moral judgments, and emotional responses to the narrative, as well as overall enjoyment. As expected, fans reported greater liking of the protagonist and greater enjoyment. But more importantly, regression analyses illuminated key differences between the groups in terms of the factors predicting enjoyment, providing a clearer picture of how we enjoy antihero narratives.

Published Online: 2015-11-2
Published in Print: 2015-11-1

©2015 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston

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