Defining Identification: A Theoretical Look at the Identification of Audiences With Media Characters

@article{Cohen2001DefiningIA,
  title={Defining Identification: A Theoretical Look at the Identification of Audiences With Media Characters},
  author={Jonathan Cohen},
  journal={Mass Communication and Society},
  year={2001},
  volume={4},
  pages={245 - 264}
}
  • Jonathan Cohen
  • Published 1 August 2001
  • Business
  • Mass Communication and Society
In this article I argue that although the notion of identification with media characters is widely discussed in media research, it has not been carefully conceptualized or rigorously tested in empirical audience studies. This study presents a theoretical discussion of identification, including a definition of identification and a discussion of the consequences of identification with media characters for the development of identity and socialization processes. It is suggested that a useful… 
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The perspective from which a story is told is used to manipulate identification experimentally and test effects on attitudes, indicating that identification can be a mechanism of narrative persuasion.
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The relationships viewers develop with media figures have received substantial attention in the scholarship of entertainment. The present research proposes an original four-dimension classification
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Identification with a character is an important mechanism of narrative persuasion. In 2 studies, the impact of character similarity on identification was pitted against that of story perspective.
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