Can Entertainment Change the World?: Entertainment Media and Socially Conscious Experiences

Monday, October 19, 2020 (3:45 PM – 5:00 PM)

Meghan Sanders

Associate Professor; Director, Media Effects Lab
Katheryn Pate Callahan Professor
Louisiana State University

Scholarship in media psychology has significantly expanded to investigate the role entertainment media and experiences play in encouraging audiences to think more deeply, feel inspired, encourage prosocialness, and otherwise serve in the interest of social good. Many scholars suggest that media, including entertainment, are a significant cultural force in that they can articulate identities and values of a culture, but also serve as sites where these same values and identities are discussed and challenged. Much entertainment content presents narratives that discuss some of the toughest challenges faced by organizations, governments and societies, prompting audiences to challenge existing social attitudes. In this talk, I discuss various theoretical frameworks that could help advance our understanding of the psychological mechanisms related to the effects of socially conscious experiences. I will also share preliminary findings specifically related to how audiences conceive of these experiences as well as the influences of emotions and narrative engagement on how these experiences relate to our broader worldviews as they pertain to social justice.

Paper 1 | Paper 2

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