Transportation into Vivid Media Violence: A Focus on Attention, Emotions, and Mental Rumination

Riddle, Karyn
September 2013
Communication Quarterly;Sep2013, Vol. 61 Issue 4, p446
Academic Journal
Prior research suggests violent narratives can transport viewers, affecting attitudes and beliefs. This research project explores whether a factor related to a media text —vividness—affects the degree to which audience members become transported into a violent narrative. Furthermore, this study focuses on the various subcomponents of the transportation experience (e.g., attention, emotional involvement, and mental imagery processes) to see if vividness affects some components more than others. In an experiment, 179 participants were exposed to vivid or non-vivid versions of violent television programs. Findings reveal that viewers of vivid violence exhibited stronger emotional reactions and higher attention levels. Vividness did not impact mental imagery processes or excitation levels, however. Implications for transportation, vividness, and media violence research are discussed.


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