Sad movies don't always make me cry the cognitive and affective processes underpinning enjoyment of tragedy

Dohyun Ahn*, Seunga Jin, Ute Ritterfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the role of sadness in the process of enjoying tragedy. Sadness, perceived reality, involvement, and enjoyment were measured after participants watched a sad film. The results from structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses indicated that a tragic film induces sadness and that sadness is a positive predictor of perceived reality of the story and sense of involvement. Involvement, in turn, is a positive predictor of enjoyment of the sad film. Sadness predicted subject-oriented enjoyment (measured by a self-referent item: "I enjoyed the movie") more significantly than object-oriented enjoyment (measured by an object-referent item: "The movie entertained me"). Perceived reality fully mediated object-oriented enjoyment, but only partially mediated subject-oriented enjoyment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2012

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Keywords

  • Enjoyment
  • Perceived reality
  • Sadness
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Tragedy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

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