The Role of Emotion in Media Use and Effects

Elly A. Konijn

in The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398809
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The Role of Emotion in Media Use and Effects


This chapter provides a summary of the existing media psychology literature regarding the role of emotions in media use and effects. Traditionally, emotions as an object of study from a media psychological perspective have largely been understood within the context of media entertainment research. General involvement mechanisms and affective dispositions of media users toward characters are addressed, as well as the effects of more specific displays of media violence, and frightening and otherwise disturbing materials. However, other branches of media-related emotion research can also be found, such as those related to persuasion and news effects. Most recently, emotions have become a hot topic, and an increased emphasis can be found on emotions as a mechanism underlying media use and effects. Likewise, studies in emotions have become omnipresent in online and computer-based communication, most notably including virtual humans expressing and detecting emotions. The newest trends in applying psychological emotion theories in modeling emotions in virtual humans are discussed. Although a review, this chapter goes beyond the boundaries of the extant knowledge base by raising new questions and providing innovative views on future research in media psychology.

Keywords: emotions/affect/mood; information processing; media effects; media entertainment; virtual humans

Article.  20541 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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