Towards a psycho-narratological understanding of how fiction film narratives communicate social values: An empirical study

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Although many film scholars agree that social values play an important role in mainstream fiction film narratives, the content of these values and especially how narratives communicate them to film viewers has rarely, if ever, been investigated empirically. The present study seeks to start to fill this gap by empirically investigating these questions with the help of the Schwartz (1992) value theory and the character change concept of Want and Need frequently used in screenwriting. Based on these concepts, we developed three sets of hypotheses investigating 1) which main characters frequent film viewers are likely to expect to change when reading film loglines (one-liners summarising a film) expressing different protagonist values, 2) towards which values viewers expect these characters to change, and 3) how viewers’ ratings of these character values correlate with their expectations of the values endorsed by the entire film. The paper will present findings from survey data of 473 respondents, which largely confirmed our hypotheses.
PeriodJun 2021
Event titleThe Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image - Conference 2021
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational