Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Nicholas D. Bowman

Committee Co-Chair

Jaime Banks

Committee Member

Jaime Banks

Committee Member

Elizabeth L. Cohen


Much research on media entertainment seeks to explain why viewers enjoy and appreciate a variety of media content. Affective disposition theory suggests that media enjoyment results from perceptions of the morality of characters and viewers’ expectations for characters’ narrative outcomes. However, research has struggled to explain how characters with varying morality (i.e., not perfectly good or bad) entertain viewers. This study replicates a previous study conducted by Eden, Daalmans, and Johnson (2017) that investigated different types of morally ambiguous characters, using a typology of character types based on an online, collaboratively sourced typology.

Like the original study, this study found that character types varied in morality across moral domains, and that MACs were not more associated with variables related to self. However, unlike the original study, the present study found that morality was not significantly related to enjoyment or appreciation. Rather, according to the replicated analyses, value homophily was found to be significantly related to enjoyment, and both value homophily and self-expansion were significantly related to appreciation. Additionally, after collapsing the self-expansion, wishful identification, value homophily, and IOS variables into a single aggregate variable, the new combined variable was significantly related to both enjoyment and appreciation. Implications for entertainment media research and are discussed.


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