Morality and media symposium Nijmegen

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The role of morality in understanding audiences’ uses of and responses to media has always been a central subject for media scholars. The earliest theories of entertainment (cf. disposition theory: Zillmann & Cantor, 1976) were quick to establish the role of morality related to the appeal of characters and narratives. This area has become a vital and vibrant issue in the entertainment community, which is engaged in answering question such as: What do different media types (television, games, and film) have to offer viewers in terms of moral content? Does morality play a part in how audience members select, interpret and respond to media characters and narrative? During this symposium we will delve into these questions and more, to displays the state of the art of contemporary research that has been conducted within the field of communication science, media psychology and other related disciplines. This symposium hopes to incorporate questions and opinions of audience members into a larger discussion regarding the implications of morality considerations in media content, uses and effects research, and will hopefully serve as an inspiration for continued research and collaboration on morality and media.

Symposium programme

12.30 – Opening & lecture 1: Television and its moral content, Serena Daalmans, MSc

13.00 –  Lecture 2: “Consistency, conflict, and change: Defining factors of moral ambiguity”, by Dr. Allison Eden

13.45 – Coffee break

14.00 – Lecture 3: “A Moral Disengagement in Violent Video Games Model”, Dr. Tilo Hartmann

14.45 – Lecture 4: “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and Me: The Temporarily Expanded Boundaries of the Self Model and Morality in Narratives”, Dr. Ben Johnson

15.30 – Coffee break

15.45 – Lecture 5 “Mapping viewers’ moral evaluation of morally ambivalent television drama”, by Merel van Ommen, MSc


Published by allisoneden

Assistant professor, Department of Communication, Michigan State University

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