Getting Carried Away: Evaluating the Emotional Influence of Fiction Film

Midwest Studies in Philosophy 34 (1):77-105 (2010)
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It is widely taken for granted that fictions, including both literature and film,influence our attitudes toward real people, events, and situations. Philosopherswho defend claims about the cognitive value of fiction view this influence in apositive light, while others worry about the potential moral danger of fiction.Marketers hope that visual and aural references to their products in movies willhave an effect on people’s buying patterns. Psychologists study the persuasiveimpact of media. Educational books and films are created in the hopes of guidingchildren’s and adult’s preferences toward socially acceptable norms.The influencesdiscussed by marketers, psychologists, educators, and philosophers tend to be bothcognitive and affective. It seems that we can be “emotionally persuaded”: ourpreferences can be changed, our feelings about particular people or events can beinfluenced, and so forth.
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