Embodied cognition research documents the interplay between physical sensations and corresponding psychological experiences within the individual. Accordingly, physical warmth leads to a sense of social inclusion, and being socially rejected leads to physical coldness. In the current research, we demonstrate that these embodied cognition relationships also apply to a media consumer and a media character with whom the consumer identifies. In Study 1, participants (N = 120) read one of four narratives in which we manipulated identification with the protagonist and her social exclusion/inclusion situation. In Study 2 (N = 120), the narrative described the protagonist experiencing coldness/warmth in high/low identification conditions. The findings suggest that when the character experiences either the physical or the psychological state, the identifying consumer consequently experiences either psychological feelings or physical sensations, respectively. We discuss potential limitations of the study and also its contribution to media psychology and to embodied cognition research.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- Embodied Cognition
- Media Engagement
- Social Inclusion/Exclusion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language