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An Integrative Model of Entertainment-Education Processes and Outcomes
Unformatted Document Text:  EE theory, 12 Identification Media is perceived as more real when identification with characters becomes so intense they become significant in our everyday life (Potter, 1988). Identification alludes to the idea that the audience members actually believe that they are the protagonists and attempt to adopt the features and behavior of the character (Vorderer & Knobloch, 1996). Identification occurs when one does not only feel with another person or fictional character, but also perceives similarity between that person or fictional character and oneself or as someone that s/he might form a social relationship (Slater & Rouner, 2002). Zillmann (1998) claims that we willingly identify with characters and choose the extent (i.e., depth and length) to which we identify in order to maximize our pleasure. Since identification can involve one adopting the behavior of characters or forming a social relationship with the characters, it plays a very integral role in the success of an E-E program where the goal is to change one’s behavior in a similar fashion to the characters in the program. Creating characters and situations that are culture specific allows the target audience a better chance to identify with them. In a study conducted by Lalonde, et al. (1997), it was observed that alcohol prevention novelas were effective in reaching Hispanic populations and influencing their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. The major strength of the project was extensive participatory development, which ensured an appropriate format, realism, and cultural appropriateness for the Hispanic audience (Lalonde, et al., 1997). The successes of the project was attributed to the fact that the target audience was able to identify with the characters and were influenced by them, whereas non-Hispanics were not able to identify with the characters and thus the novelas had no effect on their attitudes about alcohol consumption (Lalonde, et al., 1997).

Authors: Wilkin, Holley. and Fernandes, Sangeeta.
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background image
EE theory,
12
Identification
Media is perceived as more real when identification with characters becomes so intense
they become significant in our everyday life (Potter, 1988). Identification alludes to the idea that
the audience members actually believe that they are the protagonists and attempt to adopt the
features and behavior of the character (Vorderer & Knobloch, 1996). Identification occurs when
one does not only feel with another person or fictional character, but also perceives similarity
between that person or fictional character and oneself or as someone that s/he might form a
social relationship (Slater & Rouner, 2002). Zillmann (1998) claims that we willingly identify
with characters and choose the extent (i.e., depth and length) to which we identify in order to
maximize our pleasure. Since identification can involve one adopting the behavior of characters
or forming a social relationship with the characters, it plays a very integral role in the success of
an E-E program where the goal is to change one’s behavior in a similar fashion to the characters
in the program. Creating characters and situations that are culture specific allows the target
audience a better chance to identify with them. In a study conducted by Lalonde, et al. (1997), it
was observed that alcohol prevention novelas were effective in reaching Hispanic populations
and influencing their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. The major strength of the project was
extensive participatory development, which ensured an appropriate format, realism, and cultural
appropriateness for the Hispanic audience (Lalonde, et al., 1997). The successes of the project
was attributed to the fact that the target audience was able to identify with the characters and
were influenced by them, whereas non-Hispanics were not able to identify with the characters
and thus the novelas had no effect on their attitudes about alcohol consumption (Lalonde, et al.,
1997).


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