A new study may have found the reason why people often achieve a boost in confidence after watching movies that contain inspiring stories of people beating the odds.
Despite the wealth of emotionally evocative content that the entertainment industry produces, relatively little scientific attention has been paid to the subject of media creating positive emotions, specifically, hope, the study says.
In a recent article entitled, "The Pursuit of Hopefulness: Operationalising Hope in Entertainment Media Narrative", published in Routledge journal Media Psychology, author Abby Prestin presents the findings of research into the effects on audiences of underdog characters in the entertainment media.
Recent research points to media as uplifting and elevating viewers, and could be a powerful means of generating hope.
Prestin's research has a number of potentially important results.
Exposure to different types of positive entertainment media, led to positive emotional responses. The results of this study also suggest that underdog narratives not only provide viewers with models of hard work and determination, but that inducing hope may increase the likelihood that viewers will pursue their own goals.