Amy Coplan California State University

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Catching Characters Emotions
Emotional Contagion Responses to Narrative Fiction Film
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In this paper, I examine the role of emotional contagion in our affective engagement with narrative fiction film, focusing in particular on how spectator responses based on emotional contagion differ from those based on more sophisticated emotional processes. I begin by explaining emotional contagion and the processes involved in it. Next, I consider how film elicits emotional contagion. I then argue that emotional contagion responses are unique and should be clearly distinguished from responses based on other emotional processes, such as empathy. Finally, I explain why contagion responses are a significant feature of spectators engagement with narrative fiction film.

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