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Identification

  • By: Kari M. Wilson & Hyunyi Cho
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Identification with characters in the media has been a significant construct when considering the effects of media and health campaigns on the audience. While consuming media, audience members observe celebrities and then evaluate them in specific ways. Identification occurs when a person connects with another individual on some salient attribute. This process can occur with characters perceived as similar to oneself or those that a viewer wishes she or he was like. Identifying with characters in the media can result in changes in attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors in order to become more like the character. As a result, health campaigns and entertainment–education have been successful when they have developed characters through which the audience can identify.

Two Types of Identification

Scholars have described two types of identification. ...

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