People may cheer the demise of evil villains in fiction, but the deaths we most remember are the meaningful and sad endings of the characters we loved, research suggests.
In a new study, researchers found that when people were asked to recall the death of a fictional character, they were more likely to mention deaths perceived as “meaningful” than those seen as “pleasurable.” We remember the deaths that made us cry and think more than those that made us cheer.
“It seems that when we recall death, even in the relatively consequence-free spaces of media entertainment, we experience it as a meaningful, reflective experience.”
Grizzard conducted the research with Kaitlin Fitzgerald, a doctoral student at the University at Buffalo, and C. Joseph Francemone, a doctoral student at Ohio State, both in communication.
The study was published recently in OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying.
Release date: 17 December 2020
Source: Ohio State University