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AbstractCurrent research on the psychological effects of television viewing emphasizes the mediating role played by viewers’ interpretations of the characters and events portrayed. Three studies used multidimensional scaling to discover the main themes by which views represent the characters in Dallas. In Study I, a two-dimensional space captured viewers’ representations of the characters. Study II replicated this space using a different method. Study III tested competing theoretical interpretations of the space derived from implicit personality theory, gender schema theory, and cultural studies. The first and major dimension of the semantic space was morality. This was semantically close to warmth and family values. The properties hard, dominant, active, values power, and business oriented clustered together and were orthogonal to morality. Implications for the role of socio-cognitive and textual determinants of viewers’ representations of television characters are discussed.
Livingstone, Sonia (1987) The Implicit representation of characters in Dallas. Human Communication Research, 13 (3). pp. 399-420. ISSN 0360-3989