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Expanding on the research of meaningful entertainment media and its effects, this study investigated the relationship between experiences related to elevation responses to film. Whereas research thus far has focused primarily on portrayals of altruism to elicit elevation, the results of this study show that portrayals of connectedness, love, and kindness in meaningful films are also able to elicit feelings of elevation. Moreover, elevation mediated the relationship between meaningful films and feelings of connectedness towards the transcendent, close others and toward one’s family; compassionate love towards close others; and compassionate motivation to love and be good to humanity. The study demonstrates the potential of meaningful films to increase experiences of connectedness to the transcendent, which ultimately can enhance our concern about the well-being of others, and motivation to be more compassionate even to strangers. Implications for the scholarship of positive media psychology are discussed.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in journal, volume, in year following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at DOI: 10.1037/ppm0000105. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.


American Psychological Association



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