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Little is yet known about audiences who routinely seek out media content that is inspirational in nature. The current study expands the research on inspirational media by utilizing a nationally representative sample of U.S. audiences (n = 2,016) to explore relationships between inspiring media exposure, trait transcendence, and self-transcendent emotions. Results show that media content is a reliable source for everyday self-transcendent emotional experiences in U.S. audiences. These experiences are most frequently encountered by persons with high levels of trait spirituality and gratitude. The profile of U.S. audiences that seek out inspiring media is discussed.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly in 2019 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


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