Suspense by Peter Vorderer
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By Peter Vorderer


Conceptualizations, Theoretical Analyses, and Empirical Explorations

Edited by See other recent books by Peter Vorderer See other recent books by Hans Jurgen Wulff See other recent books by Mike Friedrichsen
Format: Paperback

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Suspense by Peter Vorderer

Book Description

This volume begins with the general assumption that suspense is a major criterion for both an audience's selection and evaluation of entertaining media offerings. This assumption is supported not only by the popularity of suspenseful narratives, but also by the reasons users give for their actual choice of media contents. Despite this, there is no satisfying theory to describe and explain what suspense actually is, how exactly it is caused by films or books, and what kind of effect it has on audiences. This book's main objective is to provide that theory by bringing together scholars from different disciplines who are working on the issue. The editors' goal is to reflect the "state of the art" as much as it is to highlight and encourage further developments in this area. There are two ways of approaching the problem of describing and explaining suspense: an analysis of suspenseful texts or the reception process. Researchers who follow the more text-oriented approach identify the uncertainty of the narrative outcome, the threat or danger for the protagonist, the play with time delay, or other factors as important and necessary for the production of suspense. The more reception-oriented scholar focuses on the cognitive activities of audiences, readers' expectations, the curiosity of onlookers, their emotions, and their relationships with the protagonists. A correspondence between the two seems to be quite difficult, though necessary to determine. Both perspectives are important in order to describe and explain suspense. Thus, the editors utilize the thesis that suspense is an activity of the audience (reader, onlooker, etc.) that is related to specific features and characteristics of the text (books, films, etc.). Their question is: What kind of relation? The answer comes from finding out how, why, and which elements of the text cause effects that are experienced as suspense. Scholars from semiotics, literary criticism, cultural studies, and film theory assess the problem from a text-oriented point of view, dealing primarily with the how and which. Other scholars present the psychological perspective by focusing on the cognitive and emotional processes that underlie viewers' experience of suspense; that is, the reception theory tries to answer the question of why suspenseful texts may be experienced as they are.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780805819663
ISBN-10: 0805819665
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Pages: 376
Imprint: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Publish Date: 13-May-1996
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Peter Vorderer

Serious Games by Peter Vorderer Serious Games, Hardback (June 2009)

Examines critically the claim that playing games can provide learning that is deep, sustained and transferable to the 'real world'. This book focuses on goals such as: define the area of serious games, and discuss the underlying theories that explain suggested psychological mechanisms elicited through serious game play.

Media Choice by Peter Vorderer Media Choice, Hardback (February 2009)

Presents the research in media psychology, bridging selective exposure into a larger framework of choice in media usage. Considering the myriad media options available to use, this work seeks to answer such questions as: what mechanisms guide an individual's exposure to/choice of media and how can researchers model them.

Playing Video Games by Peter Vorderer Playing Video Games, Paperback (May 2006)

When Palladas, the Greek poet who flourished in the 4th century AD, said that life is but a game, he hardly could have imagined how pervasive games could become in every aspect of our modern lives. This volume integrates communication, psychology, and technology to examine the psychological and mediated aspects of playing video games.

Psychology of Entertainment by Peter Vorderer Psychology of Entertainment, Hardback (April 2006)

Promising to be the most comprehensive volume on entertainment, this book serves to define the area of study and provides a theoretical spin for future work in the area. Divided into basic parts, it deals with the fundamental mechanisms and processes involved in orienting to and selecting entertainment fare, as well as receiving and processing it.

» View all books by Peter Vorderer


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