Author(s): Meghan S Sanders
For more than a century, social psychologists have examined the result of impression formation, and its impact on other factors. These analyses were based primarily on personal exchanges between real people. Today, we encounter people via mass media as well, but very little media research has examined the cognitive process that takes place when viewersare forming impressions of ﬁctional media characters. The present article reviews a largeand complex body of research and theoretical writings to put forward a synthesized model of character impression formation based on Zillmann’s disposition theory and Fiske and Neuberg’s continuum model of impression formation, arguing for inconsistency resolutionas a moderating cognitive mechanism.