Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen
University of Haifa | haifa · Department of Communications

About

52
Publications
30,374
Reads
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4,546
Citations
Citations since 2017
16 Research Items
2707 Citations
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Publications

Publications (52)
Article
Full-text available
The idea that the success of media personae in attracting audiences and maintaining their loyalty depends on the creation of a pseudo-friendship, known as para-social relationships, has been a mainstay of mass media research for more than half a century. Expanding the scope of para-social relationship research into the political realm, the notion t...
Article
Formation of accurate risk perceptions and adoption of protective measures play a key role in reducing transmission and stopping the spread of infectious diseases. Extant research, however, has shown that perceptions of risk are not necessarily correlated with the level of actual risk, including that of COVID-19. Informed by the social amplificatio...
Article
Despite its growing prominence in news coverage and public discourse, there is still considerable ambiguity regarding when and how fact-checking affects beliefs. Informed by theories of motivated reasoning and message design, a meta-analytic review was undertaken to examine the effectiveness of fact-checking in correcting political misinformation (...
Article
According to the cognitive perspective, the generation of counterarguments is a key obstacle to persuasion. Following the metacognitive view, however, the experience of difficulty that accompanies increased counterarguing may benefit persuasion. These two contrasting predictions were evaluated in two experiments (N1 = 392; N2 = 210) by manipulating...
Article
Full-text available
This study adds to existing research on liking of anti-heroes by demonstrating the importance of perceived interaction and identification on character liking. Our first experiment used a televised series (House of Cards) as the narrative context, and the second study employed a written narrative. In both experiments, versions featuring the main cha...
Article
Whereas parasocial experience is conceptualized as imagined interaction identification is defined as the merging of one’s identity with a character’s. Thus, having a character face the camera and directly address viewers should increase the sense of parasocial experience but not affect the intensity of identification. An experiment compared the lev...
Article
This study explores the ability of parasocial relationships to predict support for political candidates and elected officials. A May 2017 survey of U.S. adults (N = 2,055) included items that reflect traditional approaches to the study of candidate support (e.g., political party identification, policy agreement) along with several batteries of a ne...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores how being perpetually connected and perpetually online affects experience with narrative. We outline a model for understanding the complex interplay between media multitasking and narrative engagement. We suggest that the relevance of multitasking to the narrative, and the sociality of that multitasking, influence narrative en...
Article
Five TV actors completed the Big Five personality scale for a character they played on a popular Israeli TV comedy. Viewers of each of these series completed the same scales both for themselves and as they thought the characters would have completed them. They then completed parasocial relationship and identification scales with respect to the same...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Celebrity and fandom have been studied extensively in real life. Perceived virtual relationships, commonly known as para-social relationships (PSR) have been shown to exist between celebrities and fans (Horton and Wohl, 1956). The end of such relationships, para-social breakups (PSB), have also been studied (Eyal and Cohen, 2006). However, with mor...
Article
Full-text available
Celebrity and fandom have been studied extensively in real life. However, with more and more celebrities using social media, the dynamics of interaction between celebrities and fans has changed. Using data from a set of 57,000 fans for the top followed celebrities on Twitter, we define a wide range of features based on their Twitter activity. Using...
Article
The identity of protagonists in persuasive narratives was varied to test the impact of audience-character demographic similarity on identification. In Study 1, sex and nationality, both traits that were pretested to be important to participants’ self-identity, were varied, but demographic similarity did not increase perceived similarity, identifica...
Article
While the issue of citizens? declining trust in journalists has received much attention in both research and public discourse, relatively little research has examined how individuals? evaluations of the accuracy of media coverage of events they witnessed personally may have long-term effects on the level of trust in journalists. Using the responses...
Article
. The increased popularity of reality shows has been followed by criticism that they rely on viewers’ enjoyment of the humiliation and degradation of participants. This study included 163 Israelis who reported on their own willingness to participate in reality shows and how they would react if family members were to participate. Positive correlatio...
Article
In 2 studies, we explored the effects of transportation and identification on attitudes following exposure to relevant and controversial 2-sided narratives. Participants read a story featuring 2 protagonists who held 2 opposing positions about a provocative issue. In Study 1, we manipulated identification and found that identification with the conc...
Article
This review proposes that transportation and identification are distinct forms of engaging with narratives, that they are enhanced by different factors and that they have distinct roles in narrative persuasion. By describing and analyzing 56 studies that explore the antecedents and consequences of transportation and identification, the ways in whic...
Article
Full-text available
A wide variety of motivations for engaging with narratives have been proposed and studied. We propose that underlying these motivations is another, more fundamental motivation. Our premise is that maintenance, defense, and regulation of the personal and social self in daily life are demanding both emotionally and cognitively. Moreover, any individu...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence demonstrates that exposure to violent TV has an influence on youngsters’ Aggressive Political Opinions (APO; Eyal, Metzger, Lingsweiler, Mahood, & Yao, 2006). While these findings point to an important influence of violent media on politics, the only study so far in this domain was limited to the USA context. The present study provi...
Chapter
Research about the way people perceive news media has made progress in three parallel avenues. The first used the concept of credibility and trust; the second used the concept of hostile media perceptions; and the third – focusing on perceptions of media impact – used the concept of the third-person perception. In this chapter, we argue that these...
Article
Full-text available
According to the authors, much of media coverage of science and scientists is explained by scientists’ beliefs regarding the impact of appearing in media on their careers. Their argument rests on recent advances in communication theory, stressing “the influence of presumed media influence,” and contributes to our understanding of why some scientist...
Article
Full-text available
According to the influence of presumed media influence hypothesis, people estimate the potential effects of media on other people and change their attitudes or behaviors as a consequence. In recent years, many studies offered some support for this idea. However, a central limitation of these studies is that all of them utilized correlational method...
Article
Two central avenues for audience involvement in entertainment are identification and transportation. This study conceptually and empirically differentiated between these processes by manipulating information about the hero of a film and about the plot in order to affect the ways viewers respond to the film and character. The valence of information...
Article
In this article I argue that although the notion of identification with media characters is widely discussed in media research, it has not been carefully conceptualized or rig- orously tested in empirical audience studies. This study presents a theoretical discus- sion of identification, including a definition of identification and a discussion of...
Article
A self-report measure is presented for assessing the expected reactions of television viewers to the loss of parasocial relationships. Based on three separate samples, the measure is validated and used to explore differences in how people react to parasocial breakup. Findings suggest that, although women develop stronger parasocial relationships, t...
Article
Full-text available
Much of what politicians do, we maintain in this paper, is driven by their belief in the power of media, which motivates their desire to be featured in news coverage. Our argument rests upon recent advances in communication theory, stressing “the influence on presumed media influence” (Gunther, Albert C., and J. Douglas Storey. 2003. “The Influence...
Article
Full-text available
An increasingly influential line of research on media effects suggests that some of the effects of news media on society take place because people perceive media as influential. In this article, the authors test this notion, in the context of voting decisions. The authors propose that voters' perceptions regarding the influence of media will be rel...
Article
This study explores the dynamics of social concern over reality shows. Couched in the theory of the influence of presumed influence, it is argued that the degree of concern over the effects of media mediates between beliefs in media power and people's responses to such beliefs. Survey data show that perceived influence is distinct from concern over...
Article
This study examines the relationship between various measures of exposure to and preference for Israeli television (as opposed to imported foreign programs) and the degree of national pride. Survey results (n = 408) show that over and above strict demographic, ideological, and general television viewing control measures, viewers who preferred Israe...
Article
This study examines viewers'reactions to parasocial breakup with medi- ated characters in light of interpersonal and mass communication theo- ries. Following the airing of the last episode of the television show Friends, 279 students completed surveys assessing their viewing habits, their attitudes toward the show and their favorite character, and...
Article
Full-text available
This article takes a critical look at the discourse of globalization in the realm of television, suggesting that the dichotomy between national and global television is unduly simplistic. It proposes that a better understanding of how global television content enters local broadcasting is achieved by examining three variables: who selects the conte...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, the authors examine the consequences of the hostile-media phenomenon and advance the argument that people's perceptions of hostile coverage shape their trust in mainstream media institutions.Media trust in turn affects trust in democracy and willingness to accept democratic decisions. These ideas are tested on a sample of Jewish Se...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines parents' perceptions of the influence of a youth-targeted telenovela on their own versus other children using the framework of the third person effect. Survey data (N = 132) demonstrate that parents perceived the show to have greater impact on other children than on their own. Regression analyses show that parents who thought th...
Article
In this article, we examine the notion that perceptions of strong influence of biased media coverage may indirectly lead to an increased willingness to resort to violent protest. We test this idea on a sample of Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip ( N = 413), in the dramatic context of a Likud party vote on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies demonstrate that third person perceptions are less dependent on ego-defensive mechanisms than previously thought. It is argued that people use intuitive notions of media dependency when they estimate the influence of media on different groups of others. Our results show that when the "others" that are the object of media influence are c...
Article
This study examined the responses of television viewers to the potential loss of their favorite television characters. A sample of 381 Israeli adults completed questionnaires, including questions about their relationships with their favorite characters, how they would react if those characters were taken off the air, and their attachment styles. Re...
Article
This study demonstrates that third-person perceptions regarding the influence of media coverage of peripheral towns indirectly affect the desire to consider moving. It is argued that regardless of whether people's perceptions of where they live are really shaped by media coverage, if people believe others are affected by this coverage more than the...
Article
Data collected from 251 Israeli undergraduates are used to explore sex differences in reactions to the television show Ally McBeal. Female viewers found the show more relevant and liked the show more than did their male counterparts. The findings are discussed within the framework of reception theory, feminist theories, and the impact of cultural c...
Article
Two hundred fifty one Israeli students, viewers of the series Ally McBeal, wer e asked to choose among preformulated interpretations of the pro g r a m . Discriminant analysis was used to explore why some viewers endorsed an interpretation of the program as favorable to women, others as sexist, and others preferred a humorous interpretation. Result...
Article
Using analysis of program content and programming features, this study identifies patterns of television viewing preferences that explain why certain shows are frequently watched with certain other shows. Principal components analysis (PCA) of data collected from a sample of 750 Israeli adults was used to identify groups of shows often watched by t...
Article
This study aims to explore the effects of TV viewing on the cultivation of fear and interpersonal trust among Israeli youth, and to make methodological and theoretical contributions to the study of cultivation. Besides testing cultivation theory using an Israeli sample, the present study focuses on the effects of different genres on attitudes in di...
Article
The present study explores the factors influencing Israeli teenage viewers’ choice of their favorite TV character from a popular night‐time serial. Participants were asked to choose a character from the show's cast of characters, and explain why they preferred that character. Results show that choices of characters were predicted by viewer sex and...
Article
Communication is a central theme in social work practice and a major component in social work training. This study of 333 social work graduates in Israel examined the association between their perceptions of themselves as communicators and their satisfaction with social work as course of study and as chosen profession. The research demonstrated tha...
Article
Following the proposal of Rubin & Rubin (1985) that scholars turn their attention to the study of the intersection between mass and interpersonal communication, this paper reviews literature comparing different forms and contexts of communication. Underlying the motivations for both mediated and face‐to‐face communication is a basic need for social...
Article
The present study explores the links between individual TV viewers’ working models of attachment (Bowlby, 1980) and the parasocial relations they establish with their favorite TV character. Student subjects answered a survey that assessed the intensity of their parasocial relationships and the content of their mental models of attachment. Results s...
Article
This study explores patterns of viewing of reality shows and tries to explain the willingness to participate in such shows. The results of a survey of 600 Israeli adults reveal a relatively high level of viewing of reality shows and a lower, but not insignificant, level of willingness to participate in such shows. Though demographic variables provi...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
The ELIT project, funded by the EU, will offer innovative and interdisciplinary training to a new generation of researchers in the empirical study of literature. https://www.elitnetwork.eu/ This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860516.