Thomas Hobbes Disposition Theory

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Disposition Theory
We live in a media world, where we have lots of media tools that enables us lots of facilities, such as connect, share information, learn, get entertained and etc. It is obvious that media is very strong tool that has great impact on its audience. Beside its many features, one of the most important features of the media is entertainment. Throughout the centuries a great number of studies done, lots of theories introduced in order to explain and learn media effects, its impact, its ability to manipulate and many other issues. One of the recent important theories that concentrate on enjoyment that media consumers get from media is Disposition Theory. As states Arthur A. Raney in his article, “Why do we like what we like?”
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Throughout the centuries philosophers tried to understand why it is pleasurable to laugh at misfortunes of others for people. Plato suggested that it is in human nature and it is morally justifiable behavior to laugh and be happy for misfortunes of our enemies, or the people that we don’t like. Same approach came from another philosopher, after centuries, Thomas Hobbes, that lead to superiority theory, which means comparing oneself with weaker people is a innate need and it helps people to feel superior on the ones who are weaker and inferior than oneself. He suggested that laughing at other peoples’ faults, misfortunes improves peoples’ self-concept. Disposition theory of humor can be explained in three ways, which are, affiliation, reference group and continuum of…show more content…
For example, while watching a film, observer makes moral judgments about behaviors of characters, and if they find the behavior of particular character morally justifiable then observer supports that character and take his/her side, but if observers find the behaviors of characters as morally improper then observer dislikes the character and wants that character face misfortunes. Empathy is important subject in disposition theory of drama. In other words, if we have positive feelings to a character then we have strong empathetic response to the character and react reverse response to the characters that we don’t like and have negative feelings. The disposition theory of drama has three components that help us to understand theory briefly:
• Character: Form our disposition. We watch characters’ behaviors; we make moral judgments and take sides, the ones we like and the ones that we don’t like.
• Outcome: Hope for outcome. We want good outcomes for the characters we like and support and we want bad outcomes for the characters that we don’t like.
• Enjoyment: If good things happen to the characters that we like our magnitude of enjoyment goes high and again if bad things happen to bad characters our magnitude of enjoyment goes

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