Inspiration from media is facilitated by the emotional reactions we experience toward particular portrayals in the content, specifically portrayals that elicit the emotions of awe, elevation, admiration, gratitude, and hope. The academic literature in moral psychology outlines a variety of situations, events, scenes, and circumstances that elicit those emotions. Therefore, the primary focus of our content analyses is to examine the various elicitors of self-transcendent emotions in media content. This includes investigating which ones are present, how and at what rate they are portrayed, in what narrative situation they appear, and if and if so how characters encounter the elicitors and portray the emotions themselves (as the scholarly record shows that we can also experience self-transcendent emotions by witnessing others experience them).
Moving-image and text-based media necessarily portray the elicitors of self-transcendent emotions in different ways. Therefore, we have developed two content coding schemes to apply based on the media in question. An explanation of these analytic tools can be found here: