The Korean Society for Journalism & Communication Studies (KSJCS)
[ Article ]
Korean Journal of Journalism & Communication Studies - Vol. 67, No. 2, pp.117-152
ISSN: 2586-7369 (Online)
Print publication date 30 Apr 2023
Received 17 Feb 2023 Revised 27 Mar 2023 Accepted 30 Mar 2023

약자 성공담의 정서적·인지적 반응과 소셜미디어에서의 공감과 공유

강금량** ; 정성은***
**성균관대학교 미디어문화콘텐츠연구소 선임연구원
***성균관대학교 미디어커뮤니케이션학과 교수
Emotional and Cognitive Responses to Underdog Success Stories and User Engagement on Social Media
Kumryang Kang** ; Sungeun Chung***
**Senior Researcher, Media, Culture and Contents Research Center, Sungkyunkwan University
***Professor, Department of Media and Communication, Sungkyunkwan University


어려운 조건에 처한 개인이 이를 극복하고 목표를 달성하는 약자 성공담은 대중매체뿐 아니라 소셜미디어에도 자주 공유되는 대중 서사이다. 소셜미디어에서 이야기의 공유에 대한 연구가 많지만, 희망과 노력 등의 가치가 강조된 긍정 서사인 약자 성공담의 공감과 공유에 대한 연구는 매우 적다. 본 연구는 긍정 미디어 심리 이론과 타인칭찬 정서연구를 바탕으로 기쁨, 감탄, 감동의 정서적 요인과 의외성, 깨달음의 인지적 요인이 약자 성공담의 공감표현과 공유의향에 미치는 영향을 검증하였다. SNS에서 수집한 40개의 약자 성공담 동영상을 각 8명씩 무선할당된 참여자들(N = 320)에게 시청하게 하고, 시청으로 인한 정서와 인지적 반응을 설문을 통해 측정한 후, 메시지 단위의 분석과 개인 수준의 분석을 결합한 다층분석을 실시하였다. 분석 결과, 주인공의 힘든 처지가 강조되었다고 지각된 약자 성공담은 그렇지 않은 성공담에 비해 공감표현을 더 많이 받았다. 그리고 약자 성공담은 그렇지 않은 성공담에 비해, 기쁨, 감탄, 감동 등 정서를 더 크게 유발하고 이러한 정서들은 공감표현을 더 크게 이끌어 내었다. 인지적 요인인 의외성과 깨달음 또한 일반 성공담보다 약자 성공담에서 더 크게 나타났고, 그러한 인지적 요인들은 공감표현을 더 크게 이끌어 내었다. 약자 성공담에 대한 공유의향은 일반성공담에 비해 높지 않았지만 기쁨, 감탄, 감동, 그리고 의외성과 깨달음이 클수록 공유의향은 높게 나타났다. 본 연구는 긍정 서사 중 하나인 약자 성공담의 특성을 분석하고, 특성과 관련된 정서적 요인인 기쁨, 감탄, 감동, 그리고 인지적 요인인 의외성과 깨달음이 소셜미디어에서의 공감과 공유에 어떤 역할을 하는지를 밝혔다는 이론적 의의가 있다. 특히, 이전 연구는 타인 성공사례의 공유과정에 기쁨의 정서는 관여되지 않는다고 주장하였으나, 본 연구는 줄거리가 포함된 이야기로 표현되었을 때, 타인 성공담 특히 약자 성공담은 수용자에게 기쁨을 불러일으키고, 공감과 공유를 유도함을 밝혔다. 약자 성공담에 대한 본 연구의 결과는 온라인 마케팅이나 홍보캠페인 기획 시, 감동 등의 정서적 요인을 주요하게 고려해야 한다는 실천적 함의를 제시한다.


We investigated emotional and cognitive responses to underdog success stories and user engagement such as liking and sharing on social media. A common storyline in both mass media and social media is the "underdog story," in which a person faces adversities but overcomes them to triumph. Underdog stories differ from other content shared on social media in that they are upbeat storylines that place an emphasis on moral traits like hope and resilience. However, there are few studies on liking and sharing underdog stories on social media. Based on positive media psychology and research on other-praising emotions, this study proposed hypotheses about the effect of emotional factors of joy, admiration, and elevation, and cognitive factors of unexpectedness and enlightenment on the expression of “like” and intention to share underdog success stories. To test these hypotheses, 320 participants were randomly assigned to watch one of 40 videos of underdog success stories and indicated their emotional and cognitive responses. We combined group-level and individual-level analyses and performed multilevel analysis. The findings demonstrated that underdog stories, or those that focused on the protagonist's challenging circumstances, attracted more positive reactions than those that did not. Additionally, the joy, admiration, and elevation that underdog stories elicited increased "like" responses. In contrast to other success stories, underdog stories also had more unexpectedness and enlightenment, which prompted more expression of like. There was no significant difference in sharing intention between underdog stories and other success stories. However, joy, admiration, elevation, unexpectedness, and enlightenment all were found to increase the intention to share. By identifying the characteristics of underdog success stories and pertinent emotional and cognitive factors, as well as by testing the impact of those factors on the expression of liking and sharing on SNS, this study significantly contributes to the field of media psychology. In particular, Algoe and Haidt’s (2007) study argued that the emotion of joy is not involved when encountering other people's success stories, but we found that when other people's success such as underdog stories were expressed as a narrative with a plot evokes joy, which induces expression of liking and intention to share. The results of this study have practical implications for public campaigns and online marketing where emotional variables like elevation should be taken into account as a vital factor.


underdog success stories, expression of liking, intention to share, inspiration, positive media psychology


약자 성공담, 공감표현, 공유의향, 감동, 긍정 미디어 심리


This article is based on the first author’s dissertation (2023) at Sungkyunkwan University. This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (2021S1A5A2A01065446). (이 논문은 제1저자인 강금량의 성균관대학교 박사학위 논문(2023)을 바탕으로 작성되었습니다. 이 논문은 2021년 대한민국 교육부와 한국연구재단의 지원을 받아 수행된 연구임 (2021S1A5A2A01065446).)


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