Is there is a term for the mechanism where a reader consciously or unconsciously associates a fictional character with someone they know? *
A conceivable example might be a parent reading about a child character (who is described in general terms) who has an accident or similar and the parent reader may feel grief in excess of a reader who isn't a parent. Specifically because they have placed their son or daughter in the scene.
That's just one example, the mechanism I'm interested in isn't particular to parent/child empathy, but more general.
It would happen in narrative drama - TV, film, theatre - also...
It's not just 'association' is it? I'm finding it a hard thing to search for online.
* The veracity of the association is irrelevant.