Bedtime Stories that Work: The Effect of Protagonist Liking on Narrative Persuasion

Melissa J. Robinson, Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The experiment described in this article draws on affective disposition theory to clarify how protagonist likeability influences participants’ sleep hygiene-related self-efficacy and outcome expectations immediately after media exposure and 3 days later. Results indicate that protagonist likeability is an important factor in narrative persuasion. Protagonist likeability did not directly affect participants’ sleep hygiene-related self-efficacy immediately postexposure, but it did influence self-efficacy 3 days later. The dislikeable protagonist influenced self-efficacy more than the likeable protagonist. Further, protagonist likeability did not directly affect outcome expectations either immediately postexposure or 3 days later. However, mediation analyses demonstrated that protagonist likeability indirectly influenced both self-efficacy and outcome expectations via perceived liking of the protagonist immediately after exposure and 3 days later. Implications of these findings are further discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Communication
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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