The study examines the implications of fundamental attribution error, wherein viewers misattribute qualities of the fictional characters onto the actors who portray them. In an experiment, individuals watched an actor playing a role of either a hero or a villain. Then, participants watched the same actor in a public service announcement. In line with the attribution theory, viewers rated the actor’s personality less positively, reported a weaker parasocial relationship with the actor, and listed more negative thoughts about the advertisement after exposure to the actor playing a villain.
Tukachinsky, R. (2020). Playing a bad character but endorsing a good cause: Actor-character fundamental attribution error and persuasion. Communication Reports, 33(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/08934215.2019.1691618
Taylor & Francis