Does What We Know about Actors' Real Lives: Influence Our Reactions to the Characters They Play?

Nurit Tal-Or, Shani Sela, Israel Igumnov, Hanoch Dov Milwidsky, Benjamin Rafaeli, Michael Sanilevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study examines the effect of the valence of information provided about an actor on viewers identification with the character played by that actor and enjoyment of watching the film. The results from an experiment we conducted demonstrate that the valence of information about an actor influences identification with the character through the mediation of perceptions about the character s traits and through transportation into the narrative. Information about the actor also indirectly affects the enjoyment of watching the film. We discuss these effects using the concepts of mental models, priming, and the fundamental attribution error as well as transportation theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Department of Communication University of Haifa 199 Abba Khoushy Ave. 31905, Haifa Israel Nurit Tal-Or (PhD, University of Haifa) is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Haifa. Her research focuses on media psychology and interpersonal communication. Her work has been funded by The Israel Science Foundation and The Israeli Association for Research Funds and Education.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Hogrefe Publishing GmbH. All rights reserved.


  • actor
  • character
  • fundamental attribution error
  • identification
  • transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology


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