CHARACTER PERCEPTIONS OF STORYTELLERS: INVESTIGATING THE MEDIATED CONTACT HYPOTHESIS AND STORIES ABOUT LIVING WITH HIV

Rachel A. Smith, Ruth A. Osoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research into mediated contact hypothesis shows that exposure to people sharing their stories of living with a stigmatized condition can decrease negative stereotypes and improve willingness to engage in future interpersonal contact, but results are inconsistent. In this study, we offer novel reasons for why mediated intergroup contact can facilitate positive inter-group outcomes, by focusing on audience members’ perceptions of the storyteller’s character (i.e., perceptions of attributes or features that make up an individual). Our model was tested (N = 369, U.S. adults) with video-recorded stories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign. The results showed that, as predicted, viewers’ perceptions of the storyteller’s character as more fluid and more multidimensional predicted stronger transportation into the story, which predicted greater perceptions of group variability and more intergroup ease. Implications for character perceptions as mechanisms of contact effects, communication’s role in shaping character perceptions, and reducing HIV stigma are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-84
Number of pages16
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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