An Investigation Into Audiences’ Reactions to Transgressions by Liked and Disliked Media Figures

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The present study investigates audiences’ parasocial relationship (PSR) reduction, parasocial breakup (PSB), attribution of causes, and forgiveness of their liked and disliked media figures for the figures’ transgressions. Using a 2 (media figure: liked or disliked) × 2 (transgression severity: minor or major) between-subjects factorial design, an experiment was conducted. There were significant main effects of media figure and transgression severity on PSR reduction, attribution of causes, and forgiveness. Attribution of causes partially mediated the relationship between PSR and forgiveness.

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