Does the experience of parasocial interaction enhance persuasiveness of video public service messages?

Sarah F. Rosaen, Jayson L. Dibble, Tilo Hartmann

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Does the experience of parasocial interaction (EPSI) increase the persuasiveness of a video message? In a between-subjects experiment (N = 465) we used bodily addressing to successfully vary EPSI in viewers of three brief video-recorded health messages. This manipulation, however, yielded no significant effect on viewers’ perceived persuasiveness of the message and their attitude toward the recommended behavior, and the effect on viewers’ felt obligation to comply with the presenter of the message was only marginally significant. However, self-reported EPSI was significantly positively correlated with all persuasion measures, and exploratory analyses yielded significant indirect effects of the manipulation on persuasion via self-reported EPSI. Limitations and implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2019


  • Bodily Address
  • EPSI
  • Parasocial Interaction
  • Persuasion

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