Grizzard Research Examines Why We Love Bad Characters

Published May 25, 2017 This content is archived.

Recently published research by Assistant Professor Matthew Grizzard, alongside COM graduate students Jialing Huang, Kaitlin Fitzgerald, Changhyun Ahn and Haoran Chu, suggests that they way in which characters are framed has a lot to do with whether we like them or not, regardless of their morality. The research, which has implications ranging from better understanding our relationship to fictional narratives, to possibly improving the effectiveness of character-based public service campaigns, examines how we perceive fictional heroes and villains, and explains why we love Walter White from Breaking Bad, even as he becomes better and better at being bad. 

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