alexa Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Horton Donald, R Richard Wohl

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One of the striking characteristics of the new mass media – radio, television, and the movies – is that they give the illusion of face-to-face relationship with the performer. The conditions of response to the performer are analogous to those in a primary group. The most remote and illustrious men are met as if they were in the circle of one’s peers; the same is true of a character in a story who comes to life in these media in an especially vivid and arresting way. We propose to call this seeming face-to-face relationship between spectator and performer a para-social relationship.

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This article was published in Psychiatry and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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