alexa Parasocial Interaction and Identification: Social Change Processes for Effective Health Interventions
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Qing Tian, Cynthia A Hoffner

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In this study, 174 respondents completed an online questionnaire measuring their responses to a liked, neutral, or disliked character from the ABC drama Lost. Specifically, they reported their perceived similarity, identification while viewing, and parasocial interaction with the character, as well as the extent to which they had tried to change aspects of themselves to be more like the character (“change/influence”). Across the whole sample, perceived similarity was a significant positive predictor of both identification and parasocial interaction, and identification was associated with higher levels of parasocial interaction. Parasocial interaction, but not identification, was a significant positive predictor of reported change/influence. When the three types of characters were examined separately, all four responses were higher for liked and neutral characters than for disliked characters, and parasocial interaction was higher for liked than for neutral characters. Interpretations of the findings, and implications for understanding viewers' involvement with media characters, are discussed.

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

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