Talking to the camera: Measuring the impact of direct address in reality programming on parasocial interaction

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Title: Talking to the camera: Measuring the impact of direct address in reality programming on parasocial interaction
Author: Bennett, Michelle Angela
Abstract: Parasocial interaction , or PSI , has been an area of interest for media scholars in recent years . This phenomenon examines the way that an audience develops a connection with characters that they see in the media . With the growth of reality television over the past decade , research in PSI and reality television has not been fully explored . This research attempts to examine if the use of certain structural features within reality television , such as the use of direct address , can play a role in the way individuals develop a parasocial relationship . This study sought to determine if the use of direct address in reality television programming helped foster PSI and identification more so than programs without direct address . It also examined the relationships between media enjoyment and PSI as well as identification and PSI . One hundred and eighteen participants completed an experiment where they watched clips from a reality television show that altered the use of direct address and then completed a questionnaire about what they watched . Analysis of the data concluded that direct address did not significantly impact the formation of PSI or identification . However , the formation of both PSI and identification with a character on the show made enjoyment of the programming more likely .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /45429
Date: 2010-05

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Talking to the camera: Measuring the impact of direct address in reality programming on parasocial interaction. Master's thesis, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /45429 .

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