My friend Harry’s a wizard

predicting parasocial interaction with characters from fiction

Joanne Ingram, Zoe Luckett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We explored parasocial interactions with characters from a narrow range of books and movies, namely those featuring the character ‘Harry Potter’. Following research which suggests that parasocial interactions are multidimensional, we investigated which personality, reading and viewing motives, predicted four dimensions of parasocial interaction with characters in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The pattern of significant predictors indicated that interpersonal aspects of reading (neuroticism, reading for companionship) and sociable aspects of movie viewing (openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and viewing to be sociable) lead to greater experience of the dimensions of parasocial interaction. We suggest that these factors relate to the availability of interactive media and experiences surrounding this series; and, the series representing mainstream rather than subcultural media. Results support the suggestion that parasocial interaction is multidimensional; and demonstrate that factors predicting these dimensions may vary dependent on the medium in which the favoured persona is presented, or on the identity of the favoured persona.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Popular Media Culture
Early online date20 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Nov 2017

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parasocial interaction
Reading
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Motion Pictures
movies
Personality
neuroticism
interactive media
Research
personality
experience
Fiction
Wizard
Interaction

Keywords

  • Parasocial
  • Motives
  • Personality
  • Harry Potter
  • Parasocial Interaction

Cite this

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title = "My friend Harry’s a wizard: predicting parasocial interaction with characters from fiction",
abstract = "We explored parasocial interactions with characters from a narrow range of books and movies, namely those featuring the character ‘Harry Potter’. Following research which suggests that parasocial interactions are multidimensional, we investigated which personality, reading and viewing motives, predicted four dimensions of parasocial interaction with characters in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The pattern of significant predictors indicated that interpersonal aspects of reading (neuroticism, reading for companionship) and sociable aspects of movie viewing (openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and viewing to be sociable) lead to greater experience of the dimensions of parasocial interaction. We suggest that these factors relate to the availability of interactive media and experiences surrounding this series; and, the series representing mainstream rather than subcultural media. Results support the suggestion that parasocial interaction is multidimensional; and demonstrate that factors predicting these dimensions may vary dependent on the medium in which the favoured persona is presented, or on the identity of the favoured persona.",
keywords = "Parasocial, Motives, Personality, Harry Potter, Parasocial Interaction",
author = "Joanne Ingram and Zoe Luckett",
note = "{\circledC}American Psychological Association, [2017]. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: [ARTICLE DOI]{"}",
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AU - Ingram, Joanne

AU - Luckett, Zoe

N1 - ©American Psychological Association, [2017]. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: [ARTICLE DOI]"

PY - 2017/11/20

Y1 - 2017/11/20

N2 - We explored parasocial interactions with characters from a narrow range of books and movies, namely those featuring the character ‘Harry Potter’. Following research which suggests that parasocial interactions are multidimensional, we investigated which personality, reading and viewing motives, predicted four dimensions of parasocial interaction with characters in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The pattern of significant predictors indicated that interpersonal aspects of reading (neuroticism, reading for companionship) and sociable aspects of movie viewing (openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and viewing to be sociable) lead to greater experience of the dimensions of parasocial interaction. We suggest that these factors relate to the availability of interactive media and experiences surrounding this series; and, the series representing mainstream rather than subcultural media. Results support the suggestion that parasocial interaction is multidimensional; and demonstrate that factors predicting these dimensions may vary dependent on the medium in which the favoured persona is presented, or on the identity of the favoured persona.

AB - We explored parasocial interactions with characters from a narrow range of books and movies, namely those featuring the character ‘Harry Potter’. Following research which suggests that parasocial interactions are multidimensional, we investigated which personality, reading and viewing motives, predicted four dimensions of parasocial interaction with characters in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The pattern of significant predictors indicated that interpersonal aspects of reading (neuroticism, reading for companionship) and sociable aspects of movie viewing (openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and viewing to be sociable) lead to greater experience of the dimensions of parasocial interaction. We suggest that these factors relate to the availability of interactive media and experiences surrounding this series; and, the series representing mainstream rather than subcultural media. Results support the suggestion that parasocial interaction is multidimensional; and demonstrate that factors predicting these dimensions may vary dependent on the medium in which the favoured persona is presented, or on the identity of the favoured persona.

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