My friend Harry’s a wizard: predicting parasocial interaction with characters from fiction

Joanne Ingram, Zoe Luckett

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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
Pages (from-to)148-158
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Popular Media Culture
Volume8
Issue number2
Early online date20 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Nov 2017

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Keywords

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

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