Award Date

5-1-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Paul J. Traudt

Second Committee Member

Julian Kilker

Third Committee Member

Gary Larson

Fourth Committee Member

Tara McManus

Number of Pages

115

Abstract

The study of one-sided mediated interactions, commonly known as parasocial interactions, have generated significant investigations which have examined both mediated relationships through television, the Internet, other media, and the discontinuation of these relationships (also known as parasocial breakups). These studies have specifically identified certain trends in which respondents have tended to form strong emotional connections with subject(s) within narrative fictional depictions. This study examines the relationship between parasocial breakup and the dissolution of a viewer following the end of primetime series, How I Met Your Mother. The following measures were used in the survey; 1) age, gender, and ethnicity; 2) parasocial relationships; 3) parasocial breakups; 4) viewing of the show; 5) attitudes toward the show; 6) attitude toward the favorite HIMYM character. Overall, findings support that stronger parasocial relationships with HIMYM, did indeed predict stronger parasocial breakups with HIMYM. Affinity to HIMYM and respondent’s favorite HIMYM character as overall favorite TV character were also indicative of stronger parasocial breakup. This study proposes a Parasocial Interaction Paradigm for future research.

Keywords

Fictitious characters; How I Met Your Mother (Television program); Interpersonal relations; Parasocial Breakups; Parasocial Interaction; Parasocial Relationships; Television viewers

Disciplines

Communication | Mass Communication | Social Psychology

Language

English


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