Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



Research of parasocial relationships suggests that audiences engage in one-sided relationships with their favorite personae in the media. This study attempts to explore two types of reality stars: those who had fame before being on reality television and those who have fame because of the show. Using the PSR-Processing Scale, I compared levels of parasocial interactions for each, as well how moral disengagement might play a role for each type of reality star. I also explored whether these parasocial relationships are influenced by the frequency with which respondents watch various types of sub-genres of reality-based programs (i.e. game docs, dating shows, documentary soap operas). To measure levels of parasocial relationships, moral disengagement, media consumption, and reality television viewing habits, I administered an online survey to 244 students at a large southern university. Results show that respondents’ parasocial relationships and degree of moral disengagement with their favorite celebrity and non-celebrity on reality shows are influenced by the type of sub-genres of the reality-based programs (i.e. game docs, dating shows, documentary soap operas).



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sanders, Meghan