When your favorite show goes off the air and those characters leave you, is it equivalent to a real life break-up?
This study examined the responses of television viewers to the potential loss of their favorite television characters. A sample of 381 Israeli adults completed questionnaires, including questions about their relationships with their favorite characters, how they would react if those characters were taken off the air, and their attachment styles. Results showed that viewers expecting to lose their favorite characters anticipate negative reactions similar to those experienced after the dissolution of social relationships. These reactions were related both to the intensity of the parasocial relationship with the favorite character and to the viewers’ attachment style. Anxious–ambivalently attached respondents anticipated the most negative responses. The results are discussed in light of their contribution to attachment research and as evidence of the similarity between parasocial relationships and close social relationships.
Source: “Parasocial Break-Up from Favorite Television Characters: The Role of Attachment Styles and Relationship Intensity” from Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
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