Parasocial Relationships with Musicians

Kate Szer Kurtin, Nina F O'Brien, Deya Roy, Linda Dam


Extending research on the development of parasocial relationships (PSR), the present study fits into a long line of research beginning with Rubin and McHugh’s (1987) seminal work investigating the how communication, liking, and intimacy interact as audiences form relationships with mediated characters.  The current study applied Ruben and McHugh’s model to the unique connection consumers feel with their favorite musicians.  Structural equation modeling reveals that these parasocial relationships with musicians differ from those previously found with more traditional media characters. The model confirms that music fans develop parasocial relationships with musicians, as well as reinforce previous findings that exposure is a powerful predictor of physical attraction.  The results provide justification for extending the theoretical expectations of parasocial relationships to musicians.


Parasocial relationship, new media, musicians, attraction

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