Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Tkachenko D.P., Samsonov T.S. Approbation and first stage standardization of Multi-genre parasocial relationships questionnaire (MPRI)

Daria P. Tkachenko, Ph.D (Psychology), Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia; bld. 6, Miusskaya Square, Moscow, Russia, 125047; bigbro-littlebro@yandex.ru
Timofei S. Samsonov, Undergraduate student, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia; bld. 6, Miusskaya Square, Moscow, Russia, 125047; combine2009@yandex.ru

Measurement of the parasocial relationships’ intensity still remains a problematic field in the studies of parasocial phenomena, mostly due to diverse theoretical approaches. Parasocial relationships form on the basis of perceived closeness to a media figure, however they are far from being a unidimensional construct: for example, some authors claim there are at least two types of parasocial relationships – parasocial friendship and parasocial love. The increasing number of media sources (visual or textual) and characters renders more difficulties for any effort to produce valid and reliable instruments. Some of the existing ones were tested only for the group of television viewers and are limited in their potential use. We conceptualize parasocial relationships as multidimensional construct, comprising of emotional symbiosis and authority. Emotional symbiosis is a sense of emotional confluence with a character driven by his or her superficially present traits: personality, appearances, habits, and so on, while such traits do not correspond to character’s achieved experience in overcoming significant difficulties. Authority, on the other hand, is related to this kind of experience. The first stage standardization of MPRI, the Multi-genre parasocial relationships inventory, had an online questionnaire data of 329 respondents involved, 77% of them being women. Three age groups were formed on the basis of B. G. Anan’ev age classification: 16 to 19, 20 to 24 and 25 to 35 years old. Some items for the new inventory were taken from Multiple Parasocial Relationships Scale (R. Tukachinsky), while some were newly added. The two scales had their internal consistency, factor structure and divergent validity tested. The first research had 121 participants with preferrable videogame character involved and second research (N = 208) encompasses multiple fields (like animation, series, videogames etc.). Both the first research and the overall sample had a between-age difference, where the level of emotional symbiosis was significantly higher for the group of 16- to 19-year-olds. The averages for emotional symbiosis and authority have been described for each of the said age groups. The possible connection of these differences to the specifics of age periods is discussed.

 

Key words: parasocial relationships, media users, characters, animation, videogames

 

For citation: Tkachenko, D.P., Samsonov, T.S. (2022). Approbation and first stage standardization of Multi-genre parasocial relationships questionnaire (MPRI). New Psychological Research, No. 4, 49-72. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2022_02_04_03

 

Acknowledgment

The work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, project 19-18-00516 “Transitive and virtual spaces – commonality and differences”. 

keywords: parasocial relationships, media users, characters, animation, videogames

received 30 December 2022

published 30 December 2022

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