Date of Award

4-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Patric R. Spence

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Machiorlatti

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Gershon

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Although parasocial relationships are a widely-studied subject in media, it is less known how these one-way relationships affect a person's credibility. Additionally, the effects of social media on parasocial relationships and credibility are unknown. A quasi-experimental design was used to explore this idea. Hypotheses and research questions were tested using four experimental conditions. In the first condition, participants were asked to listen to a radio broadcast. The second condition had participants listen to the same radio broadcast, but this time the host added an element of self-disclosure to the story. In the third condition, the participants listened to the straight-news radio broadcast, and then viewed the host's Facebook page. Finally, the fourth condition had participants listen to the radio broadcast with self-disclosure, and then view the Facebook page. A sample of 120 participants were asked to fill out a survey to see how the self-disclosure and social media affected the show host's credibility and level of parasociability. No significant relationships were noted regarding the influence of social media on credibility or parasociability. Self-disclosure did show a positive influence on parasociability, but not to a significant level.

Share

COinS