Forming Parasocial Relationships in Online Communities

Paul W. Ballantine, The University of Auckland
Brett A. S. Martin, The University of Auckland
ABSTRACT - Parasocial interaction theory has been used to describe the one-sided relationships that can occur between a media user and the media being consumed. Used to understand the process by which individuals form attachments to media personae, the theory may also help explain the behavior of those consumers who use Internet-based online communities. This paper provides an overview of parasocial interaction theory, and explores how parasocial interaction can affect the consumption behavior of online community users. Following a review of the extant literature, a number of research questions are outlined to help guide future research in this area.
[ to cite ]:
Paul W. Ballantine and Brett A. S. Martin (2005) ,"Forming Parasocial Relationships in Online Communities", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 32, eds. Geeta Menon and Akshay R. Rao, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 197-201-.