I Listen To You Every Day: Parasocial Relationships And Self-disclosure In Christian Radio
Agee, Michael E.
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Involvement with characters is an important part of our media rich environment. Researchers have examined different forms of character involvement, most often in television. Though unique because of its focus on the relationship between a media persona and viewers and listeners, researchers have paid scant attention to the effects of parasocial interaction (PSI) and relationships (PSR) that form between radio station announcers and their listeners. This case study explores parasocial relationships between listeners and announcers at a non-commercial Christian music station, the role of personal self-disclosure by announcers on the air, and whether it can affect real life behavior as evidenced by financial support of the station. The two-part study included a thirty-question survey that collected demographic data and established a PSI scale to measure the depth of the listener's parasocial relationship. The study also collected and coded more than 600 audio instances for informative and emotional self-disclosure from announcers. Significant findings were found between the PSI scale and the amount of time spent listening to the station, financial support for the station, the amount of self-disclosure statements by announcers, and respondents' favorite announcer.