Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Parasocial Interactions With Trump are Linked to Negative Attitudes Toward Him

Donald J. Trump (Credits: The Guardian)

A recent study published in the Southwestern Mass Communication Journal delved into the correlation between parasocial interactions with Donald Trump and individuals’ attitudes toward him.

Surprisingly, the study revealed that the more viewers engaged in parasocial interactions with Trump, the more likely they were to harbor negative attitudes toward the former president.

Parasocial interactions are essentially one-sided relationships that viewers develop with media personalities. Despite lacking direct interaction or feedback from the media figure, viewers often perceive a sense of friendship or connection with them, similar to real-life social interactions.

Trump’s extensive presence on television and social media platforms provided researchers with a unique opportunity to explore how these parasocial interactions could influence viewers’ political attitudes and the certainty of these attitudes.

Donald J Trump (Credits: WFLA)

The research team collected data from 404 participants, employing Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) platform and specifically targeting MTurk Master workers known for their reliability and quality in task completion.

Participants completed a structured survey designed to gauge various aspects of their experiences and attitudes. Key measures included the PSI-Process Scale and a Trump attitude scale, tailored to suit the study’s objectives. The PSI-Process Scale assessed participants’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions concerning their parasocial interactions with Trump.

Attitudes towards Trump were evaluated using a dedicated scale where participants indicated their agreement with statements regarding Trump’s characteristics and policies. The study also assessed attitude certainty, asking participants to rate the clarity and correctness of their attitudes toward Trump.

Contrary to the initial hypothesis expecting positive attitudes stemming from parasocial interactions, the study revealed a link between increased parasocial interaction, particularly in its cognitive dimension, and negative attitudes towards Trump.

Participants who reported closely following Trump’s behavior and contemplating his impact tended to agree with negative statements about him, such as concerns about America’s international reputation and doubts about the veracity of Trump’s statements.

Donald Trump (Credits: ABC News)

Those with higher levels of parasocial interaction expressed greater certainty about their negative attitudes, indicating a strong conviction in the validity and clarity of their opinions.

This finding challenges the traditional notion that parasocial interactions primarily foster positive sentiments towards media figures, highlighting the complications involved when the figure in question is a divisive political personality.

The study suggests that some individuals may engage in what is known as “hate-watching,” deliberately consuming media content featuring figures they dislike.

This behavior is driven not by enjoyment but by a mix of gratification, curiosity, and a sense of catharsis derived from engaging with content that elicits negative emotions.

While shedding light on the intricate relationship between viewers and media personalities, especially in politically charged contexts, the study acknowledges certain limitations.

These include the timing of the survey, conducted after the intense media scrutiny surrounding Trump’s post-2020 presidential election, which may have influenced participants’ responses.

Additionally, the study’s reliance on a self-selected group of MTurk workers and its cross-sectional nature may limit the generalizability of the findings. Future research could build on these insights by exploring how different types of media content impact parasocial interactions and investigating the long-term effects of these interactions on viewer attitudes and behaviors.

Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

We’re dedicated to providing you the most authenticated news. We’re working to turn our passion for the political industry into a booming online news portal.

You May Also Like


Actress Emma D’Arcy is from the British rebellion. She has only appeared in a small number of movies and TV shows. It might be...


Jennifer Coolidge Is Pregnant: Jennifer Coolidge Audrey Coolidge is a comedian and actress from the United States. Many of her followers are wondering if...


Spoilers! The demon Akaza from Kimetsu no Yaiba dies in the eleventh arc of the manga and the one responsible for his death is...


The young YouTube star Emily Canham has recently been seen making headlines for her amazing work and her journey. She started from scratch and...