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Past research and anecdotal evidence suggests that many audience members are exposed to media figures they dislike. However, their relationships with these media figures and are not well understood in parasocial research. Building on media and fan studies scholarly on anti-fandom, we argue that these negative experiences are diverse, complex, and nuanced—they are more than merely the opposite of positive PSRs. The chapter theorizes several negative parasocial experiences: pervasive NPSRs (formed with ubiquitous media figures one cannot escape); competitive NPSRs (involving a real or symbolic rivalry with the media user’s PSR partner); loyal NPSRs (inability to break up with a disappointing PSR partner), and ludic/ironic NPSRs (wherein individuals derive pleasure from disparaging an inferior media figure). The chapter concludes with a review of specific media and audience variables that can be instrumental in examining these different types of NPSRs.



Publication Date



Oxford University Press


New York, NY


Anti-fandom, Fandom, Hatewatching, Dislike, Social comparison


Broadcast and Video Studies | Communication Technology and New Media | Critical and Cultural Studies | Other Communication | Other Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts | Social Psychology


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of a chapter accepted for publication in Rebecca Tukachinsky Forster (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Parasocial Experiences. This chapter may not exactly replicate the final published version. Please visit your local library or purchase the book through the "Buy This Book" link above to read the full text.


Oxford University Press

Beyond Friendship: A Call for Research on Negative Parasocial Experiences