Reality-Based Television Programming and the Psychology of Its Appeal

  title={Reality-Based Television Programming and the Psychology of Its Appeal},
  author={Robin L. Nabi and Erica Biely and Sara J. Morgan and Carmen R. Stitt},
  journal={Media Psychology},
  pages={303 - 330}
Despite the general presence of reality-based television programming for more than a decade and its recent increasing popularity, the extant literature on the phenomenon is limited. In Study 1, we considered how the viewing public constructs the so-called genre of reality-based TV. Multidimensional space analysis based on the Q-sort responses of 38 city residents indicated reality-based TV shows (a) are largely distinct from most major programming genres, although they do not form a… 


The impact of heavy television viewing and the effects it has on young viewers has been a dominant topic since the 1960s. With the ever-changing landscape of television programming, reality

Redefining Reality TV: Exploring Viewers' Perceptions of Nine Subgenres

Reality TV has been largely documented in literature as a genre which places non-actors in dramatic situations with unpredictable outcomes. However, over the past few years, the influx of reality TV

The Mean World Effects of Reality Television- Perceptions of Antisocial Behaviors Resulting from Exposure to Competition-Based Reality Programming

Reality-based television programming has become a dominant force in television over the past seven years and a staple of most networks’ primetime lineups. This relatively quick change in the

Reality television programs in Malaysia : a dream come true?

Reality television p rograms have c hanged the media landscape drastically since the turn o f the millennium. Owing to its interactive nature, reality television has become a highly marketable

Motivation and Impact of Viewing Reality Television Programme: An Audience Study

Background/Objectives: Reality Television Program (RTVP) is a more recent genre in India that has been growing steadily over the past few years. This paper identifies the potential audience of RTVP,

Reality Bites: An Investigation of the Genre of Reality Television and Its Relationship to Viewers’ Body Image

Utilizing a unique methodological approach, this study investigated subtypes of reality television (RTV) to study the influence of exposure to RTV on body image (body dissatisfaction and drive for

Exploring Viewers’ Responses to Nine Reality TV Subgenres

Reality TV is a genre that places nonactors in dramatic situations with unpredictable outcomes. The influx of reality TV dominating network and cable programming has been highly reflective in its

Tracing the Course of Reality TV Effects Research

This chapter overviews the history of reality-based TV research, starting with efforts to define the genre and understand why people watch such programming, with particular attention to issues of

Publicized Intimacies on Reality Television: An Analysis of Voyeuristic Content and Its Contribution to the Appeal of Reality Programming

Given that reality television is not a cohesive genre, a better understanding of the frequently noted voyeuristic appeal of reality programs would require an analysis of content features that may

An Exploratory Study of Reality Appeal: Uses and Gratifications of Reality TV Shows

A survey administered to reality TV viewers revealed that the most salient motives for watching reality TV were habitual pass time and reality entertainment. Additional analysis indicated that those



Predictors of Viewing and Enjoyment of Reality-Based and Fictional Crime Shows

Telephone surveys were conducted in Virginia and Wisconsin to explore attitudinal predictors of exposure to and enjoyment of reality-based and fictional crime programs. Punitive attitudes about

Fear and Loathing on Reality Television: An Analysis of “America's Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries”*

From early newspapers to contemporary television drama, the media demonstrate a continuing fascination with crime. Two recent television programs, “America's Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries,”

Antisocial acts in reality programming on television

This study poses two questions about the portrayals of aggressive behavior on non‐fictional television programs. First, to what extent do the patterns of antisocial activity in televised

Audience Activity and Television News Gratifications

The variable nature of audience activity was examined with a sample of 329 local television news viewers. Instrumental news viewing was expected to be related to audience intentionality, selectivity,

Media effects : advances in theory and research

This book discusses the effects of media influence on children's academic knowledge, skills, and Attitudes, as well as social and psychological effects of Information Technologies and Other Interactive Media in the 21st Century.


This article focuses on the social construction of femininity in a reality television program, America's Most Wanted. The program blurs fact and fiction in reenactments of actual crimes. The analysis


Certain aspects of the concept of an “active” mass media audience are explored and two dimensions of audience activity identified. The first activity dimension centers on the qualitative orientation


A conceptual model was developed predicting parasocial interaction from both a social interaction need due to loneliness and instrumental television news use. Questionnaires were completed by 329

Television uses and gratifications: The interactions of viewing patterns and motivations

This secondary analysis of television viewing motivations and patterns located two television user types: (1) users of the television medium for time consumption and entertainment; and (2) users of

Media gratifications research : current perspectives

This chapter discusses Gratifications Research and Media Theory in the 21st Century with a focus on the development of models and theories for future generations of journalists and researchers.