Demographic Characteristics and Motives of Individuals Viewing Reality Dating Shows
Over the last few years, the number of television dating shows has increased exponentially from 2 to over 28 during the period of 2000 to 2002. The purpose of this study was to examine demographic variables, personality characteristics, and attachment styles of individuals who view television dating shows. Furthermore, motives for viewing television dating shows and viewers' responses to the content were examined. A convenience sample of 601 participants, including 413 who watch television dating shows, were solicited to complete the Internet-mediated study. Results revealed significant demographic differences between the two groups and demographic variables were associated with specific television viewing practices. An exploratory factor analysis revealed three motives for viewing television dating shows: excitability, social learning, and escape. Sensation-seeking, attachment style, and motives for watching television dating shows were predictive of viewing practices. These findings suggest that viewing television programming such as dating shows may be a viable source of arousal for sensation seekers. Both theoretical and applied implications of these findings are explored.
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