Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Individuals usually satisfy the universal need to belong through close personal relationships (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). However, introverts engage less in the social behaviors that provide the opportunity to establish and maintain these relationships (Mehl, Gosling, & Pennebaker, 2006; Rusting & Larsen, 1995). Some evidence suggests that the close relationships of introverts are less fulfilling than those of extraverts (Berry, Willingham, & Thayer, 2000; Watson, Hubbard, & Wiese, 2000). Thus, supplementary ways of filling belongingness needs might benefit introverts. According to the Social Surrogacy Hypothesis, one such way is through parasocial interaction (Derrick, Gabriel, & Hugenberg, 2009), i.e., the one-sided relationships people form with personalities from television or other media (Horton & Wohl, 1956). Research has shown that parasocial relationships may be potent supplements to real relationships in sating the need to belong (Derrick, Gabriel, & Tippin, 2008). Furthermore, the Compensatory Paradigm of Parasocial Interaction posits that individuals with various social challenges compensate for insufficiencies in their real relationships with parasocial ones (Horton & Wohl). This dissertation sought support for both the Social Surrogacy Hypothesis and the Compensatory Paradigm of Parasocial Interaction with respect to the personality trait of introversion. Specifically, I investigated whether introverts derive the benefits that extraverts get from real relationships through parasocial relationships instead. I also investigated whether parasocial relationships exert their power specifically by filling belongingness needs, as opposed to exerting their power by improving mood.

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Creative Commons License
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