My friend Harry’s a wizard: Predicting parasocial interaction with characters from fiction.

We explored parasocial interactions with characters from a narrow range of books and movies, namely, those featuring the character “Harry Potter.” Following research that suggests that parasocial interactions are multidimensional, we investigated which personality, reading, and viewing motives predicted 4 dimensions of parasocial interaction with characters in the “Harry Potter” series. The pattern of significant predictors indicated that interpersonal aspects of reading (neuroticism and reading for companionship) and sociable aspects of movie viewing (openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and viewing to be sociable) lead to greater experience of the dimensions of parasocial interaction. We suggest that these factors relate to the availability of interactive media and experiences surrounding this series, and the series representing mainstream rather than subcultural media. Results support the suggestion that parasocial interaction is multidimensional and demonstrate that factors predicting these dimensions may vary dependent on the medium in which the favored persona is presented, or on the identity of the favored persona. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)