top-rated free essay

Determining Factors of Reality TV's Popularity

By laginaw Mar 27, 2011 577 Words
Getting Real With Reality TV
POC PGS. 291-294

In the article “Getting Real With Reality TV” published in the 5th edition of Perspectives on Contemporary Issues, author Cynthia M. Frisby argues that the reason that reality TV stays so popular is because of the audiences media gratification from social comparisons in the mass media.

According to CBS, the same element of being human that encourages people to gossip about the lives of their friends, family, and even total strangers is what fosters an audience for reality television (292). However she feels that it is something else that creates a reality television audience and it is the social comparison. Frisby believes that despite the shifting desires of society and fickleness of television audience, the human need to compare and relate has provided a market for this genre (294).

One major reason that Frisby feels that reality TV stays popular to the audience is because of the benefit of media gratification from social comparison. “people may compare themselves with others in their immediate environment or in mass media in order to judge their own personal worth (293). Frisby states that individuals compare their selves for various reasons “to determine relative standing on an issue or related ability; emulate behaviors; determine norms; lift spirits or feel better about life and personal situations; and evaluate emotions, personality, and self-worth (292). There is also the upward comparison in which there is a individual who is superior to or better off another individual, but on the other hand “self improvement is the main effect of an upward comparison because the targets serve as role models, teaching and motivating individuals to achieve or overcome similar problems (292).

Frisby believes that social comparison does not mean that the individual has to give careful, elaborate, conscious thought about the comparison, but implies that there has to be, to some degree, an attempt to identify or look for similarities or differences between the other and self on some particular dimension (293). Theorist argues Frisby’s claim that “for a comparison to be considered a comparison, the individual must be aware of the comparison and come into direct contact with the other person” (293).

In Frisby’s complete a uses and gratification survey she came up with two goals in mind to show that certain television shows may cause social comparison and to show that “viewers use reality television and images as a source for social comparison” (293). After doing this research she then conducted a analysis of all the thoughts that were given while watching reality television. Frisbys final thoughts were that regular reality television viewers and non reality television viewers responses did not differ.

Frisby states “that one major effect of exposure to reality television is to feel better about ones own life circumstances, abilities, and talents” (294). Whether if the aim of the show is about love, surviving to win money, to become a singer or for other creative expressions the results of reality viewers and non viewers are all the same. Reality television viewers like the fact that they are going through the same problems and that they can compare their living experiences and also can feel at ease that they have once made the same mistakes. Frisby feels as if “through a vicarious social comparison process (294). That viewers can one day land it big like “falling in love, winning $1,000,000, or getting the office snitch fired (294).

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Popularity of Reality Shows

    ...the day, you are almost sure to find a reality show on some channel or the other. Chances are that you have watched at least one of these shows and have taken a fancy to following the minutiae of the contestants’ lives as they unfold on the small screen right in front of your eyes. What is it about these shows in which they take ordinary peopl...

    Read More
  • Determining Risk Factors of Eating Disorders

    ...Determining risk factors, consequences, and protective measures of Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorders Determining risk factors, consequences, and protective measures of Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorders Body image is an individual’s perception of his or her own body in terms of sexual attractiveness. Human society h...

    Read More
  • Factors determining Capital Structure

    ...and machineries, inventory, accounts receivable and so on. A finance manager has to choose the most appropriate source of financing these activities from various sources available like equity, preference shares, debenture stock, term loans from banks or financial institutions, short term borrowings, supplier’s credit etc. The various factors ...

    Read More
  • Reality

    ...Today, people are born into a generation where people care only for themselves more than ever. People want the best and nothing but the best. In Jean Twinge’s essay, “An Army of One: Me,” it focuses on the self-esteem that people have and how it is related to the happiness in which people want to feel. Having high self-esteem will contr...

    Read More
  • The Popularity of Reality Shows Among Young People

    ...see on television is not reality, it is just a mere spectacle. REALITY SHOWS The reality television phenomenon did not come to our television screens suddenly. It has been developing for almost sixty years. The start of including ordinary people in television began with a show called “Candid camera” in 1948, and since then the idea of docu...

    Read More
  • Factors Determining the Severity of Volcanic Processes and therefore cannot suddenly erupt explosively. On the other hand, where there is acid (andesitic and rhyolitic) magma, the silica content is high therefore it has a high viscosity meaning gas bubbles struggle to expand and the magma often solidifies before it reaches the surface. These solidified sills and dykes cause a blockage t...

    Read More
  • Popularity of Reality Tv

    ...Popularity of Reality Shows Cause and effect essay Television tends to influence people’s life more than they actually think. Some television shows appear to be “real” ,such as soap operas and daytime dramas, altering the viewers’ perception of reality by making them blend in fantasy and fiction, but one kind of show has taken over t...

    Read More
  • Explain the Increase in Popularity of the Genre of Reality Television

    ...The concept of reality television is defined as genre of programming in which the fortunes of everyday individuals, as opposed to actors, or fictional characters are followed (Soong, 2003). Although these programs have always been prevalent within society, it is only within these last two years that reality television has achieved its greatest s...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.