Parasocial interaction and parasocial relationship are often conflated conceptually and methodologically, leaving researchers unclear as to which concept is being tapped. This research clarifies these concepts and experimentally compares the most common measure of parasocial interaction, the Parasocial Interaction Scale (PSI-Scale), with a newer measure, the Experience of Parasocial Interaction Scale (EPSI-Scale). Participants (N = 383) viewed a brief videorecording of a woman who either bodily addressed the viewer or not, then completed a questionnaire. The EPSI-Scale was a better measure of parasocial interaction, understood as a within-viewing experience of mutual awareness, whereas the PSI-Scale may measure short- or long-term liking, or something else. To avoid conceptual and empirical confusion, researchers must choose measures with greater care.
Dibble, J. L., Hartmann, T., & Rosaen, S. F. (2016). Parasocial interaction and parasocial relationship: Conceptual clarification and a critical assessment of measures. Human Communication Research, 42(1), 21-44. https://doi.org/10.1111/hcre.12063