Reality docuseries have dominated primetime airwaves for the greater part of three decades. However, little is known about how viewers who are enamored with the genre’s most aggressive characters are influenced. Using Glaser’s (1956) theory of differential identification, this study employs survey data from 210 college students at a historically Black college and university to explore whether identification with characters from aggressive reality docuseries (ARDs) and the frequency of viewing ARD are positively associated with cyberbullying. Results of multivariate analyses revealed that men were more likely than women to publicly shame others and air other’s dirty laundry online. Additionally, the frequency of viewing ARDs was positively associated with all cyberbullying outcomes, while identification with ARD characters was positively associated with trolling others online. This study contributes to an emerging body of literature about the impact of viewing reality television on antisocial behavior.
Fowler, J. , Beneby, D. R. & Fuller, K. L. (2022). Aggressive Reality Docuseries and Cyberbullying: A Partial Test of Glaser’s Differential Identification Theory. International Journal of Cybersecurity Intelligence & Cybercrime: 5(3), 4-19. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/ijcic/vol5/iss3/2
Copyright © 2022 J. Ra’Chel Fowler, Darren R. Beneby, and Kenethia L. Fuller