This study investigated whether perceptions of reality programs’ authenticity are associated with viewer involvement, enjoyment, and perceived learning.240 viewers completed a survey about their impressions of the reality program they watch most frequently. Four dimensions of the perceived authenticity were identified: cast eccentricity, representativeness, candidness, and producer manipulation. Perceptions that the cast was not eccentric, that they were representative of people the respondents could meet, that they were behaving candidly, and that the producers were manipulating the show were associated with cognitive involvement. Cast representativeness was also positively associated with social involvement. Cognitive and social involvement were each associated with enjoyment. Perceptions of the cast members’ representativeness, candidness, and lack of eccentricity were associated with increases in perceived learning from the shows.
Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media
Final draft post-refereeing: Alice Hall. "Perceptions of the Authenticity of Reality Programs and Their Relationships to Audience Involvement, Enjoyment, and Perceived Learning" Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media Vol. 53 Iss. 4 (2009) p. 515 - 531