Determining Factors of Reality TV’s Popularity

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).

Order a unique copy of this paper
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Basic Guarantees
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Free unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free papers
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Progressive delivery
  • Plagiarism report
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double or single line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Writing quality papers is a TOP priority. One expert takes one order at a time.
The service package includes topic brainstorm, research, drafting, proofreading, plagiarism check, citation formatting, and revisions.

Money-back guarantee

We appreciate how valuable your time is. Hence, we make sure all custom papers are 100% original and delivered within the agreed time frame

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is written from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

We see it as our duty to follow all instruction the client provides. If you feel the completed paper does not meet your exact requirements, we will revise the paper if you let us know about the problem within 14 business days from the date of delivery.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, we use your personal data for legal purposes only and in accordance with personal data protection law. Your payment details are also secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

You can easily contact us with any question or issues you need to be addressed. Also, you have the opportunity to communicate directly with assigned writer, e-mail us, submit revision requests, chat with us online, or call our toll-free on our site. We are always available to our customers.

Read more

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages