Thursday, November 29, 2012
Reality TV Fans are "Neurotic," Survey Says
The online survey, completed by 18,945 participants, revealed that those who watched non-competition reality shows are more extroverted, neurotic, and have lower self-esteem than television watchers who are not fans of the genre; 70 percent of self-described hardcore fans considered themselves to fall into this category.
“When we set out to find out why fans watched shows like ‘Teen Mom’ and ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,’ we weren’t expecting those fans to consider themselves as having lower self-esteem,’ said Courtney Hazlett, TODAY.com pop culture correspondent. “Ultimately, the mixed bag of feelings those shows conjure—amusement, horror, satisfaction in your own choices—are ultimately driving forces in getting people to tune in to reality programming. Whether these shows do any real harm—the jury is out.”
Frequent TODAY contributor, psychiatrist Gail Saltz added that reality programming and a person on the neurotic spectrum actually have common ground. “Neurotic people tend to be worried about how others will judge them. Then you have ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ – here’s the family who’s the epitome of ‘we don’t care.’ That would be an enjoyable thing to watch for a person who’s walking around thinking, ‘I have to think about what people say.’”
BOTH MEN AND WOMEN LOVE THEIR “HOUSEWIVES”
Women (49%) were more likely than men (24%) to watch reality TV. The favorite show among men: “Deadliest Catch” and the “Real Housewives” franchise. The” Kardashians” and “Housewives” top women’s favorite shows.
SOME LIKE TO MAKE FUN OF REALITY TV STARS
The survey revealed that 37 percent of participants said they like making fun of the people on unscripted reality shows.
A GLIMPSE INTO THE LIVES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS
More women (46 percent) than men (26 percent) said they watch because they like seeing how people with money, fame and status live their lives.
WATCHING REALITY TV IS LIKE WATCHING A “TRAIN WRECK”
The poll found that 72 percent of women and 60 percent of men admitted that reality programming alleviated their boredom; 71 percent of women and 59 percent said they watch it because it’s “like a train wreck.”
Read more at TODAY.com: Reality Check for Reality TV Fans.
The survey was hosted on TODAY.com October 5-10, 2012. A total of 18,945 readers participated in the survey. The average age in the sample was 48, with most participants falling between ages 35-60.