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Böcking, Tabea; Fahr, Andreas (2009): Television program avoidance and personality. In: Communications - European Journal of Communication Research, Vol. 34, No. 3: pp. 323-344




Recent communication research indicates that approach and avoidance constitute two separate yet co-existing processes during media exposure. While many studies address TV approach behavior, little is known about TV avoidance behavior. Furthermore, personality has yet to be linked to avoidance behavior. This study analyzes the influence of personality on TV program avoidance. Data show that the "Big Five" personality characteristics (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness) and Risk and Fight Willingness influence program avoidance, albeit to varying degrees. While the specific correlations are discussed in the paper, the results generally reveal that the combination of personality and avoidance has added value in terms of understanding of TV using behavior compared to the frequently analyzed link between personality and approach. For nearly all personality characteristics, data show that the avoidance perspective is more than the inversion of the approach perspective. The findings are discussed with reference to gratification and selectivity research.