Relationships between Human Beings and Objects: An Extension of Parasocial Interaction

Objects have been playing a crucial role as a medium of people’s interpersonal relationships and communication for a long time. Though the nature and types of objects evolved over time, their natural association shows presence of a strong interaction between them. Human-object interaction is, however, not studied widely despite having much research on relationships between two individuals. Keeping that idea in mind, this study examines human-object interaction, an extension of parasocial interaction, for a robust understanding on how the interaction develops and progresses between a person and an object over time. Findings of the analysis include that frequent use of and visiting an object create a one-way interaction of users or visitors with that object, and the human-object parasocial interaction evolves in phases.

Digital Natives and Perceived Technology Skills: Bridging the Digital Divide between Natives

Over the past few decades, the importance of technology has risen significantly in the workplace. Young graduates are hired with the expectation that their technology skills exceed those of the preceding generations. Previous research has shown that there are generational gaps between employer expectations and the real skills of young graduates which have led to dissatisfaction and misunderstanding. One of these generational gaps consists of perceived technological skills. In fact, Millennials, also known as digital natives, are not as technologically-savvy as employers are led to believe. While these digital natives have grown up with technology, their use is rudiment at best. The results from this study derive from a quantitative survey distributed to first year students at an international hospitality school in Switzerland. Students rated their comfortability with eight specific IT tasks and were also asked to allocate a percentage out of 100 to five areas recruiters seek from new employees: people-savvy, tech-savvy, loyalty, fun-loving, and hard-working. The results showed that international Millennials rate their comfortability with technology much lower than Millennials in similar studies conducted with American students. This study examines how Millennials perceive their technology skill gaps and what can be done to bridge this gap in the workplace.

Persuading the Masses to Participate in a Rally: A Study of Media Photographs

A recent study indicated that media bias could be found when the theory of social proof is applied to photographic coverage of a social movement. This study sought to understand if individuals would act on the biased media photographs and take part in the social movement. Results showed no statistical support. However, results revealed that respondents found the elements of social proof highly memorable when extended through the biased media photographs. Practical implications for issue advocates and public relations practitioners are discussed.