Phenomena of Parasocial Interaction as the Main Element of Stereotypical Behaviour and Its Influence on Theory of Mind in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders


  • Veronika Mattová Comenius University in Bratislava



Despite the fact that we have recently sought a holistic view of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and linked it to innovative approaches with multiple therapies, in order to support their cognitive abilities associated with the theory of mind (ToM), like an ability to attribute mental states (such as desires, beliefs or intentions) to oneself or others [1], such as an interpretive speech, symbolic thinking, or contextual awareness [2], we are still trying to find a way that would provide them with the most effective support in their individual development [3].

Aims and Objectives

The core of this research stands on the variety of the studies, trying to unveil the possible correlation between the influence of PI on individuals with ASD and their ability to develop certain skills, related to ToM., which has become also the main hypothesis for this work.

A specific type of interaction, depicted in our study- parasocial one, often described as a one-sided relationship with an imaginary or real-life figure, is very prevalent in the adolescent age group [3]. Therefore, the process of deciphering the different effects of PI on the individuals with ASD will be soon transferred into the

empirical study, with four types of questionnaires (AQ, Empathy, Theory of Mind and Parasocial Interaction) in order to preserve a holistic view of the mentioned research attempts.


Although data collection was not finalised yet, we believe that principal component analysis, which will be applied to the received data, due to its power to get rid of additional data, will prove our proposed hypothesis. Hence, the outcome of this study lies in the summary of all possible effects after PI impact, contributing to future research attempts.


[1] R. El Kaddouri, L. Bardi, D. De Bremaeker, M. Brass and J. Wiersema, “Measuring spontaneous mentalizing with a ball detection task: putting the attention-check hypothesis by Phillips and colleagues (2015) to the test”, Psychological Research, vol. 84 no. 6 pp. 1749–1757, 2019. Available: 10.1007/s00426–019-01181–7

[2] I. Visuri, “A Room of One’s Own: Autistic Imagination as a Stage for Parasocial Interaction and Social Learning,” Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, vol. 5 no. 1 pp. 100–124, 2020. Available: d o i . o r g / 1 0 . 1 5 5 8 / j c s r. 3 7 5 1 8

[3] T. R. Gleason, S. A. Theran and E. M. Newberg, “Parasocial Interactions and Relationships in Early Adolescence,” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, 2017. /10.3389/fpsyg.2017.0025 5