Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Psychology of Popular Media

First Page


Last Page




Additional Publication URL


There is mounting evidence that fans of science fiction/fantasy media texts are more likely to be socially stigmatized than sports fans, but the implications of this stigma for social interaction have not been established. To examine the roles of fandom community membership and social context in causing social perceptions of, and behavioral intentions toward, popular media culture fandom community members, we conducted a 2 (partner fandom type: science fiction/fantasy vs. sports) × 2 (task type: social task vs. technical task) between-subjects experiment. Results reveal that the science fiction/fantasy fan was perceived as less physically attractive and more task attractive compared to the sports fan. Participants’ own science fiction/fantasy fandom interacted with partner fandom type in predicting social attraction, such that for those who were told they would be partnered with the science fiction/fantasy fan, there was a positive linear association between the participant’s own fandom and social attraction. This finding did not hold for the sports fan condition. Social and task attraction, but not physical attraction, predicted behavioral intentions toward the fans.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by American Psychological Association in Psychology of Popular Media, available online:

Included in

Communication Commons