The Nature of FoMO: Trait and State Fear-of-Missing-Out and Their Relationships to Entertainment Television Consumption

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Mass Communication and Journalism




Fear-of-missing-out, or FoMO, is the experience of believing that other people are having an enjoyable experience from which one is absent. FoMO has been identified in previous research as a personality trait, rather than a state that can change based on situational factors. This study set out to establish if FoMO can be a state that varies within an individual as experiences change, and to adapt the existing FoMO trait scale into a scale which can be used to measure state FoMO. Within the context of the Game of Thrones finale, results demonstrated that trait and state FoMO are two different factors, whereby increased trait FoMO indicated that a person was more likely to have caught up to new episodes of Game of Thrones, perhaps because of buzz about the show that gave people FoMO. This study also identified some related concepts that both trait and state FoMO predict – such as whether a person had watched Game of Thrones and how early in the series they had begun to watch it. A state FoMO scale for use in future research is proposed.

Publication Title

Atlantic Journal of Communication

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