Current Psychology

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 638–642 | Cite as

Optimal Distinctiveness and Identification with the Furry Fandom

  • Stephen ReysenEmail author
  • Courtney N. Plante
  • Sharon E. Roberts
  • Kathleen C. Gerbasi


We examined perceptions of optimal distinctiveness in the furry fandom and the relationship between this perception and identification with the furry fandom. Self-identified furries (N = 2998) completed measures of optimal distinctiveness that included felt inclusion/belongingness with the fandom and a measure of perceived group distinctiveness from other groups. Participants also completed a measure of identification with the fandom. Results revealed an interaction between felt belongingness and perceived distinctiveness that predicted fandom identification. Furries who felt both a high degree of belonging/inclusion to the fandom and who perceived the group to be distinct from other fandoms expressed the highest level of identification with the fandom. The results support prior optimal distinctiveness research and demonstrate that furries’ motivation to feel psychologically connected to the furry fandom is driven, in part, by the need for optimal distinctiveness.


Optimal distinctiveness Belonging Inclusion Distinct Furry Identification 



This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Reysen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Courtney N. Plante
    • 2
  • Sharon E. Roberts
    • 2
  • Kathleen C. Gerbasi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTexas A&M University-CommerceCommerceUSA
  2. 2.Renison University CollegeUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.Niagara County Community CollegeSanbornUSA

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