Optimal Distinctiveness and Identification with the Furry Fandom

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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

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Correspondence to Stephen Reysen.

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Reysen, S., Plante, C.N., Roberts, S.E. et al. Optimal Distinctiveness and Identification with the Furry Fandom. Curr Psychol 35, 638–642 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-015-9331-0

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Keywords

  • Optimal distinctiveness
  • Belonging
  • Inclusion
  • Distinct
  • Furry
  • Identification