Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sinclair, H. Colleen

Committee Member

Giesen, J. Martin

Committee Member

Williams, Kevin

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


I coded a random sample of 266 movies to test whether previous researcher’s assertions that the media legitimizes unwanted courtship persistence (UCP) and minimizes stalking behavior is true. Consistent with their assertions, I found that the media does frequently depict stories of unwanted courtship persistence, and they were portrayed, on average, as acceptable. Although pursuers were generally portrayed positively, pursuers who engaged in UCP were more likely to be portrayed negatively than non-UCP pursuers. However, UCP pursuers were more successful than non-UCP pursuers in winning over their love interest. Using Cupach and Spitzberg’s (2004) Obsessional Relational Intrusion (ORI) scale, I found that pursuers engaged in an average of 7 ORI behaviors throughout their pursuit, and many behaviors were portrayed as acceptable, if not positively. Only harassment, coercion and threat, and aggression and violence were portrayed negatively. Implications are tied into Bushman and Anderson’s (2002) General Aggression Model.



unwanted courtship persistence||media||stalking