The social psychological explanation for the attraction of celebrities

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  • Social psychological - attraction of celebs!
    • Parasocial relationships
      • A relationship in which an individual is attracted to another, but the target individual is usually unaware of the existence of the person who has created the relationship.
      • Common amongst celebs and their fans.
      • Some favour this relationship as it makes few demands and doesn't run the risk of rejection.
      • Schippa et al 2007 - relationships are most likely to occur with TV celebs who are seen as attractive or similar to the viewer.
      • Derrick et al 2008 - Those with low self esteem saw their favourite celeb as their ideal self.
      • Evaluation
        • Parasocial relationships are commonly believed to be dysfunctional but no evidence to support this.
        • Social benefits are offered by parasocial relationships.
        • Maltby et al 2005 - found a link with adolescents females, poor body image and parasocial relationships with celebs that are slim.
    • The absorption addiction
      • McCutheon et al 2002 - some individuals with compromised identity become absorbed in celebs in order to establish their own identity and lack of meaningful relationships in real life.
      • Giles and Maltby 2006 - outline three levels in this process.
        • 1. Entertainment social - fan is attracted to the celeb as a source of entertainment
        • 2. Intense personal - fan has intense and compulsive feelings about the celeb.
        • 3. Boderline pathological - uncontrollable fantasy or behaviour re a celeb and belief of a real relationship.
      • Evaluation
        • Interaction with celeb determined the effect of body image (Maltby).


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