Explanations for intense fandom (celebrity worship): attachment type

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Media psychology
Explanations for intense fandom (celebrity worship)- research into the link to
attachment type
Description
Avoidant individuals who have a difficult time trusting others and often engage in
behaviours designed to keep others at a comfortable distance.
Secure adults offer support when their partner feels distressed. They also go to
their partner for comfort when they themselves feel troubled. Their relationship
tends to be honest, open and equal with both people feeling independent yet loving
towards each other.
People with resistant attachment tend to be desperate to form a fantasy bond.
Instead of feeling real love or trust toward their partner, they often feel
emotional hunger. They're frequently looking to their partner to rescue or
complete them.
The type of person most likely to worship celebrities is type c resistant as they
can't be rejected but want the friendship and they are desperate to form a
fantasy bond.
Evidence
Cole and Leets
Looked at 115 students and gave them 2 questionnaires each to do, one which
measured their attachment type and one which measured their worship level. They
found that type C's were most likely to worship celebrities. However, as it used
questionnaires it could be biased and it only used students so it would lack
population validity.
Cohen
This study examined the responses of TV viewers to the potential loss of their
favourite TV characters. A sample of 381 Israeli adults completed questionnaires
including questions about their relationships with their favourite TV characters,
how they would feel if those characters were taken off air and their attachment
styles. Results showed that viewers expecting to lose their favourite characters
anticipate negative reactions similar to those experienced after the dissolution of
social relationships. These reactions were related both to the intensity of the
parasocial relationship with the favourite character and the viewers attachment
style. Resistant respondents anticipated the most negative responses.
Evaluation

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Media psychology
Population validity: both studies have poor population validity as they only
focus on one culture. They study be Cole and Leets looked only at students but the
study by Cohen has slightly better population validity as it looked at adults.
However, as both these studies found the same results then the results can be
generalised.
External reliability: individually the Cole and Leets and the Cohen studies have
low external reliability because there is no evidence of test retest reliability.…read more

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