research into intense fandom, celebrity stalking: attachment theory

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Psychology unit 4 media revision
Research into intense fandom, celebrity stalking
Attachment theory
Bowlby's continuality hypothesis and the internal working model suggests that
early childhood will impact the type of adult relationships in the future. Type C
children have developed a fear of being rejected and so their adult relationships
will be unsuccessful.
Bartholomew and Horowitz suggested that type C children will develop a
preoccupied attachment style as adults. These individuals will view themselves
negatively but view other in a very positive light. They seek to gain their
attachment figure's approval and in order to boost their feelings of self worth,
preoccupied adults are the most likely to be involved in stalking.
Tonin found that out of 24 stalkers, all had resistant attachment types as
children, by using several questionnaires. He also found that fixated stalkers
(those who stalk one person) were more preoccupied than serial stalkers (those
who stalk lots of people). This supports attachment theory as it shows that people
with resistant attachment types are more likely to stalk. However it also shows
that fixated stalkers are the most preoccupied which undermines the theory as all
stalkers should be preoccupied according to the theory.
Llangbiorichen-Rohling studied 287 college students by using questionnaires and
found that partner specific experiences and love styles were significant
predictors of post relationship pursuit behaviours (stalking). This shows that adult
attachment style influenced stalking behaviour after a relationship ended.
McCutcheon used questionnaires to measure attachment type of 299 students
and found that those with resistant childhood attachments were most likely to
think that stalking behaviour is acceptable. This shows that attachment types in
childhood can influence the likelihood of stalking.
Kienlin found that out of a sample of 24 stalkers, 63% had experienced a
disturbed childhood leading to a preoccupied attachment style. This shows that
attachment style can influence a level of stalking.
General evaluation
Most research used questionnaires which can lead to invalid results through
social desirability bias so conclusions may be incorrect based on this evidence.

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Psychology unit 4 media revision
Doesn't explain celebrity stalking as research focuses on ex-relationship
stalking so we still don't know what causes celebrity stalking
Retrospective data collection as participants had to remember their childhood
so results may be inaccurate.
Low population validity as most studied had samples that were too small meaning
there are issues generalising results to other participants.…read more


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