Research into intense fandom, celebrity stalking: relational goal pursuit theory

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Psychology unit 4 media revision
Research into intense fandom, celebrity stalking
Relational goal pursuit theory
An individual links 2 goals of their own happiness with being in a relationship with
someone. When their attainment of the secondary goal, their relationship, is
thwarted they dwell or ruminate on the reasons why and this causes emotional
flooding. The person believes that the only way to reduce these negative emotions
is to achieve the secondary goal of the relationship. This leads to increased
motivation and an obsessional drive to achieve the goal which causes stalking to
Putton-Greene gave 288 students questionnaires and found that those who were
most likely to stalk ex partners were possessive, angry and had ruminated after
the termination of a previous relationship. This shows that rumination promotes
Cupach found that in 400 students, goal linking and rumination were associated
with pursuit behaviours (stalking). This supports the idea that goal linking and
rumination promote stalking although it doesn't account for the whole theory as it
says that emotional flooding wasn't linked to pursuit behaviours.
General evaluation
Most studies used questionnaires and study emotionally sensitive topics.
Therefore social desirability bias may be an issue.
Only focuses on ex-relationship stalking so it doesn't explain the causes of
celebrity stalking which may have different causes.


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