In order of importance/likely to come up for June 2011 exam.

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  • Created on: 11-06-11 14:39

Intense Fandom

Celebrity Worship

  • Celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS) - lows scores = individual behaviour, high scores = obsession.

- Cheung and Yue (2003): in a survey of 833 Chinese teenagers, 'idol worship' associated with lower levels of work/study, lower self esteem.

- Phillips (1974): high profile celebrity suicides lead to increased suicide in general population.

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  • Persistant attempts to impose unwanted communication and/or contact on another person.
  • 1/5 develop a 'love obsession' or 'fixation', suffer dellusional thought patterns and mental disorders.
  • More common - having previous personal or romantic relationship existed before.

- Dressing et al., (2005): survey in Germany - 11.5% had been stalked, physical effects such as agitatio, anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression.

- Cyberstalking - attractive as less risk.

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Influence of Attitudes of Decision Making

Cognitive Dissonance Theory - Festinger (1957)

  • When people perceive themselves as having acted in a way that is contrary to their underlying beliefs and attitudes, so try reduce this dissonance by modifying their attitude to fit.
  • Changing attitude/belief reduces dissonance and restores consistency.

- Festinger and Carlsmith (1959): monotomous task for an hour, pps then had to explain how interesting or boring it was.

  • those paid $20 were more likely to say it was boring, those paid $1 were more likely to say it was interesting (as they changed their beliefs to fit their actions - to reduce dissonance).
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Self Perception Theory - Bem (1967)

  • Attitude follows behaviour.
  • Argues that people infer their attitudes, emotions, etc. by observing their own behaviour.

- carried out 'Festinger and Carlsmith' type experiment, this time pps listened to a man enthusiastically describing a boring task.

  • those told he was paid $1 said he had really enjoyed the task, the mans positive attitude was determined by his own self-perception.
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The Attraction of Celebrity

Evolutionary Explanations

  • Attraction to creative individuals - humans possess love of novelty,

- novelty seeking tendencies correlate with enzyme MAOA, may be a genetic basis?

  • Celebrity Gossip - the exchange of information about others socially.

- De Backer (2005): gossip creates bands.

- Barkow (1992): our minds think media characters are part of our social network.

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Social-Psychology Explanations

  • Parasocial Relationships - where an individual is attracted to another individual but the other is unaware of their existance.

- Schiappa et al., (2007): meta-analysis, parasocial relationships are most likely to form with TV celebrities who are seen as attractive and similar to the viewer.

  • The 'Absorption-Addiction Model' - addiction leads a person to more extreme behaviours in order to sustain satisfaction with the relationship they have developed; entertainment social (fans are attracted to a celebrity because of their entertainment ability), intense-personal (intensive and compulsive feelings about them), borderline-pathological (uncontrollable behaviours and fantasies).
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Video Games and Aggression

  • Experimental Studies...allow causal relationships

- Gentile and Stone (2005): lab experiment, video games lead to short term increases in physiological arousal, hostile feelings and aggressive behaviour.

- cannot measure aggression (would be unethical), experimental studies measure short-term effects only.

  • Correlational Studies...can measure 'real-life' aggression and long-term effects

- Gentile and Anderson (2003): 600 adolescents, found time spent playing violent video games was associated with aggressive feelings, arguments with teachers and more physical fights.

- cause cannot be determined. 

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  • Longitudinal Studies...can examine short-term and long-term effects

- Ihori et al., (2003): 800 Japanese 9-10 year olds surveyed twce during school year, amount of video game played was then later associated with physical aggression, but not vice versa.

- pps may be exposed to other forms of media violence throughout the year - making it difficult to measure what comes from video games.

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Explanations of Media Influences on Anti-social Be

Huesmann and Moise (1966) suggested 5 ways that exposue to media violence may lead to aggression in children:

Observational Learning and Imitation

  • Social Learning Theory supports view that children learn specific acts of aggression through imitating models.

- bobo dolls

Cognitive Priming

  • Activation of existing thought and feelings.
  • Explains why children witness one aggressive act on TV but repeat another.

- Josephson (1987): hockey players were deliberately frustrated then shown a violence or non-violent film and in the next game they played more aggressively if shown the violent video.

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- Cumberbatch (2001): people might get 'used' to screen violence but this does not apply to the real world.

Lowered Physiological Arousal

  • Like desensitisation, violence becomes less effective so seems less of a problem.


  • Violent behaviours on TV may provide a justification for a childs violent behaviour.

- Liss and Reinhardt (1979): mixing pro-social and anti-social messages is bad, use of aggression by pro-social characters leads to a moral justification.

* gender bias, demand characteristics

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Persuasion and Attitude Change

Hovland-Yale Model of Attitude Change

Source (who) --> Message (what) --> Audience (whom)

Source Factors:

  • Experts are more credible, popular and attractive sources: more effective.

- Morton and Campbell (2008): children received information about an autistic child from many sources and found children reported more favourable attitudes when infomation was provided by an expert.

Message Factors:

  • When thought message is not intended to persuade, when creating a moderate level of fear: more effective.

- Lewis et al., (2008): fear arousing messages were most effective after immediate exposure but long-term attitude change was more likely with positive campaigns.

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Audience Factors:

  • Low and high intelligence less effected.

- Igartua et al., (2003): audience with high involvement react different than those with low involvement.

* can't generalise (samples usually students - age, health, wealth not of general population).

* lacks mundane realism (as experimenters reduce variables).

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Elaboration-likelihood Model of Attitude Change

Central Route to Persuasion

  • Used is audience is more likely to focus on arguments.
  • Audience motivated to think about the message --> focus on quality of arguments --> lasting attitude change.

- Cacioppo and Petty (1982): some people enjoy analysing arguments (high need for cognition.

Peripheral Route to Persuasion

  • Used if audience is likely to focus on context of the message than the message itself.
  • Audience not motivated to think about the message --> focus on peripheral factors --> temporary attitude change.

- Fiske and Taylor (1984): most people are 'cognitive misers' (use simple and time efficient strategies when making decisions).

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* real-life application: Vidrine et al., (2007): 227 student smokers, given a fact based leaflet on smoking, high NC responded; given an emotion based leaflet on smoking, low NC responded.

* gener bias - studies show women are more susceptible to persuasive communications.

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