MEDIA PSYCHOLOGY

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  • Created on: 02-11-14 16:18

MEDIA INFLUENCES ON PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

EXPLANATIONS

Exposure to Prosocial Behaviour: Clear evidence of prosocial content in childrens TV shows, Greenberg et al- analysed childrens programmes, found equal no's of pro/anti social acts

Acquisition of prosocial behaviours and norms: Learn by observation when its acceptable to do so (Bandura), prosocial acts reinforce social norms, are rewarded for imitating prosocial acts.

Developmental Factors: Research suggests many prosocial skills develop later in childhood eg.empathy, so younger children less affected by prosocial betrayal in the media

Parental Mediation: For children the effects of tv viewing is mediated by the parents. Austin- suggests effective mediation is discussion with the child following up the concepts and explaining material.

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EVALUATION OF MEDIA ON PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

EVALUATION

Exposure: Research Support -> Woodard-> found US TV shows for young children have high levels of prosocial behaviours, 77% had at least one example per show-> however did find in U17's shows only 4/20 showed examples of prosocial acts

Acquisition: Research Support -> Mares and Woodard (2001) -> found children most affected when shown exact steps for prosocial acts, children less able to remember abstract concepts than concrete, -> however learning these norms is less common from the media, especially with parental mediation, also must be exact steps

Developmental: Challenging Research-> Mares (1996) -> meta analysis, found weakest effects on adolescents and strongest on primary school children, -> However, unrealistic expectation that the media has effect on young children as are more influenced  by home experiences. 

Parental Mediation: Real World Application -> Sesame St, aimed to nurture prosocial behaviour in inner city children, however children from socioeconomic backgrounds benefitted most due to parental mediation, Not all forms of PM work -> Valkenburg -> social co-viewing may not discuss therefore is largely ineffective. 

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MEDIA INFLUENCES ON PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

BEHAVIOURAL EFFECTS 

MARES META-ANALYSIS (1996)- Discovered four main behavioural effects of prosocial tv

  • Altruism eg.sharing/helping : Children viewing prosocial content behaved more altruistically than those who viewed netural or antisocial content 
  • Self Control eg. temptation/task resistance: When exposed to a model demonstarting self control, children then showed higher personal levels of self control 
  • Positive Interaction eg. friendly/peaceful conflict resolution: Children watching prosocial programmes behaved more positively towards other children 
  • Anti-Sterotyping: Programmes which feature counter stereotypical themes resulted in children becoming less stereotyped or predjudiced in their attitudes.
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EVALUATION OF MEDIA ON PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

BEHAVIOURAL EFFECTS 

MARES META ANALYSIS:

  • Television isnt the only source of prosocial messages -> Mares and Woodard -> other media forms have prosocial effects eg. childrens books, read over again reinforces the message 
  • Limitations in effectiveness of prosocial messages -> Mares found that children imitate prosocial acts directly and cant generalise them but can can generalise aggression to other antisocial behaviours, -> lack of generalisability limits effectiveness of prosical messages in the media
  • Antisocial messages can overshadow prosocial -> mixing messages reduce effectiveness of prosocial -> Mares and Woodard -> found children watching mixed messages behaved more aggressively than those who only watched aggressive content 
  • Real World Application -> Walt Disney produces DVDs for babies -> Zimmerman et al claim watching these leads to poorer developmental outcomes -> American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no tv for children under 2yrs as is assosciated with attnetion and behavioural problems later in life.
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MEDIA INFLUENCES ON ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING AND IMITATION: Children observe actions of media models and may later imitate especially if admire and identify with the model, TV may inform viewers of positive and negative consequences of violent behaviour, the more real children percieve violent TV, the more they believe they are alike the characters, the more likely to are to try modelled behaviour. Children often copy-cat violent behaviour that is successful- vicarious reinforcement. 

COGNITIVE PRIMING: Immediately after watching a violent programme a viewer is primed to respond aggressively as a network of memories involving aggression is recieved, Frequent exposure to scenes of violence may lead children to store scripts for aggressive behaviour which may later be recalled if an aspect of the situation is present. Acitvation of existing aggressive thoughts/feelings explains why children can observe aggression then commit a differing kind. 

DESENSITISATION: Under normal conditions, anxiety about violence inhibits its use. However media violence may stimulate aggressive behaviour by desensitising the children to effects of violence, The more televised violence a child watches the more acceptible it becomes to them, Frequent viewing may cause children to be less anxious about violence and percieve it as normal. 

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EVALUATION OF MEDIA ON ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Research support that media influences antisocial behaviour -> Paik and Cornstock (1994)-> meta analysis, found significant relationship between tv violence and aggressive behaviour, with greatest effect on men and pre-school children

Methodological Problems -> Banduras study -> high likelihood of development of deman characteristics eg.children knew the task. Ethical concerns about subjecting children to violence as could encourage aggresion -> Results lack validity and unrepresentative samples if people withdrew due to ethical concerns 

Gender Bias -> Boyle (1999) -> focused primarily on male on male violence and used unrepresentative samples eg.male students, then still generalised to women -> Lack of generalisability so results could lack mundane realism and validity

St. Helena Study -> Doesnt support that media influences antisocial behaviours -> TV introduced for first time in 1995 to remote island, found small decrease in antisocial behaviours -> However is very unusual situation as close knit community so noone commit any forms of violence or crime, therefore must be other factors.

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NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA

VIDEO GAMES AND AGGRESSION: 

Experimental Studies: Lab experiments have found STerm increases in levels of psychological arousal, hostile feelings and aggressive behaviour following violent game play (Gentile and Stone)

Longitudinal Studies: Anderson et al surveyed children aged 7-9 at two points in the school year, Children with high exposure to violent video games became more verbally and physically aggressive and less prosocial

Meta Analyses: Several meta analyses have found a consistent link between violent game play and aggressive behaviour. Gentile and Stone found larger effects in more recent studies possibly because violent video games have become more violent over time

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NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA

COMPUTERS: FACEBOOK USE 

Facebook Use and College Grades: Karpinski found the majority of students who use Facebook everyday underachieved by as much as entire grade compared with those who dont. The link between lower grades and Facebook use was also evident in graduates, 

Facebook Friends and Stress: Charles found 12% of students experienced anxiety linked to the use of facebook, some reporting stress from deleting unwanted contacts, pressure to be humourous and worrying about the proper ettiquette towards different friends. 

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EVALUATION: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA

VIDEO GAMES AND AGGRESSION:

Methodological problems with research: Cant measure real life aggression directly so use measures of aggressive behaviour that may have no relationship to real life, and can only measure ST effects.Longitudinal Studies can observe real life patterns and LT effects but ppts might be exposure to other forms of TV violence so the influence of games alone is uncertain.

Causal Link to be established: Research is yet to establish a reliable causal link between violent game play and aggressive behaviour. Gentile et als 'bi-directional model' states that although game playing may cause an increase in aggression, its just as likely that people already have those personality traits that orientate them towards aggressive behaviour, preferentially select violent video games as an recreational activity. 

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EVALUATION: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA

COMPUTERS: FACEBOOK USE 

Link between Facebook use and grades is complicated:  Karpinski acknowledges that her study doesnt suggest a direct causal link, simply a relationship, and suggests that Facebook users may simply be prone to distraction. Greenfield argues social networks 'infantilise' the brain by shortening the attention span and providing constant and instant gratification, although evidence is yet to be provided.

Facebook use may be a triggering factor for some people: Stress associated with Facebook use has been supported in the case of an 18yr old asthmatic man whose condition was stable until he split up with his girlfriend and she deleted him on FB,  (D'Amato et al). Indicates social network sites can be a factor of stress for vunerable individuals.

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POSITIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA

VIDEO GAMES AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR:

Helping Behaviour: Playing a proscoail game can increase helping behaviour. Greitemeyer and Osswald found  that ppts who played a prosocial video game subsequently displayed significantly more prosocial behaviour than those who played an aggressive game or a neutral game. 

Multiplayer Games and Social Commitment:Kahne et al- majpirty of those who listed The Sims as a favourite game said they learned about problems in society and explored social issues while playing computer games. Lenhart et al- 64% of those who played multiplayer games such as Halo committed tio civic participation (compared to 55% of solo players)

COMPUTERS:FACEBOOK USE 

Facebook and Self Esteem: Gonzales and Hancock studied students and found rthat Facebook walls could have a positive effect on self esteem, because feedback posted on them by others tended to be overwhelmingly positive.

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EVALUATION: POSITIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA

VIDEO GAMES AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR: 

Greitemeyer and Osswald suggest that although prosocial games can lead to increased prosocial behaviour, people who play video games are much less likely to experience this type of game, partly because they are seen as less attractive. -> prosocial games have less of an effect 

Methodological Limitations: lack of controls for young peoples prio civic commitments and prosocial activties. Lack of random exposure to civic gaming oppurtunities limits ability to make claims about how playing prosocial games influences the development of social and civic responsibilities. 

Real World App: Therapeutic app. of video games: The Virtual Iraq computer game allows soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder to relive and confront psychological trauma. Tetris can help reduce memory flashbacks after traumatic events (Holmes et al), as they compete with the same sensory channels needed to form the traumatic memory.

COMPUTERS:FACEBOOK USE 

Walther HyperPersonal Model states self selection of info we represent ourselves with can increase self esteem. FB offers invariably positive feedback on walls -> increase selfesteem

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EXPLAINING THE PERSUASIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA

THE HOVLAND YALE MODEL:

Hovland et al found effective persuasion could be achieved by focusing on the source, the message and the audience. 

APPLICATION OF THE HOVLAND YALE MODEL:

The Source: Research found the more attractive and expert sources are more persuasive than less attractive and non-expert communicators. (Petty and Cacioppo)

The Message: Messages are more effective if we think they are not intended to persuade and if they create a moderate level of fear. Putwain and Symes found that when fear appeals emphasised a 'mastery approach' they were positively related to examination performance. If perceived as threatening they were negatively related to examination performance. 

The Audience: Low and high intelligence audiences are less easily persuaded than those with moderate intelligence. With intelligent audiences, presenting both sides of the argument is more effective. Younger people are more susceptible to persuasive messages than adults or the elderly. Martin found children didnt understand the persuasive intent of advertisements. 

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EVALUATION OF HOVLAND YALE MODEL

THE HOVLAND YALE MODEL: Attractive sources are not necessarily the most influential-> celebrity endorsements arent as effective as we may think -> O'Mahony and Meenaghan found that celebrity endorsements arent regarded as very convincing/believable, didnt significantly increase the persuasive communication of the advert. 

APPLYING THE MODEL: Fear appeals do work -> if not petrified and know how to avoid the danger -> supported in real life anti-drug campaign in Australia, using moderate fear but emphasing choice/oppurtunity for +ve attitude formation. 78% teens felt it changed their opinions about drugs. 

Methodological problems:Hovland used students and army personnel, innappropriate to generalise to the population as had an age/education profile unrealistic of the public. Experimenters were able to cut off other stimuli which is unrealistic of real life. 

Gender Bias: research suggests women are more susceptible to persuasive communication than men -> Sistrunk and McDavid claim women are easily persuaded because in most studies the topic used was one with which men were more familiar. Women wouldnt be so susceptible if it was a topic they were familiar with. Karabenick provided evidence to support this ie. males more influenced with feminine content. 

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EXPLAINING THE PERSUASIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA

ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL (ELM)

Central Route-Effective when audience is motivated to think about the message and focus on quality of arguments. Produces lasting attitude change.

Peripheral Route- Effective when audience not motivated to think about the message, focus on peripheral factors, produces temporary attitude change.

Some people have high Need for Cognition (NC) so focus on argument quality(Petty&Cacioppo)

APPLYING THE ELM-

Online Shopping-Students took part in online shopping study to select a mobile phone based on reviews on Amazon. High NC students placed greater importance on revuew quality than quantity when making a decision, in line with ELM (Lin et al)

Health Campaigns- Vividrene et al showed NC is relevant in real life health campaigns. Students with high NC more influenced by facts about smoking but low NC students focused on emotion based message. 

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EVALUATION OF ELM

ELM: Lin et al's research contributes to a better understanding of the effects of online reviews.For marketing executives, the peripheral route demonstrates importance of gaining lots of reviews for low NC audiences. Knowledge of the demographic profile can guide internet marketers to design appropriate marketing material and formats to influence shopper effectively online. 

APPLYING THE ELM:Influence of peripheral route may only be temporary -> Penner and Fritzsche found no Uni students would help an AIDS victim in a school project but 1wk after Magic Johnson said was HIV+ the help rate soared to 83%, but months after the help rate reduced to 0% indicating change by peripheral route is only temporary. 

Cognitive misers: Fiske and Taylor claim humans are cognitive misers in that they rely on simple strategies when evaluating info and making decisions. If the content is not personally important then individuals are more likely to be influenced by contextual cues but when is important they are motivated to process the message ie. take central routes. 

Implications of research applying ELM to health campaign: When people lack expertise about an issue eg.HIV they are more likely to take the peripheral route as they consider a health message. This helps explain why health claims unsupported by research findings often appeal to many people.

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EXPLANATIONS FOR PERSUASIVENESS OF TV ADVERTISING

HARD-SELL AND SOFT-SELL ADVERTISING 

Hard-Sell- presents factual info about a product

Soft-Sell- use subtle and creative persuasive techniques

Synder and de Bono found hard sell and soft sell approaches had different effects on different types of people. High self-monitoring peopel has a more favourable attitude to soft sell adverts, low in self-monitoring preferred hard sell factual approaches. 

PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT 

Giles suggests celebrities provide a familiar face, a reliable source of info that we can trust due to the parasocial relationship we build with them. Celebrities are seen as neutral source of info so 'rubber stamp' the products claims. 

Meenaghan found celebrity endorsements were not overly convincing or believeable with percieved credibility and expertise of the endorser being the source characteristics with the greatest influence on consumer purchase intentions. 

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EVALUATION OF EXPLANATIONS FOR PERSUASIVENESS

HARD SELL/SOFT SELL: Okazaki et al carried out a meta analysis to test whether hard or soft sell adverts were more persuasive in terms of attitude towards a product. Hard Sell was more believeable as focused on specific facts, but also had greater potential to irritate viewers by being direct and confrontational decreasing their ability to persuade. Soft Sell techniques are focused are focused more on generating positive emotions and were associated with positive attitudes towards the product than hard sell techniques. 

PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT:

Does it work? Research suggests celebrity product endorsement is not effective. Martin et al found student ppts were more convinced by tv endorsement from fictional fellow student when buying a camera than celeb -> more similiar to them. In a study of persuasiveness of 5,000+ TV ads, Hume concluded celeb endorsements didnt significantly increase persuasive communication of the ad.

Limitations of this research: Erfgen claims that a celeb might be portrayed as endorsing a product in a number of ways, explicitly,implicitly, or co-presently, where the celeb and product are depicted together. Research hasnt considered these types of endorsements modes in order to determine if one type is more persuasive than the others. 

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THE ATTRACTION OF A CELEBRITY

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS 

Parasocial relationships- An individual is attracted to another but the target individual is usually unaware of their existence. This relationship is appealing to an individual as it makes few demands and they dont run the risk of criticism or rejection, as maybe in a real relationship. 

What determines the likelihood of a parasocial relationship? Schiappa et al concluded parasocial relationships were most likely to form with tv celebrities who were seen as attractive and similiar in some way to the viewer. Viewers able to compare how theyd react in a similiar situation. 

The 'absorption-addiction' model: Maltby et al identified three levels in peoples attraction to celebrities:

Entertainment-social- attracted to celeb due to percieved ability to entertain and as a source od social interation and gossip.

Intense-personal- Intensive and compulsive felings about the celebrity

Borderline-Pathological:uncontrollable behaviour/fantasies,believing is real relationship

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EVALUATION OF ATTRACTION OF A CELEBRITY

Parasocial relationships may not be dysfunctional: Its commonly believed that parasocial relationships with celebrities are dysfunctional (ie.based on loneliness). However Schiappa et al. found loneliness was not a predictor of parasocial relationships. 

Benefits of parasocial relationships with celebs: Provide media models of social behaviours eg.genorisity, and oppurtunity to learn cultural values eg.marriage importance, from them. Perse and Rubin -> p.r with soap characters, people always exposed to them, one benefit of p.r is percieved reduction in uncertainty about social relationships.

Absorption-Addiction model:links to mental health:Maltby et al used Eyseneck personality questionnaire to asses relationship between level of celeb worship and personality. Entertainment-Social-> extraversion, Intense-personal -> neuroticism. Neuroticism related to anxiety, suggests why higher levels of celeb worship are linked to poor mental health. 

Attatchment style and parasocial relationship: Cole and Leets -> individuals with anxious-ambivalent attachment were most likely and avoidant individuals less likely to develop p.r. Claim individuals with anxious-ambivalent attachement turn to TV characters to satisfy unrealistic and unmet relationship needs.

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THE ATTRACTION OF A CELEBRITY

EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATIONS

Attraction to creative individuals: Humans have a love of novelty (neophilia). Therefore mate choice in the EEAcould have favoured creative courtship displays from males, which would have evolved through the process of sexual-selection, favouring minds prone to creativity and fantasy. This explains characteristics that are uniquely developed in humans eg.art,music,humour, As musicians/artists/actors have these in abundance, we are drawn to them.

Celebrity Gossip: The exchange of social information about group members might have been adaptive for early humans living in social groups. DeBacker suggests 'gossip' served to create bonds within groups, manipulate reputation of rivals and exchange info about potential mates. Barkow suggests that our minds are fooled into regarding media characters as veubg members of our social network, thus celebrities trigger the same gossip mechanisms that have evolved to keep up with the affairs of ingroup members.

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EVALUATION OF ATTRACTION OF A CELEBRITY

Evidence for an evolved love of creativity: Shiraishi et al discovered an enzyme correlated with novelty-seeking tendencies. Genetic differences means that people produce different variations of the enzyme ( MAOA) One form is specifically associated with higer scires if novelty-seeking suggesting there may be genetic origin for neophilia and our attraction to creative people.

Arbitrary nature of sexual selection explanations: Suggesting a love of novelty and therefore an attraction to creative people arose due to early females preferring creative behaviours in potential mates, says nothing about why. S.S.E are arbitrary as they argue that traits are preferred simply because they wouldnt have been attractive. These explanations dont provide adequate adaptive reasons why traits eg.creativity would have been attractive to ancestral members of the opposite sex.

Research support for the adaptivve role of a celebrity gossip: DeBacker et al surveyed more than 800 ppts to test evolutionary explanations for celebrity gossip. Ppts reported gossip was seen as a useful way of aquiring information about social group members. Media exposure was also found to be a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. DeBacker et al concluded that media exposure would lead to misperception that celebrities were actually a part of the social network thus explaining the interest in celebrity gossip. 

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RESEARCH INTO INTENSE FANDOM

CELEBRITY WORSHIP 

Measuring celebrity worship: Most research uses the CAS (Celebrity Attitude Scale). Maltby et al used this to produce three levels of parasocial relationships -E.S, I-P, B-P.

How common is celebrity worship? Maltby et al found that in a sample of 372 ppts aged 18-47 that: 15% were at the entertainment social level, 5% at the intense personal level, Less than 2% at the borderline pathological level. 

Developmental problems: Celebrity worship is associated with less desirable developmental outcomes. Maltby et al found celebrity worshippers have lower levels of psychological wellbeing than non-worshippers. Scores on the E.S subscale of the CAS predicted patterns of social dysfunction and scores on the I-P subscale predicted both anxiety and depression.


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EVALUATING RESEARCH INTO INTENSE FANDOM

CELEBRITY WORSHIP:

The limited benefits of celeb worship: Cheung and Yue found teenagers who 'worshipped' key family members,teachers and other individuals with whom they had regular contact, demonstrated high levels of self esteem and educational achievement than those who worshipped tv stars. Understandable as the admiration of those who are able to provide tangible benefits and life input would provide a more positive impact than a celebrity parasocial relationship.

Negative consquences of celeb worship: Research eg.Phillips, has shown high profile suicides are often followed by increased no. of suicides among the general population. Sheridan et al claim that pathological worshippers are often drawn to more entertaining even antisocial celebs. Therefore we may expect fans of more rebellious celebs to seek to emulate them with negative consequences for the worshipper.

An evolutionary explanation for the celeb worshipper: Evolutionary psychologists suggest its natural for humans to look uo to those individuals who recieve attention as have suceeded in society. Gill-White -> good deal of evolutionary sense to value individuals according to how successful they are as the celeb is probably using above average methods therefore serves as a valuable role model. 

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RESEARCH INTO INTENSE FANDOM

CELEBRITY STALKING 

Stalking- involves repeated and persistent attempts to impose unwanted contact/communication on another person.

Types of celebrity stalker- Love obsession: Stalkers develop a fixation with a person they have no personal relationship with. Suffer dilusional thought patterns and suffer mental disorder eg.SZ. Unable to develop normal relationships so retreat into fantasy and attempt to act scripts (public) Simple obsession (more common): some previous personal relationship having existed. (private)

Parasocial bereavement: grief felt at the death of a celebrity. Giles and Naylor analysed BBC tributes about Diana and presenter Jill Dando, found the nature of parasocial relationships with the celebs and the deep feelings people developed for them.

Attatchment Style: Individuals with 'pre-occupied' attachment style have poor self image and positive image of others. Meloy claims individuals with this style may engage in stalking as they overvalue others and percieve contact with celebrities will show they are accepted/valued. Challenges the negative views of themselves.

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EVALUATING RESEARCH INTO INTENSE FANDOM

CELEBRITY STALKING

Anti-stalking legislation has limitations: despite introductions of legislation, a continuing problem is that many strategies emplpyed by celeb stalkers eg.being in the same place, are human rights and freedoms guaranteed by law. Fans encouraged to be adoring so hard to assess when behaviour actually becomes stalking.

Explaining Stalking in terms of insecure attachment:Tomin measured stalkers retrospective childhood attachment styles and current adult attachment.To find out if stalkers are detained under Mental Health Act were less securely attached than non stalkers, compared them to 2 other groups: 24 ppts detained similiarly but not stalking history, non clinical sample of 33 ppts. Found stalkers had more evidence of insecure adult attachment than the control group.

Stalking may reflect underlining psychopathology: Stalkers sometimes act irrationally to celebs, suggesting underlining psychopathology (Cupach and Spitzberg). Those scored high on BP subscale of CAS more likely to endorse in irrational thinking eg. do something illegal for a celeb

Real World:Psychological profile & clinical intervention: Roberts found those with preoccupied attachment type had higher likelihood of approach behaviour to celebs. Interventions may be designed for persistent offenders to help overcome attachment difficulties.

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