The Attraction of Celebrity

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  • Created on: 15-06-13 11:53

Para-social relationships

  • Para-social relationship = a relationship in which an individual is attracted to a celebrity without that targeted person's awareness 
  • A bond of intimacy is created even though there is no social relationship 
  • Viewers believe that the person on screen is communicating directly to them
  • There is no risk of rejection as no relationship is formed
  • Schipper (2007) - meta-analysis found that para-social relationships were more likely to form with attarctive celebrities with another important factor being if the figure was percieved as "real" or not
  • Tsao suggests that manipulation of experimental variables may identify the cause of psr's, refers to Noble's study of light and psr's
  • Maltby found a link between attitudes towards celebrities and eating disorders
  • Psr's can offer benifits with celebrity modelling of pro-social behaviours 
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Evolutionary Explanations

  • humans posess a love for novelty and so choose partners based on increased creativity, which fits what musicians and TV stars do 
  • Shiraishi (2006)- found an enzyme correlated with novelty seeking tendancies suggesting a genetic basis to neophelia BUT this fails to tell us why there is a preferance for it 
  • DeBackar suggests gossip functions to construct and manipulate reputations, and we gossip about celebrities 
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Celebrity Worship

  • Maltby et al found that 1.3 of their sample scored higher than midpoint on the celebrity attitudes scale, with 2% on borderline pathological 
  • Cheung and Yue found that idol worship was related to low self esteem and poor work/study habits
  • A positive outcome of celebrity worship is an increase in self esteem
  • Profile suicides also increase suicide rates. Sheriden (2007) also points to the impact of rebellious celebrities who draw more pathological types to them
  • Evolutionary psychologists suggest that it is only natural to look towards those who have suceeeded 
  • It is suggested that high levels of religiosity will result in low levels of idol worship, this being supported by Maltby's results on the CAS 
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