A01- Attraction of Celebrity
Social Psychological Explanations
- Parasocial relationships (PR)- individual attracted to celebrity even though celebrity is unaware.
- Because of this, no risk of criticisms or rejection.
- Formed with those seen as attractive and similar- raises self-esteem.
- Allows person to imagine how they would act in similar situations.
- Absoroption-addiction model- three levels of attraction:
- Entertainment social- attracted to fav celeb and entertained by learning about them
- Intense-personal- reflects very intense feelings, 'consider them sole mate'
- Borderline pathological- uncontrollable fantasies about celeb, would they be happy to see me
- Human beings possess love of novelty, creative partners. (neophillia)
- Would have led to neophilia (creative) as criterion for female choice and so evolution of these characteristics in males (sexual selection)
- Celebs represent the creative world so we are attracted to them.
- Exchange of social information useful for ancestors.
- No distinction between social network and familiar media, hence celeb gossip.
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- Research does not support idea that PR are dysfunctional (Schiappa)
- PR offer benefits of models of behaviour and reduction in uncertainty over social relationships.
- Intense-personal level associated with neuroticism, borderline-pathological associated with psychoticism.
- PR with celebrities preceived as slim may lead to poor body image.
- Link with attachment theory- anxious attachment style and PR.
- Shiraishi et al- genetic variations of MAOA enzyme associated with preferences for neophilia.
- Sexual Selection explanations arbitrary- do not explain why these traits were attractive to ancestors.
- De Backer- survey proveds support that celebrities misperceived as part of social network, explaining interest in gossip.
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- Experiments V Self reports- most reports have used asking people on opinions of celebs may be more effective indeterming the causes of identification with a celeb.
- Attachment stype and Parasocial relationships- Researchers have explained why some people are more vulnerable to the formation of parasocial relationships through the concept of attachment style.Cole and Lees reported that individuals with anxious-ambivalant attachment were most likely and avoidant individuals least likely to enter parasocial relationships.
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A01- Intense Fandom
- Measured using the 'Celebrity Attitude Scale'- produced three levels of Parasocial relationships. (Excitement social, Intense-Personal, Boarderline Pathological)
- Maltby found that one-third of sample scored above midpoint of the scale although most scored at the entertainment-social phase.
- Celebrity Worship associated with lower levels of academic work and lower levels of physiological well-being.
- Parasocial bereavement experienced after death of celebrity.
- Love-obsessional stalkers- many suffer from delusional thought patterns, retreating to fantasy world.
- Simple-obsessional stalkers- distinguished by previous relationship with target.
- Bartholomew and Horowitz found pre-occupied attachment style linked to celebrity stalking.
- Meloy found that the pre-occupied attachment style = low self-esteem and overevaluation of others.
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- Higher self-esteem experienced if 'worship' towards those who provide positive impact on persons life.
- Negative consequences of celebrity worship - copying bad or suicidal behaviour of celebrities
- Adaptive for individuals to look up to those who receive attention for being successful.
- Celebrity stalking may be indicadive of underlying psychopathology.
- Impact of stalking includes development of anti-stalking legislation.
- Tonin found that stalkers show more evidence of insecure attachment styles.
- Roberts found that individuals with low self-esteem and motivated to approach other more prone to stalking.
- Implications for police profiling and clinical intervention.
- Mullen indentified five types of stalker, each linked to a different form of psychopathology.
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- Cultural Bias- only based on western celebrities and western media in other cultures which have a watershed on media this may be different and therefore cant be generalised to them.
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