Parasocial relationships

  • Parasocial relationships:
  • AO1:
  • Levels of parasocial relationships:
  • The celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS was used by Maltby et al to identify three levels of parasocial relationships. It asses celebrity attraction. The first level is 'entertainment-social level'. This is the least intense level where celebrities are viewed as sources of entertainent and fuel for social interaction. The second level is 'intense-personal level', an intermediate level where someone becomes more personally involved with a celebrity and ths may include obsessive thoughts. The Third level is 'borderline pathological level', the strongest level of celebrity worship where fantasies are uncontrollable and behavour is more extreme. 
  • The absorption-addiction model:
  • McCutcheon suggests that parasocial relationships can make up for personal deficiencied. (e.g. lack of fullfilment). Parasocial relationships also provide an escape from mundane lives. People may be triggered towards a higher level by stressful life events such as a bereavement. 
  • The model has 2 components: Absorption  seeking fulfilment in celebrity worship motivates an indivudual to focus their attention on the celebrity, to become absorbed in the celebrity's existence and identify with them. Addiction - Like a pathological addiction, the individual needs to increase their 'dose' of onvolvement to gain satisfaction. This may lead to more extreme behaviours and delusional thinking. 
  • The attachment theory explanation:
  • Bowlby's attachment theory suggests that early diffculties in attachment may lead to difficulties in forming successful relationships later in life. Such difficulties may lead to a preference for parasocial relationships to replace those within one's own


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