The attraction of celebrity

  • Created by: Samia
  • Created on: 26-01-11 15:31

The attraction of celebrity-

Social-psychological explanations-

1)      Parasocial relationships- A parasocial relationship is one which an individual is attracted to another individual (usually celebrity), but the target individual is usually unaware of the existence of the person who has created the relationship. Such relationships, common among celebrities and their fans, might be particularly appealing to some individuals because the relationship make few demands. Because a fan does not usually have a ‘real’ relationships with a celebrity, they do not run the risk of criticism or rejection, as might be the case in a real relationship.

-          What determines the likelihood of a parasocial relationship- Most likely to occur when television celebrities who were seen as attractive and similar in some way to the viewer. An important additional factor appeared to be that they were perceived as real or that they acted in a believable way. Schiappa et al believed that if the celebrity acted in a believable way, viewers were able to compare how they would behave in similar situations. Although some researchers have claimed that such parasocial relationships are mainly an adolescent phenomenon.

2)      The ‘Absorption-Addiction model’- According to this model most people never go beyond admiring celebrities because of the celebrities’ entertainment or social value. However the motivational forces driving this absorption may eventually become addictive, leading the person to more extreme behaviours in order to sustain satisfaction with the parasocial relationship they have developed with the celebrity. Giles and Maltby (2006) identify three levels in this process.

-          Entertainment-social- Fans are attracted to a favourite celebrity because of their perceived ability to entertain and to become a




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