RELATIONSHIPS: Parasocial Relationships

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What are the 3 levels of parasocial relationships?
Entertainment-social, intense-personal, borderline pathological
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What is the definition of a parasocial relationship?
One-sided, unreciprocated relationships, where the "fan" expends a lot of emotional energy, commitment and time.
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What are some examples of parasocial relationships?
Celebrities, teams, organisations, brands, fictional characters, people of major affluence such as politicians
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What is an entertainment-social relationship?
Least intense. Celebrities viewed as sources of entertainment and fuel for social conversation.
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What is an intense-personal relationship?
Moderately intense. Shows a greater personal involvement with a celebrity, perhaps even considering them a 'soul mate'.
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What is a borderline-pathological relationship?
Most intense. Uncontrollable fantasies and extreme behaviours.
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Which is the most intense/extreme parasocial relationship?
Borderline-pathological.
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What is an example of a behaviour in an entertainment-social relationship?
Gossiping about the lives of celebrities in the office.
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What is an example of a behaviour in an intense-personal relationship?
Frequent obsessive thoughts and intense feelings for the person.
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What is an example of a behaviour in a borderline-pathological relationship?
Spending large sums of money on a celebrity-related object, or a willingness to perform illegal activities on the celebrity's say-so.
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Who developed the celebrity attitude scale?
Lynn McCutcheon.
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Why do parasocial relationships form?
Deficiences in ones own life, such as weak self-identity or poor relationships. Poor psychological adjustment.
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How do parasocial relationships aid deficiencies in life?
Allows them to escape from reality or provide fulfilment they cannot find in their own relationships.
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What can cause progression into more intense parasocial stages?
Personal crisis/stressful life event.
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What are the two components of the absorption-addiction model?
Absorption and addiction.
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What is absorption?
In seeking fulfilment, the individual focuses all their attention on the celebrity, becoming pre-occupies with their existence and identifying with them.
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What is addiction?
Extreme behaviours and delusional thinking to sustain commitment to the celebrity. e.g. stalking.
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Which attachment type is prone to parasocial relationships?
Insecure avoidant.
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Why don't people with a secure attachment type typically end up in PSR?
Socially fulfilled.
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Why don't people with a insecure-avoidant attachment type typically end up in PSR?
No desire to form a relationship.
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Why do insecure avoidant people end up in parasocial relationships?
Satisfies need for absolute devotion and independence with no fear of rejection.
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What does a high score on the CAS correlate to?
More dysfunctional traits such as depression, neuroticism and psychoticism
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What were Maltby's findings in relation to Eysenck's theory?
0.3 correlation between entertainment-social and extroversion, and intense personal and neuroticism. 0.2 between borderline-pathological and psychoticism.
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What were Maltby's findings in relation to the absorption-addiction model?
1st level individuals had some degree of social dysfunction. 2nd level individuals scored highly on anxiety and depression.
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What were McCutcheon's findings in relation to the absorption-addiction model?
Those who scored highly in impulsiveness were more likely to have strong attachments to celebrities.
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What do Maltby's findings in relation to Eysenck's theory reveal?
The moderate correlation in terms of social sciences establishes that a high score on the CAS leads to more dysfunctional traits, and establishes the presence of three levels, particularly as Eysenck's model is already established.
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What do Maltby's findings in relation to the absorption-addiction model mean?
Provides further evidence for the link between high scores on the CAS and dysfunctional traits.
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What do McCutcheon's findings in relation to the absorption-addiction model mean?
Impulsive traits lead to an addictive personality and therefore stronger attachments to celebrities.
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What is the issue with McCutcheon's findings?
Evidence for addiction has to be extrapolated and therefore is not as strong as the direct evidence of Maltby.
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What are the main issues with studies on parasocial relationships?
Self-report design, leading to social desirability bias/correlations and so issues with causality.
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What were Cole and Leets findings for attachment in CA?
Type C most likely to form a parasocial relationship. Type A least likely, Type B in middle.
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What do Cole and Leets findings for attachment in CA mean?
Supports Type C being most likely to be in a parasocial relationship, therefore attachment theory.
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What were McCutcheon's findings for attachment theory?
No relationship between attachment style and attachment to celebrities. Insecurely attached adults more likely to condone stalking-type behaviours.
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Why are McCutcheons' findings more valid than Cole and Leets?
Wider measure, large sample, later study (1999vs2006) when parasocial relationships are more common.
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What do McCutcheon's findings for attachment theory show?
Lack of support for attachment theory.
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What is the definition of a parasocial relationship?

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One-sided, unreciprocated relationships, where the "fan" expends a lot of emotional energy, commitment and time.

Card 3

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What are some examples of parasocial relationships?

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Card 4

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What is an entertainment-social relationship?

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Card 5

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What is an intense-personal relationship?

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