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Psychology A2: Media Psychology
Transcript of Psychology A2: Media Psychology
What makes a celebrity and why do people have such a fascination with them?
A one-sided relationship (such as unrequited love), whereby the person who is the object of affection is often a celebrity.
The parasocial relationship between celebrity and fan is quite appealing to most people - why do you think this is?
Is there a celebrity that you are a fan of?
Parasocial relationships are reinforced by the mass media. In what ways are they doing this?
So what kind of people have parasocial relationships with celebrities?
Derrick et al (2008) discovered a link between self-esteem and parasocial relationships.
People who have low self-esteem form parasocial relationships with celebrities whom they see their ideal self in.
Similarly, people with high self-esteem tend to form relationships with celebrities that they see themselves in.
Schiappa et al (2007) identified that people are more likely to form parasocial relationships with TV celebrities who are attractive and similar to the viewer (homophily).
According to McCutcheon et al (2002) sometimes people go beyond simple admiration and form extreme behaviours in order sustain the need for the relationship.
Giles and Maltby (2006) identified that there are 3 levels of sustaining parasocial relationships with celebrities:
People are drawn to particular celebrities because of their abilities. This celebrity/ies become the object of social interaction
The level of celebrity fandom intensifies as the behaviour towards that celebrity becomes more obsessional.
Behaviour towards the celebrity become more uncontrollable.
The A-A model has also been linked to body image and eating disorders as thin women are glamourised; where the media promotes unobtainable and unrealistic body shapes. The A-A model is used to explain the idea that a person's identity needs to be sort through the psychological absorption of a celebrities identity.
The study by Maltby et al (2005) on body image and parasocial relationships only found links in teenage girls.
Using SEB and DOG answer the following questions:
Outline and explain term 'Neophilia'
Outline and explain the evolutionary explanation of celebrity gossip.
Evaluate the evolutionary explanation of celebrity worship.
So what is stalking and why do people do it?
The legal definition of stalking (as it is a criminal offence!) states that:
"A form of harassment generally comprised of repeated persistent following with no legitimate reason and with the intention of harming, or so as to arouse anxiety or fear of harm in the person being followed. Stalking may also take the form of harassing telephone calls, computer communications, letter-writing, etc."
120,000 victims, mostly women, are stalked each year but only 53,000 incidents are recorded as crimes by police
Mar 2004 - Mark Dyche rams ex-girlfriend Tania Moore's car off the road and then shoots her. He had been stalking her for a year. Dyche is later jailed for life.
Sep 2005 - Michael Pech shoots ex-girlfriend Clare Bernal at Harvey Nichols store in London while awaiting sentencing for harassment. He then killed himself.
Jun 2008 - Thomas Nugusse kills 15-year-old Arsema Dawit in London after he ended their relationship. He suffered severe brain damage after trying to kill himself in jail.
Feb 2011 - Clifford Mills stabs former girlfriend Lorna Smith in Brixton after stalking her on Facebook. He is jailed for life.
Stalkers who went on to kill....
Why do people stalk others?
Mullen et al (1999)
Conducted research into types of stalker and their motivations to stalk. They analysed 145 stalkers who had been referred for psychiatric treatment.
79% were male and over half of these had never had an intimate relationship.
From the research 5 types of stalker were identified:
Rejected and Intimacy Seeking stalkers, stalk their victims the longest on average.
Resentful stalkers are more likely to damage property and threaten physical violence.
Whereas Rejected and Predatory stalkers are more likely to actually commit physical violence towards their victims.
But why do some people become stalkers and others don't?
One theory relates back to childhood attachment.
Hazan and Shaver (1987) suggests that attachment behaviours in early childhood can have long-term effects on relationships in adulthood.
The level of attachment with your parents during childhood determines the success of your adult relationships.
For example, children who experience an insecure attachment with their parents are more likely to seek parasocial relationships in adulthood.
Why do you think this is?
Kienlen (1998) goes further to suggest that there are differing types of insecure attachment motivations.
Anxiousness regarding rejection so will seek approval from stalked victim.
Avoids contact and retains an emotional distance from the stalked victim. More likely to retaliate over a perceived wrongdoing.
Modern technology and the internet provides stalkers with a new medium in which to pursue their victims. It provides an attractive alternative to traditional stalking methods.
What reasons can you give as to why cyberstalking is undertaken more by stalkers?
Cyberstalking is considered more dangerous than 'offline' stalking, why do you think this is?
Sheridan and Grant (2007) suggest that because stalkers cannot see the affect of their behaviours on their victims, this may lead to more drastic behaviour in order to sustain a thrill.
However the police and society in general deem cyberstalking as less of a problem than conventional stalking. Why do you think this is?