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RESEARCH INTO INTENSE FANDOM
Transcript of RESEARCH INTO INTENSE FANDOM
Measuring celebrity worship-
using the celebrity attitude scale (CAS) a 17 item scale with the lower scores indicating more individualistic behaviour (reading about celebrity) and higher scores indicating over identification and obsession with celebrities. Maltby et al (2006) used this scale to produce the three levels of PR ES,IP,BP.
How common is celebrity worship?
it is assumed to be an uncommon phenomenon, but study by Maltby et al (2003) found that over one-third of a combined sample of students and workers scored above the midpoints of the three subscales of the CAS. Maltby (2004) found that in sample of 372 pps 18-47 yrs 15% were at ES, 5% IP and 2% BP.
Celebrity worship and developmental problems
- CW has been linked to less desirable developmental outcomes. Telephone survey 833 Chinese teenagers, Cheung and Yue (2003) found that 'idol worship' was associated with lower levels of work/study and lower self-esteem and less successful identity achievement, as shown by the pps. Maltby et al (2001) concluded that CW have lower levels of psychological wellbeing than non-worshipers. Maltby et al (2001) concluded that CW is a behavioural representation of poor psychological well-being, which results from failed attempts to escape from or cope with pressures of everyday life.
Parasocial bereavement was described by Giles (2003) as the grief felt at the death of a celebrity. Giles and Naylor (2000) analysed tributes left on BBC website following death of Princess Diana. These tributes revealed the nature of PR, formed with the C. Many of those who posted messages wrote about how they had come to 'know' Diana despite never meeting her.
The limited benefits of celebrity worship
- the Cheung and Yue study found teenagers who worshipped key family members, teachers or other individuals with whom they came in regular contact tended to demonstrate higher levels of self-esteem and educational achievement than the teenagers who worshipped TV stars. This is logical, as those admired were able to provide input in lives and provide greater + impact than PR with C.
Negative consequences of celebrity worship
- Phillips (1974) has shown that high-profile celebrity suicides are often followed by increased number of suicides in general population. Sheridan et al (2007) make the point that pathological worshippers are often drawn to more entertaining, even antisocial C, so we might expect fans of more rebellious celebrities e.g. Amy Winehouse to seek to emulate them with - consequences for the worshipper. Wasserman (1984) warns that when reporting CS media shouldn't glamour linked to them obscure any mental health or drug problems from which they may have been suffering.
An evolutionary explanation for celebrity worship-
it is suggested that it's natural for humans to look up to those individuals that receive attention because they have succeeded in our society. For our ancestors this would have meant respecting good hunters. Hunting is no loner essential so we look at C whose fame and fortune we would like to emulate. Someone who is getting what everybody wants is using an above average method so would serve as a valuable role model.
Celebrity worship and religiosity
- within Christianity 10 commandments forbid worship of anyone other than God. A negative relationship would be expected between CW and R. Maltby et al (2002) compared pps scores on different R measures against scores CAS. Found that as R increased CW decreased.
Stalking involves repeated and persistent attempts to impose unwanted communication and/or contact on another person, e.g. through telephone calls, e-mail and following the target person. If a fan's attempt to contact or approach a celebrity are unwanted, repetitive and provoke fear then their behaviour will be labeled as harassment (Meloy 1998).
Types of celebrity stalker
- two types have been identified. 1 in 5 stalkers develop a love obsession or fixation with C with whom they have no personal relationship. They suffer from delusional thought patterns and may suffer mental disorders such as Schizophrenia (Meloy 2001). Since most are unable to develop normal personal relations they retreat into a life of fantasy with individuals they hardly know. They may invent fictional stories, casting C and themselves in the lead roles (love interest). The second more common simple obsessional stalking-type is distinguished by some previous personal relationship having existed between stalker and victim before the behaviour began.
- Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991) proposed a model of adult attachment styles based on individual working models of self and others. One of these 'pre-occupied' attachment style has been linked ti the phenomenon of CS. People with this attachment style have a negative self-model and positive other-model. They have a poor self image and + image of others (seek validation of others). Meloy (1996) suggests individuals contact with C will show they are valued challenging - views of self.
- laws addressing stalking have emerged however the problem is that the strategies used by celebrity stalkers such as being at same place at victim are basic rights and freedoms. Similarly fans as are encouraged to be adoring it is hard to see when their behaviour becomes stalking. California has the broadest set of anti-stalking laws, e.g. 1996 Robert Hoskins was given 10 year sentence after he was convicted of stalking Madonna in her Hollywood home.
Stalking as an indication of attachment difficulties
- Tonin (2004) provided evidence to support proposition that CS might be explained in terms of abnormal attachment. She measured stalkers retrospective childhood attachment styles and current adult attachment using two self-report measures. In order to see if stalkers detained under the Mental Health Act were less securely attached than non-stalkers. It was found that the stalkers had significantly more evidence of insecure adult attachment styles than the control group.
Real-world application: psychological profiles and clinical interventions
- Roberts (2007) found that individuals with low self-esteem who were motivated to approach others for self-validation were also more prone to CS. This pattern of attachment is typical of the preoccupied attachment style identified by Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991) and supports an association between preoccupied attachment and the likelihood of approach behaviour towards celebrities. Clinical interventions can be designed for stalkers for them overcome their attachment difficulties.
The psychopathology of stalkers
- Maltby et al (2006) claim that the tendency to engage in stalking behaviour may actually be indicative of an underlying psychopathology. They found that scores on a measure of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) correlated with revised measures of the CAS IP and CAS BP (not ES). Stalkers sometimes behave irrationally towards victims in ways that represent underlying psychopathology (Cupach and Spitzberg 1998).
Sheridan and Boon (2002) identified five types of stalking, four of which are relevant to CS;
Infatuation harassment-low level un-threatening that is motivated by fantasy about the celebrity.
Dangerous delusional fixation stalking-often of high-status women or celebrities motivated by the belief of a hidden relationship and history of mental health problems with a high risk of violence upon rejection.
Less dangerous delusional fixation stalking-also based on a delusional assumed relationship with a celebrity but one that the individual knows is not possible due to external factors such as marriages.
Sadistic stalking-more calculated and likely to escalate to violence, related to psychopathy and a desire for control.