Celebrity Attraction Essay

736 Words3 Pages
Outline and evaluate two explanations of the attraction of celebrity. (24 marks) The evolutionary explanation believes behaviour exists today because it once brought us survival advantages. In the hunter-gatherer environment, paying attention to the most successful members of the group and imitating their behaviour would have been a useful strategy for survival. The desire to become famous is explained by the status and power achieved by celebrities. In the past, high status and resources meant greater opportunities for reproduction with other successful mates, therefore being a celebrity gives lots of chances for reproductive success. Henrich and Gil-White proposed the prestige hypothesis, which argues it is often difficult to establish which specific behaviours lead to success in a famous individual. This means it make sense in evolutionary terms to copy all of the behaviours of a successful individual. Evolutionary explanations are very hard to test scientifically as we cannot go back in time to see if it is true. As such, it is not a truly scientific explanation for the attraction of celebrity. Some behaviours exist today simply because they have not been selected out by natural selection. The assumption that all behaviours once brought survival advantages is disputed by many people. Social psychological explanations focus on the importance of low self-esteem, and there is considerable evidence to suggest this is an important role in the development of parasocial relationships. The social psychological approach by Maltby (2001) argues that people attach themselves to celebrities and form parasocial relationships with them because of deficits in their own lives or relationships. McCutcheon (2002) developed the Absorption-Addiction model, suggesting celebrity relationships are most attractive to people with low self-esteem. They struggle with
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