Publication
Title
Celebrities: from teachers to friends: a test of two hypotheses on the adaptiveness of celebrity gossip
Author
Abstract
Abstract In this paper we present two compatible hypotheses to explain interest in celebrity gossip. The Learning Hypothesis explains interest in celebrity gossip as a by-product of an evolved mechanism useful for acquiring fitness-relevant survival information. The Parasocial Hypothesis sees celebrity gossip as a diversion of this mechanism, which leads individuals to misperceive celebrities as people who are part of their social network. Using two preliminary studies, we tested our predictions. In a survey with 838 respondents and in-depth interviews with 103 individuals, we investigated how interest in celebrity gossip was related to several dimensions of the participants social lives. In support of the Learning Hypothesis, age proved to be a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. In partial support of the Parasocial Hypothesis, media exposure, but not social isolation, was a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. The preliminary results support both theories, indicate that across our life span celebrities move from being teachers to being friends, and open up a list of future research opportunities.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Human Nature. - Hawthorne, N.Y.
Publication
Hawthorne, N.Y. : 2007
ISSN
1045-6767
Volume/pages
18:4(2007), p. 334-354
ISI
000250133400004
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 08.10.2008
Last edited 16.06.2017
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