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Media Influence

9) Explanation of the attraction to celebrity – Evolutionary Explanations

Attraction to creativity

Humans have an innate love of novelty and creativity, so when females came to choosing mates they looked for ever more creativity in men. In the 21st century this love of creativity still exists, but now we look for creativity in talents such as music, art and humour. This can explain why we idolise and are attracted to talented and creative celebrities, such as singings and actors.

Evaluation – Shiraishi found an enzyme, MAOA, which correlates with the love of creativity and novelty. Some people have higher levels of this enzyme, which could explain why some people are more attracted to celebrities than other.

Celebrity gossip

One way in which we show our attraction to celebrity is by gossiping about them. Some psychologists suggest there is an evolutionary explanation behind this. De Backer suggests that gossiping has been developed to help build social relationships and to strengthen bonds between group members, something vital for our ancestors. Similarly gossiping could be a useful in informing other group members about possible dangers. Barkow (1992) suggests that we fool ourselves into thinking celebrities are part of our social groups, hence why we gossip about them.

Evaluation – De Backer surveyed 800 participants and found that they do find gossiping a useful way to gain information that could be useful about other members of a social group, just as our ancestors did. This suggests the reasoning for our gossiping about celebrities are still similar to those of thousands of years ago.


About Sam Cook

A blog set up to help A Level students revise Sociology


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