What type of individual is likely to become a stalker?
A new study underscores various factors that are correlated with a higher probability of becoming a celebrity stalker.
New insights regarding the factors linked to the inclination to engage in celebrity stalking behaviors have been revealed through a survey study conducted on college students in the United States.
Stalking is the act of following, harassing, or threatening someone without their permission. It can happen anywhere in the world. Several studies are looking at what makes people more likely to stalk or more willing to accept stalking as acceptable conduct, especially when it involves a public figure.
The team gave 596 American college students a set of questionnaires to help them learn more about stalking celebrities. Some of the questionnaires had been used in previous studies to find out how people felt and what they did around celebrities, like stalking them. Other surveys evaluated anger, thrill-seeking, and attachment patterns, all of which have been linked to celebrity stalking.
After a statistical analysis of the students’ responses, it was possible to identify a number of factors that were associated with a person’s tendency to participate in celebrity stalking. They included obsessively thinking about a favorite celebrity on a regular basis, feeling eager to learn more about them, following them relentlessly, threatening to hurt them, and being easily bored. There was no correlation between anger, thrill seeking, or attachment patterns and celebrity stalking.
The study also found that fans whose favorite celebrity is admired primarily for his or her talent as an entertainer are less inclined to pursue that person.
These findings support past research on celebrity stalking and provide fresh information on what can set a fan apart from a stalker.
“Individuals who think about their favorite celebrity frequently, feel compelled to learn more about them, pursue them consistently, threaten to harm them and are prone to boredom are more likely to stalk their celebrity,” the authors write.
These results were just published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Maria Wong (Idaho State University, U.S.), Lynn McCutcheon (North American Journal of Psychology, U.S.), Joshua Rodefer (Mercer University, U.S.) and Kenneth Carter (Emory University, U.S.).
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