If you’ve ever met a famous person you know how exciting that feels. But why? What is it about fame that draws so many people to it? In this episode I examine fame from two very perspectives: the Basking in Reflected Glory theory and Terror Management Theory. Along the way we’ll see what this all has to do with the rock band Queen, baseball and Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.
Thanks again to Beth Benoit of Granite State College and to Melissa Kennedy of Holy Names Academy for pointing me in the direction of the following sources:
Resources on the Psychology of Fame
- Cialdini, R. B., Borden, R. J., Thorne, A., Walker, M. R., Freeman, S., & Sloan, L. R. (1976). Basking in reflected glory: Three (football) field studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 366–375.
- Greenberg, Jeff, Kosloff, Spee, Solomon, Sheldon, Cohen, Florette and Landau, Mark(2008). Toward Understanding the Fame Game: The Effect of Mortality Salience on the Appeal of Fame’,Self and Identity
- You can learn more about Terror Management Theory here.
Terror management theory is based heavily on the writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, and in particular his book The Denial of Death, for which he won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize. According to TMT, humans, having …
Publish Date: 04/03/2011 8:24
Sheldon Solomon speaks about Ernest Becker and Terror Management Theory to an anthropology class at the University of Washington called Comparative Study of Death