Fan or fanatic? The psychological motivation behind this behaviour

Why do so many people develop such strong emotional connections to celebrities and other public figures?

Psychologist, Nikole Seele, says it's important to understand that people have an innate need to seek connection, fit into a social hierarchy and create their 'imagined community' with their fans.

When we look for fans, we start looking out looking for connections.

Nikole Seele, psychologist

Seele warns that people need to be careful of becoming too much of a fan.

When we start moving to the end of the continuum, we start to isolate ourselves in our connection to this person. We become that strange person that no one can relate to, and that results in a huge amount of isolation.

Nikole Seele, psychologist

Engagement editor at Huffington Post South Africa, Shandukani Mulaudzi, says people needs to understand the difference between being a fan and being a fanatic.

She says being a fan is the general appreciation that people might have for a team or person, while a fanatic’s behavior becomes obsessive in its nature.

Listen to the conversation below and find out the psychology behind being a fan:


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