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Investigating The Desire For Fame – Where Does It Come From?

There’s no doubt that many people value power and money. However, there are still more who seek more than just money and power- they seek fame as well. Fame is something of a superpower, in a way. It’s a power that makes a room fall silent when you walk in, a power than commands the attention of the masses over the smallest detail of you or your life, and it is the power that makes you invincible in the eyes of others. Being famous is like being a superhero. But why do people want to be famous?

Why People Seek Fame

Many people have a desire to feel wanted, loved, noticed and cared about, even by the wildest of strangers. People enjoy having the power to draw the attention of a crow or to make others want to be them or like them, to make others emulate them, really. It is about wanting others to be interested in everything about you, down to how many sugars you have in your coffee. This satisfies a desire in many people, for whatever reason it may be. Of course, psychologists set out on a quest to determine why such desires happen to exist in the first place.

The idea is that there must be a difference between the desires of those who seek money and wealth and those who seek fame, though those who seek fame do likely also seek the wealth and money that come along with it. For most of the existence of psychology, fame has been ignored as a primary motivator in the study of human behavior. Psychologists actually considered the option as too shallow! Well, as culturally variable, shallow, and mingled as the psychologists of past deemed it to be, it seems that they were wrong. Fame is now being looked at in a new light, so to speak. It is now being ranked as other goals are, and characterized, and the psychological effects of fame are being studied.

The Findings

Studies strongly suggest that people who covet the idea of fame are ultimately expressing their desires that are rooted in a need for social acceptance. This is a longing for reassurance of sorts for their existence simply by being well known. It was also found that these desires seemed to become more acute in the later ages, as the opportunities to become famous actually diminish. This is unusual, as you would expect the younger generations to have more of a desire for fame than the older!

Meet Orville Gilbert Brim Jr.

Orville Gilbert Brim Jr. is actually a psychologist who has dedicated a large chunk of his effort and his time into putting together a book that is titled The Fame Motive. The novel is a compilation based on the data he has gathered through his study and analysis based on people seeking fame or people with a desire for fame. Brim has traced that these people who yearn for fame have intense feelings of rejection or roots in neglect from which their yearning developed. He isn’t the only psychologist making waves with the study of fame-seeking, as Sue Erikson Bloland is on the same path of discovery. Of course, there are many more professionals dedicated to studying this further.

The Irony

What is very ironic is that oftentimes, people have yearned for fame and when they do finally find it they realize that it is nothing at all like what they imagined it to be. They realize that being ‘loved’ and admired by strangers doesn’t make you feel more comfortable with yourself or more confident, or even more wanted. In fact, fame can have the opposite effect. It can make a person doubt the sincerity of the people around them, make them doubt whether those who claim to care about them or love them actually do. So many famous people are lonely because there is no way of trusting anyone anymore and you never know who is truly a friend and who is simply pulling a farce. The adoration form fans is superficial because they don’t really know who you are – they just love your image or what you do or make or how you entertain.

Ultimately, being famous is the quickest way to make a person value privacy!


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