The Role of Media-Induced Nostalgia after a Celebrity Death in Shaping Audiences’ Social Sharing and Prosocial Behavior

Jessica Gall Myrick, Jessica Fitts Willoughby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

When a celebrity dies and news coverage repeatedly pays homages to the celebrity’s life, it is possible that audiences experience nostalgia as they fondly recall past memories of that celebrity. Nostalgia has yet to be examined as a mechanism of audience behavior related to the health condition associated with that celebrity. As such, we proposed a conceptual model of the interplay of predictors of feeling nostalgic after a celebrity death (i.e., identification, audience age, audience gender, consumption of media about the celebrity death, and previous viewing of celebrity-related media) and two outcomes: prosocial behaviors (e.g., donating to or volunteering for a health-related organization associated with the celebrity) and social sharing of information with others. We conducted a nationwide survey (N = 466) within weeks following the death of television star Mary Tyler Moore to test our model. The results demonstrate that nostalgia is evoked by a number of factors after a celebrity death, and that together with these previously studied predictors it can influence outcomes of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

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