The “Vampire Effect” was first mentioned in Paying for the Party by Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton. According to the authors, it was a social phenomenon in which socially-integrated students would ignore and shun the shy students. The root issue was that students who were not that wealthy would seem invisible compared to the upper-class students, who would always have the spotlight. Armstrong and Hamilton imply that this phenomenon is caused by the more affluent students purposely neglecting and rejecting the “social isolates.” However, the “Vampire Effect” is not caused by the affluent students, but rather by the subconscious of the anti-social students who feel that they are being targeted. The main theory that supports this argument is the Social Comparison Theory, which states that people evaluate their own worth based on the people they are surrounded by. The main difference that the two groups of students had was their financial status: the confident, affluent students being more financially stable, and the insecure, shy students coming from a poorer background. Once the shy students start to compare themselves to their peers, they eventually become envious and self-blaming. These feelings ultimately result in anxiety and self-isolation. However, this is all done unknowingly and neither party is to blame. The movie The Red shows how the “Vampire Effect” comes into play with two friends of different backgrounds. My own experience also portrays how this effect really works and what causes it.
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