Media Psychology - Celebrity Worship


Celebrity Worship

Outline Findings of research into Celebrity Worship

Research into Intense Fandom

4 Mark Question:

Giles and Maltby (2006) Their review on some of the progress made in understanding the psychology of celebrity worship. They report that a recent factor analysis of data from 1723 UK respondants revealed THREE types of celebrity worship:

1) Entertainment social - Fans are attracted to a favourite celebrity because of their percieved ability to entertain and become a source of social interaction and gossip. i.e. "My friends and I like to discuss what my favourite celeberity has done"

2) Intense - Personal - Reflects intensive and compulsive feelings about the celebrity, akin to the obsessioanl tendencies of fans often referred to in the literature. i.e. "I consider my favourite celebrity to be my soul mate they are perfect in every way"

3) Borderline Pathological - This dimension is typified by uncontrollable behaviours and fantasies about their celebrity. i.e. "I would gladly die in order to save the life of my favourite celebrity"

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Celebrity Worship

Outline Findings of research into Celebrity Worship

Evaluation = Celebrity Worship as pathological behaviour

McCutcheon et al., (2000) 

Analysed a large set of questions about celebrity worshipping behaviours. they found evidence of a heirarchy of celebrity worship that spanned many different types of celebrity including actors, musicians and sports figures. At the top of this heirachy, behaviour is characterized by over - identification with the celebrity as well as obsession with details of the celebrities life.

Further support comes from Maltby et al (2001) who found a negative correlation between celebrity worship and psychological well being.

He Concluded that the significant relationship between celebrity worship and poorer psychological wellbeing is the result of (failed) attempts to escape, cope or enhance the individual's daily life. 

This conclusion, they claim, holds even for the initial stages of celebrity worship that do not appear pathological.

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