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CURRENT RESEARCH IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY


Volume 7, Number 19
Submitted: May 15, 2002
First Revision: August 24, 2002
Second Revision: August 25, 2002
Accepted: August 25, 2002
Publication Date: August 25, 2002

PERSONALITY ATTRIBUTIONS ABOUT INDIVIDUALS HIGH AND LOW IN THE TENDENCY TO WORSHIP CELEBRITIES

Lynn E. McCutcheon
DeVry University - Orlando

John Maltby
University of Leicester

ABSTRACT

In two experiments involving over 200 participants each, one in England and one in the United States, we examined stereotypes of the celebrity-worshipper. Participants in both studies filled out the Celebrity Attitude Scale. They were then asked to describe either a fictitious celebrity-worshipper or a non-worshipper using a scale consisting of 18 adjectives. Generally speaking, those who scored as celebrity worshippers gave more favorable ratings to fictitious celebrity-worshippers than they did to non-worshippers. In both countries the adjectives "foolish," "irresponsible," and "submissive" emerged as descriptors for celebrity-worshippers. These same terms have also been used by the film industry to characterize celebrity-worshippers.

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Research on the topic of celebrity worship is still in its infancy. In particular scientists know almost nothing concerning the attributions made about personality characteristics of those who are high and low in the tendency to worship celebrities. To our knowledge not a single study has addressed this issue. Social critics Horton and Wohl (1956) hypothesized that socially inept and lonely persons might become more vulnerable to one-sided relationships between celebrities and their fans. The relatively new medium of television was just beginning to foster the development of celebrity-fan relationships in the mid-Fifties. We do have some idea of the images of celebrity-worshippers as perceived by Hollywood. Lewis (1992) reviewed seven films released between 1950 and 1988 in which a central theme is fandom. In each, one or more fans serve as protagonists and the plot revolves around the fans’ attempts to pay tribute to and/or make contact with the worshipped celebrity. Lewis’ composite of the 17 major fan characters appearing in these films provides some insight about the way the film industry perceives the fans it helped to create.

According to Lewis, fans are typically portrayed as being irresponsible, immature, feminine, lonely, downtrodden, and isolated. If the fan is male he is often portrayed as deranged and dangerous, at least more so than female fans. On the other hand, female fans of attractive male celebrities are frequently stereotyped as "groupies," women who will eagerly have sex on a moment’s notice with that favorite celebrity and any of his friends who happen to be around at the time (Cline, 1992).

Caughey (1978) and Burchill (1986) saw celebrity-worshippers as having the potential to be dangerous. We humans all have more one-sided, artificial relationships than we do real, two-sided ones. Sometimes the line between artificial and real gets blurred. For Caughey the real problem is determining which fans are likely to lose the ability to separate the real from the artificial — which fans will actually do something bizarre or harmful to a celebrity for whom they profess great admiration. For Burchill the dangerous fan is the one who comes to the realization that the only way he can exert any control over the celebrity is to bring harm.

A highly satirical skit which appeared on the popular American television show, Saturday Night Live, suggested that the writers for that show had adopted a similar stereotype of the fan (Jenkins, 1992). Actor William Shatner, who plays one of the major characters on a highly successful TV show called Star Trek, is besieged by fans. The fans ask a barrage of progressively more "crazy" questions about Shatner’s character, the nature of which reveals that they cannot separate fact from fiction. All the fans are portrayed as unintelligent, foolish, submissive, social misfits who spend entirely too much time absorbing worthless trivia about the show. Finally, out of frustration, Shatner loses his temper, reminding them that Star Trek is just a show.

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Jenkins went on to describe a fan very different from the ones portrayed in the Saturday Night Live skit. Jenkins applauded the fertile imaginations of the many fans who are able to write scripts or suggest alternative plots to various episodes. These fans have formed social networks and have lobbied (with varying degrees of success) television executives for their favorite shows or for particular points of view in relation to them. Jenkins’ fan appears to be imaginative rather than unintelligent, socially adept rather than socially maladjusted.

At present the personality characteristics of individuals who are celebrity worshippers have not been sufficiently examined, particularly within those dimensions that have been identified to comprise celebrity worship. Therefore we asked: To what extent are these very public portrayals of celebrity worshippers similar to the actual perception of these persons on the part of college students and the general public? Is there a stereotypical celebrity worshipper, or does the perception differ considerably depending on whether one is also a celebrity worshipper or one who cares little about any particular celebrity or celebrities in general? If stereotypes exist, are they roughly comparable across two cultures that share the same language and similar worldviews?

To answer these questions we used the Celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS). This scale has good reliability and validity and has been used in several recent studies (Ashe & McCutcheon, 2001; Maltby, Houran, Lange, Ashe, & McCutcheon, in press; Maltby & McCutcheon, 2001; McCutcheon, Lange, & Houran, 2002). Its purpose is to measure attitude toward one’s favorite celebrity. Additionally, we chose 16 personality attributes from a mental map constructed by Rosenberg, Nelson, and Vivekananthan (1968). The map resulted from a factor analysis of the personality attributions made by a large number of college students. The analysis revealed two factors, which they labelled "social" and "intellectual," with "good" and "bad" at the two poles. Examples of "good-intellectual" attributes include "skillful" and "imaginative;" examples of "bad-intellectual" attributes are "unintelligent" and "foolish." The "good-social" attributes include "helpful" and "honest;" examples of "bad-social" attributes are "moody" and "unpopular." We deliberately chose four attributes that were located near each of the four poles of their mental map in order to obtain a broad representation of personality traits.

We also chose two other attributes, "jealous," and "under control," because they appeared to tap two of the "big five" personality traits (Costa & McCrae, 1985) untapped by the other 16. "Jealous" fits under the "agreeableness" trait factor; "under control" fits under the trait factor of "emotional stability." We used these 18 items in the construction of what we termed "Personality Impressions."

The reason why this scale was used over the 5-factor (Costa & McCrae, 1985) and 3-factor (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985) models of personality, is that the present conceptualisation allowed the opportunity to provide a descriptive account, via each single item of the scale. That includes 20 personality attributes that would not be possible with the 5-factor and 3-factor models, whose scales use a number of items to measure just 3 or 5 variables.

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EXPERIMENT 1

Method

Participants. A sample of 81 men (M age = 23.18 years, SD = 4.6, range = 18 to 34) and 137 women (M age = 25.10 years, SD = 6.1, range = 18 to 39) was recruited from an undergraduate university population in the South Yorkshire region of England. The most frequently cited demographic categories were Caucasian (n = 150), single (n = 162), all were undergraduate university students and had an "A" level educational qualification or its equivalent. The number of recruits who declined to participate or failed to complete the scales was 12.

Measures. The Celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS; See Appendix 1). The scale used in this study is a 23-item version of a 34-item scale (McCutcheon, et al., 2002), but recent findings (Maltby, et al., in press) suggest a 23-item version for use among UK samples. Response format for the scale comprises a 5-point scale with anchor points being "strongly agree" equal to 5 and "strongly disagree" equal to 1. The scale subsumes three domains of celebrity worship (McCutcheon, et al., 2002). Items included in the scale measure aspects of "Entertainment-social" attitudes ("My friends and I like to discuss what my favourite celebrity has done [item 4]," and "Learning the life story of my favourite celebrity is a lot of fun [item 15].") "Intense-personal," aspects of celebrity worship ("I consider my favourite celebrity to be my soul mate" [item 10], and "I have frequent thoughts about my celebrity, even when I don’t want to" [item 11]), and "Borderline pathological" ( "If someone gave me several thousand dollars to do with as I please, I would consider spending it on a personal possession (like a napkin or paper plate) once used by my favourite celebrity" [item 20] and "If I were lucky enough to meet my favourite celebrity, and he/she asked me to do something illegal as a favour I would probably do it" [item 17]).

Personality Impressions — A similar response format was used for Personality Impressions (i.e. 5 = strongly agree, 1 = strongly disagree; Items are included in Table 3). The directions which preceded Personality Impressions were as follows for the positive scenario:

Suppose that you recently met a person who also filled out the same Celebrity Survey that you just completed. Further suppose that you know very little about this individual except that his or her answers indicated a very positive attitude about celebrities. In other words, this person does seem to be very interested in the life and activities of his or her favorite celebrity. Furthermore, this individual shows a very large amount of admiration for other celebrities.

We almost always form first impressions of others based on incomplete information. Given what little you know, please rate this person on the characteristics that appear below, using the following scale:

Directions for the negative scenario were identical except that the words "negative," "uninterested," and "small" replaced the words "positive," "interested," and "large." For purposes of the ANOVAs comparing social and intelligence scales, scores from all eight of the "negative/bad" attributes were reversed so that high scores indicated a favorable impression. "Jealous" and "under control" were omitted from these analyses, but included in the analysis of attributes done individually (see Table 4).

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Procedure All participants answered some demographic questions, then they filled out the CAS, finally, the 18-item Personality Impressions. All this was accomplished in classrooms where the participants normally met. About half of them were randomly chosen to receive the positive version of Personality Impressions, the other half completed the negative version. Otherwise, all participants were treated the same. After everything was handed in the first experimenter thanked participants and briefly answered questions about the nature of the study.

Results

Table 1 shows the mean scores (with standard deviation) and alpha coefficients (Cronbach, 1951) for each measure. There were no significant sex differences for any of the scales and the alpha coefficients were satisfactory. Therefore, in the following analyses, data for men and women were combined.

Table 1: Means (standard deviations) for all the scales by sex for both experiments.

 

Mean Scores (Standard Deviations) for Experiment One

Scales

Men (n=126)

Women (n=181)

t

alpha

1. Celebrity Attitude Scale

44.07 (13.4)

44.05 (11.7)

01

.88

2. Intelligence

23.90 (03.9)

23.37 (03.7)

1.01

.77

3. Social

23.42 (04.2)

23.53 (04.9)

- 17

.73

 

Mean Scores (Standard Deviations) for Experiment Two

 

Men (n=115)

Women (n=104)

t

alpha

1. Celebrity Attitude Scale

50.19 (17.1)

51.11 (18.7)

.38

.94

2. Intelligence

25.98 (4.2)

26.38 (3.7)

.75

.53

3. Social

25.65 (4.8)

24.77 (4.3)

1.46

.70

*p<.05; **p<.01.

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Scores on the Celebrity Attitude Scale were used to create two groups, high and low scorers on the CAS. Those persons scoring within the top 35 percentile of scores (CAS score > 46) were placed within the high scorers group (N=78; Mean score on the CAS =57.07 [SD=9.5]). Those persons scoring within the lower 35 percentile of scores (CAS score < 37) were placed within the lower scorers group (N=80; Mean score on CAS =32.48 [SD=4.45]). The reason for this split into groups was to sharpen the distinctions that can be between a celebrity worshipper and non-celebrity worshipper. Using such a categorical approach facilitates an analysis that allows a description of what personality attributes a celebrity worshipper and non-celebrity worshipper are thought to exhibit. The use of the 35% percentile to form the groups was arbitrary, but this criterion was used because it produced groups large enough (N>60) to allow confidence in the representativeness of sub-samples created when determining the stereotypes that may surround the celebrity and non-celebrity worshipper. However, to allow a full consideration for future research Table 2 shows the correlation table between the Celebrity Attitude Scale and the Social and Intelligence Adjective Scales for the present sample. This table shows that in neither sample is there a significant association between celebrity worship and either of the adjective scales.

Table 2: Pearson product-moment correlations between Celebrity Attitude Scale, Social and Intelligence Scale.

 

Celebrity Attitude

Social

Intelligence

Celebrity Attitude

1.00

.10

.05

Social

-.04

1.00

.62**

Intelligence

.00

.72**

1.00

Above the diagonal; Experiment 1
Below the diagonal; Experiment 2
*p<.05; ** p<.01

Table 3 shows mean scores of Social and Intelligence Adjective Scales by each group of CAS score (low and high) for both positive and negative scenarios. Univariate Analysis of variance was used to compare mean scores for main effects (see also Figure 1). For the Social dimension a significant effect was found for type of CAS scorer (F=16.705, p<.001) and for type of scenario presented (F=13.41, p<.001), but no significant interaction was found between the two variables predicting rated social (F=.08, p>.05). Similarly, for the Intelligence dimension a significant effect was found for type of CAS score (F=22.573, p<.001) and for type of scenario presented (F=6.61, p<.01), but no significant interaction was found between the two variables in predicting rated intelligence (F=.38, p>.05).

The absence of an interaction between the two variables, suggests that the two main effects among the findings can be treated separately with some confidence. Comparisons of mean scores were used to understand the different effects.

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Table 3: Mean (Standard Deviation) Scores for both Experiments of Social and Intelligence Adjective Scales by each group of Celebrity Attitude Scale score (low and high) for positive and negative scenarios.

 

Low Scorers

High Scorers

 

Positive Scenario

Negative Scenario

Positive Scenario

Negative

Scenario

Experiment 1

Social

23.18 (3.9)

20.47 (4.9)

26.00 (4.4)

22.87 (4.7)

Intelligence

24.32 (3.0)

21.19 (4.4)

25.47 (3.6)

23.04 (3.6)

Experiment 2

Social

23.69 (4.07)

27.11 (4.81)

26.03 (4.83)

23.61 (5.06)

Intelligence

25.31 (3.79)

27.05 (3.98)

26.24 (4.03)

25.73 (4.21)

For the first effect, type of scenario presented to respondents, comparisons of mean scores of ratings for social and intelligence across these two celebrity groups suggest that the average mean was significantly higher for positive scenarios (average mean: social=24.47, SD=4.3; intelligence=24.84, SD=3.3) than for negative scenarios (average mean: social=21.75, SD=4.9; intelligence=22.18, SD=4.3), suggesting that the effect of a manipulation of scenarios was significant in expected directions.

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Table 4: Mean (SD) Scores for Both Experiments for Each Adjective

 

Experiment 1

Experiment 2

 

Positive Scenario

Negative Scenario

t

Positive Scenario

Negative Scenario

t

Foolish-

2.02 (1.11)

2.48 (1.24)

-2.83*

3.15 (1.17)

3.69 (1.08)

3.53**

Unhappy-

2.04 (1.02)

2.43 (1.24)

-2.56

3.24 (1.07)

3.43 (1.22)

1.19

Persistent

2.20 (1.01)

2.17 (0.89)

.21

3.15 (0.94)

2.79 (0.99)

2.72*

Reliable

2.24 (1.78)

1.93 (0.90)

2.19

2.79 (0.80)

2.85 (0.88)

.55

Unintelligent-

2.35 (1.20)

2.44 (1.21)

-.56

3.56 (0.92)

3.89 (1.04)

2.49

Unpopular-

2.17 (1.15)

2.26 (1.18)

-.58

3.27 (1.11)

3.63 (1.07)

2.47

Determined

2.13 (0.95)

2.11 (0.89)

.15

3.31 (0.94)

3.09 (1.07)

1.62

Honest

2.29 (1.14)

1.98 (1.15)

1.99

3.02 (0.85)

3.46 (1.03)

3.50**

Irresponsible-

1.86 (1.06)

2.57 (1.26)

-4.47**

3.34 (0.95)

3.69 (0.95)

2.73*

Moody-

2.05 (1.02)

2.42 (1.30)

-2.36

3.23 (1.00)

3.40 (1.04)

1.22

Skillful

2.33 (1.14)

2.03 (1.11)

1.99

2.88 (0.89)

2.96 (0.90)

.71

Helpful

2.24 (1.17)

2.10 (1.19)

.86

3.00 (0.87)

2.96 (0.92)

.44

Submissive-

2.09 (1.08)

2.53 (1.36)

-2.63*

3.10 (0.94)

3.54 (0.97)

3.35**

Pessimistic-

2.11 (0.84)

2.21 (0.88)

-.86

3.22 (0.89)

3.08 (1.06)

1.09

Imaginative

2.24 (1.08)

1.96 (1.17)

1.81

3.24 (1.18)

2.95 (1.09)

1.93

Warm

2.12 (1.21)

2.06 (1.13)

.35

2.91 (0.95)

2.85 (0.99)

.45

Jealous-

2.12 (1.22)

2.46 (1.21)

-2.07

2.94 (1.03)

3.03 (1.22)

.54

UnderControl

2.07 (1.09)

2.39 (1.17)

-2.09

2.82 (1.05)

3.04 (1.02)

1.62

- Negative Adjective
* p < .01 ** p < .001

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For the second effect, post-hoc comparisons of mean scores of ratings on the social scale showed that high CAS scorers gave somewhat higher ratings (26.00 & 22.87) than low CAS scorers (23.18 & 20.47). High scorers on the CAS scored significantly higher (25.49 & 23.04) than low scorers (24.32 & 21.19) on the Intelligence Scale.

Table 4 shows the mean scores and standard deviations for each of the adjectives and both of the scenarios used in experiment 1, with reversal of the scores for the negative adjectives. All 218 participants were included for this analysis because we wanted to determine if there is a stereotypical celebrity-worshipper by comparing with the stereotype of the non-worshipper. The .01 alpha level was used because we conducted 18 t tests. Significant differences emerged for three of the adjectives, with celebrity-worshippers being perceived as more likely to be foolish (t = -2.83, p <.01), irresponsible (t = -4.47, p <.001), and submissive (t =-2.64, p <.01).

EXPERIMENT 2

Method

Participants. A sample of 115 men (M age = 28.1 years, SD = 8.7, range = 18 to 47) and 104 women (M age = 29.1 years, SD = 8.7, range = 18 to 49) was recruited from the general adult population in the Orlando metropolitan area of central Florida. There were 75 who reported having completed at least one year of college, 55 described themselves as college graduates, and 9 claimed to have earned at least a masters degree.

Procedure. Participants answered the same demographic questions and filled out the same scales, the CAS and the Personality Impressions, as they did in Experiment 1. As in the earlier experiment, about half of them were randomly assigned to the positive scenario and the other half to the negative scenario of Personality Impressions.

Results

Table 1 shows the mean scores for experiment 2 (American participants), along with standard deviations and alpha coefficients for each measure after reversal of the negative adjectives on the social and intelligence scales. There were no significant sex differences for any of the scales and the alpha coefficients were more than satisfactory. Data for men and women were combined in subsequent analyses. Again, to allow a full consideration for future research, Table 2 shows the correlation table between the Celebrity Attitude Scale and the Social and Intelligence Adjective Scales for the present sample.

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Scores on the Celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS) were used to create two groups, high and low scorers. Those persons scoring in the highest 36 percent (CAS score > 54) were placed in the high scorers group (n = 79, mean CAS score = 69.95; SD = 12.3). Those respondents scoring in the lowest 36 percent (CAS score < 43) were placed in the low scorers group (n = 79, mean CAS score = 33.08; SD = 5.7).

Table 3, experiment 2, shows mean scores on social and intelligence adjective scales by both low and high CAS scorers for both positive and negative scenarios. Analysis of variance was used to compare mean scores. For the social dimension no significant effect was found for type of CAS scorer (F = .60, p > .05), or type of scenario (F = .50, p > .05), but the interaction between the two variables was significant (F = 17.21, p < .001). For the intelligence dimension there was neither a significant effect for type of CAS scorer (F = .08, p > .05) nor for the effect of type of scenario presented (F = .93, p > .05). The interaction (F = 3.07, p = .08) fell short of significance at the .05 level.

A further comparison of mean scores for type of scenario showed that the means for the social dimension were similar. When high and low CAS scorers were combined the mean for the positive scenario was 24.86 (SD = 4.43), as compared to 25.36 (SD = 4.95) for the negative scenario.

On the intelligence dimension, the combined mean for high and low CAS scorers for the positive scenario was 25.78 (SD = 3.90), as compared to 26.39 (SD = 4.09) for the negative scenario. The interaction effect on the social dimension was due to relatively low scores (23.69) on the positive scenario coupled with relatively high scores (27.11) on the negative scenario for the low CAS scorers.

Table 4 shows the mean scores and standard deviations for each of the adjectives and both of the scenarios used in experiment 2, with reversal of the scores for the negative adjectives. All 219 participants were included for this analysis because we wanted to determine if there is a stereotypical celebrity-worshipper by comparing with the stereotype of the non-worshipper. Just as we did in experiment 1, the .01 alpha level was used because we conducted 18 t tests.

Significant differences emerged for five of the adjectives, with celebrity-worshippers being perceived as more likely to be foolish (t = 3.53, p <.001), persistent (t = 2.72, p < .01), irresponsible (t = 2.73, p <.01), and submissive (t = 3.35, p <.001), and less likely to be honest (t = 3.50, p < .001).

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DISCUSSION

For the British participants in experiment 1, one's own attitude toward a favorite celebrity appeared to influence the perception of attributes held by others perceived to be high and low in the tendency to worship celebrities. Specifically, those who tended to be celebrity-worshippers themselves were inclined to view other celebrity-worshippers more favorably than non-worshippers on both the social and intelligence attributes. British participants also gave more favorable social and intelligence ratings to the fictitious person in the positive scenario as compared to the negative scenario. Furthermore, low CAS scorers also gave higher ratings to fictitious persons in the positive scenario. These results might mean that it is socially desirable to be a celebrity-worshipper in England. Such an explanation seems entirely plausible in light of Giles' (2000) anecdotal accounts of British fans whose bizarre antics suggest that they would have scored quite high on the CAS. An alternative interpretation is that people who are "positive about" and "interested in" the lives of others may be viewed favorably, particularly by comparison with those who are "negative about" and "uninterested in" the lives of others. It is easy to understand how such a person might be perceived as sociable, less easy to comprehend how such a person might also be perceived as more intelligent.

It is also possible that there is a weak celebrity-worshipper stereotype, namely that celebrity-worshippers are perceived to be both more social and more intelligent than the average person. This generalization is tempered by the finding of three significant differences that suggest a more negative stereotype (foolish, irresponsible, submissive) of the celebrity-worshipper.

In experiment 2, the American participants who had high CAS scores showed the same response pattern as their British counterparts. Their social and intelligence scores were higher in the positive than in the negative scenario condition. However, Americans with low CAS scores showed a response pattern different from that of their British counterparts. Americans with low CAS scores tended to have relatively high scores when presented with the negative scenario. Perhaps it is fair to say that for low British CAS scorers faced with a negative scenario the salient feature was the apparent negative social attitude of the fictitious other. For low American CAS scorers faced with the same negative scenario the salient feature was that the fictitious other was reacting sensibly (from their perspective) with a non-worshipful attitude, just as they actually did show in filling out the CAS.

To the extent that a stereotypical celebrity-worshipper emerged from experiment 2, it is noteworthy that it is primarily a negative one, and that it generally corresponds to the portrayal of celebrity-worshippers by the American film industry (Lewis, 1992). Leaving aside the mention of femininity, Hollywood's celebrity-worshipper is irresponsible, immature, lonely, isolated, downtrodden, and (if a male) deranged. American participants perceived celebrity-worshippers to be irresponsible, foolish, persistent, dishonest, and submissive. It could be argued that "foolish" and "immature" are overlapping constructs, and that people who are irresponsible, foolish, dishonest and deranged are likely to lose their friendships, becoming socially isolated and lonely.

Furthermore, we believe that it is no mere coincidence that the three significant differences found in British participants correspond to three (irresponsible, foolish, submissive) of the five differences found in the American sample. Perhaps these three represent a stereotype of the celebrity-worshipper that is common to industrialized nations of the world. Further research using participants from other industrialized countries is needed to determine if this is true.

The present findings add greatly to the present literature; they begin to inform researchers in this area of the stereotypes that people hold about celebrity worshippers, and what differentiates them from non-celebrity worshippers. As such, the establishment of these stereotypes begins to inform researchers interested in celebrity worship why people may or may not be attracted to celebrities. As with any research that focuses on the use of stereotypes our results can be used to understand how people perceive the world, and why they may belong to certain groups or subcultures.

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REFERENCES

Ashe, D. D., & McCutcheon, L. E. (2001). Shyness, loneliness, and attitude toward celebrities. Current Research in Social Psychology, 6,124-133. <http://www.uiowa.edu/~grpproc>

Burchill, J. (1986). Damaged gods: Cults and heroes reappraised. London: Century.

Caughey, J. L. (1978, Spring). Artificial social relations in modern America. American Quarterly, 70-89.

Cline, C. (1992). Essays from Bitch: The women's rock newsletter. In L. A. Lewis (Ed.). The adoring audience: Fan culture and popular media. New York: Routledge.

Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1985). The NEO personality inventory manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Cronbach, L.J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16, 297-334.

Eysenck, H.J., & Eysenck, M.W. (1985). Personality and individual differences: A natural science approach. New York: Plenum.

Giles, D. (2000). Illusions of immortality: A psychology of fans and celebrity. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Jenkins, H. (1992). Textual poachers: Television fans and participatory culture. New York: Routledge.

Lewis, L. A. (1992). ‘Something more than love’: Fan stories on film. In L. A. Lewis (Ed.). The adoring audience: Fan culture and popular media. New York: Routledge.

Maltby, J, Houran, J., Lange, R,. Ashe, D. & McCutcheon, L.E. (2002). Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods - Unless They Are Celebrities: The relationship between celebrity worship and religious orientation. Personality and Individual Differences, 32, 1157-1172.

Maltby, J., & McCutcheon, L. E. (2001). Correlations between scores on attitudes toward celebrities and authoritarianism. Psychological Reports, 88, 979-980.

McCutcheon, L. E., Lange, R., & Houran, J. (2002). Conceptualization and measurement of celebrity worship. British Journal of Psychology, 93, 67-87.

Rosenberg, S. V., Nelson, C., & Vivekananthan, P. S. (1968). A multidimensional approach to the structure of personality impressions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 283-294.

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APPENDIX 1: ITEMS FROM THE CELEBRITY ATTITUDE SCALE

1. If I were to meet my favorite celebrity in person, he/she would already somehow know that I am his/her biggest fan. ___

2. I share with my favorite celebrity a special bond that cannot be described in words. ___

3. I am obsessed by details of my favorite celebrity’s life. ___

4. friends and I like to discuss what my favorite celebrity has done. ___

5. When something good happens to my favorite celebrity I feel like it happened to me. ___

6. One of the main reasons I maintain an interest in my favorite celebrity is that doing so give me a temporary escape from life’s problems. ___

7. I have pictures and/or souvenirs of my favorite celebrity which I always keep in exactly the same place. ___

8. The successes of my favorite celebrity are my successes also. ___

9. I enjoy watching, reading, or listening to my favorite celebrity because it means a good time. ___

10. I consider my favorite celebrity to be my soul mate. ___

11. I have frequent thoughts about my favorite celebrity, even when I don’t want to. ___

12. When my favorite celebrity dies (or died) I will feel (or I felt) like dying too. ___

13. I love to talk with others who admire my favorite celebrity. ___

14. When something bad happens to my favorite celebrity I feel like it happened to me. ___

15. Learning the life story of my favorite celebrity is a lot of fun. ___

16. I often feel compelled to learn the personal habits of my favorite celebrity. ___

17. If I were lucky enough to meet my favorite celebrity, and he/she asked me to do something illegal as a favor, I would probably do it. ___

18. It is enjoyable just to be with others who like my favorite celebrity. ___

19. When my favorite celebrity fails or loses at something I feel like a failure myself. ___

20. If someone gave me several thousand dollars to do with as I please, I would consider spending it on a personal possession (like a napkin or paper plate) once used by favorite celebrity. ___

21. I like watching and hearing about my favorite celebrity when I am in a large group of people. ___

22. Keeping up with news about my favorite celebrity is an entertaining pastime. ___

23. News about my favorite celebrity is a pleasant break from a harsh world. ___

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

Lynn E. McCutcheon is assistant professor of psychology at DeVry University in Orlando, where he also teaches courses in sociology and critical thinking. E-mail address is lmccutcheon@orl.devry.edu

John Maltby is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, where he teaches in the areas of social psychology and personality theory.

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