Document Preview
  • Full Text
  • Scholarly Journal

Materialism and the Tendency to Worship Celebrities

Full text preview



The purpose of this study was to examine how interest in celebrities relates to materialistic values and envy. We administered the Celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS), the nine-item version of the Material Values Scale (MVS), and a five-item envy scale to 248 participants from four institutions of higher learning. We hypothesized that those who tended to value materialism would also tend to worship celebrities, and that this would be particularly true for those whose favorite celebrity was associated with popular culture rather than humanitarian service. Results confirmed the first hypothesis but not the second. Those who scored high on the Borderline Pathological subscale of the CAS tended to score high on materialistic values and envy. Envy was positively correlated with MVS scores. The discussion focused on the difficulty of obtaining a meaningful sample of persons who favor humanitarian celebrities, and the dysfunctional similarities between materialists and those who score high on CAS - Borderline Pathological.

In the last decade there has been a proliferation of research on persons who are enthralled with celebrities - persons who have been termed "celebrity worshippers." The 23-item Celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS) was developed in an effort to facilitate that line of research. This scale has been shown to have very good reliability (Griffith, Aruguete, Edman, Green, & McCutcheon, 2013) and validity across several studies (see McCutcheon, Maltby, Houran, & Ashe, 2004, for a review). More than two dozen studies using the CAS have appeared in print, and we now know quite a bit about those who admire celebrities. For example, those whose scores indicate that they are absorbed and/or addicted to their favorite celebrity, as reflected in high scores on the Intense-personal and Borderline Pathological subscales, tend to show signs of neuroticism and psychoticism in the context of Eysenck's personality dimensions (Maltby, Houran, &...