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      An Investigation of Demographic Correlates of the Celebrity Attitude Scale


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          The Celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS) has been widely used in the last 15 years, but little is known about how ethnicity and socioeconomic status relate to scores on this scale. In the first of two studies, we showed that a sample of African-American college students had more favorable attitudes toward their favorite celebrities than a sample of White college students. However, there was no control for the possibility that the two samples were unequal with respect to socioeconomic status. The second study controlled for that possibility, and added samples of Hispanic and Asian college students. Results showed that African-American participants again had more favorable attitudes toward their favorite celebrities than Whites did, with Hispanic and Asian-American participants falling in between the two extremes. Socioeconomic status was unrelated to CAS scores. African-Americans tended to select African-American celebrities as their favorites, and Whites tended to choose Whites, with Hispanic and Asian-Americans showing no ethnic preferences. Strength of identification with one’s ethnic group was unrelated to ethnic concordance in choosing a favorite celebrity, but strength of identification with one’s ethnic group decreased as favorable attitudes toward one’s favorite celebrity increased. We discussed why African-American participants might report more attachment to their favorite celebrities than White participants.

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          Most cited references17

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          The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure: A New Scale for Use with Diverse Groups

          J. Phinney (1992)
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            Automatic Preference for White Americans: Eliminating the Familiarity Explanation

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              Conceptualization and measurement of celebrity worship.

              Celebrity worship has been conceptualized as having pathological and nonpathological forms. To avoid problems associated with item-level factor analysis, 'top-down purification' was used to test the validity of this conceptualization. The respondents (N = 249) completed items modelled after existing celebrity worship questionnaires. A subset of 17 unidimensional and Rasch scalable items was discovered (the local reliability ranged from.71 to.96), which showed no biases related to age and gender. This subset was dubbed the Celebrity Worship Scale (CWS). The items also showed no celebrity bias, indicating that CWS applies equally to acting, music, sports, and 'other' celebrities. The Rasch nature of the items defines celebrity worship as consisting of three qualitatively different stages. Low worship involves individualistic behaviours such as watching and reading about a celebrity. At slightly higher levels, celebrity worship takes on a social character. Lastly, the highest levels are characterized by a mixture of empathy with the celebrity's successes and failures, over-identification with the celebrity, compulsive behaviours, as well as obsession with details of the celebrity's life. Based on these findings, the authors propose a model of celebrity worship based on psychological absorption (leading to delusions of actual relationships with celebrities) and addiction (fostering the need for progressively stronger involvement to feel connected with the celebrity).

                Author and article information

                An International Journal on Personal Relationships
                23 December 2016
                : 10
                : 2
                : 161-170
                [a ]Editor, North American Journal of Psychology (NAJP), Winter Garden, FL, USA
                [b ]Lincoln University of Missouri, Jefferson City, MO, USA
                [c ]Mercer University, Macon, GA, USA
                [d ]Armstrong State University, Savannah, GA, USA
                [e ]California State University, Fresno, CA, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Lincoln University of Missouri, 820 Chestnut St., 310 FH, Jefferson City, MO 65201, USA. Aruguetem@ 123456lincolnu.edu

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 14 April 2016
                : 25 October 2016
                Self URI (journal-page): https://journals.psychopen.eu/

                ethnic identification,celebrity attitudes,ethnic differences,socioeconomic status,Celebrity Attitude Scale


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