Hero Worship - Good or Bad?
worship syndrome suggests that, although following a celebrity can be a positive
influence on people’s lives, in some extreme cases people admit they would
lie, steal or worse if the object of their admiration asked them.
are some of the findings of a new research programme conducted by psychologists
at the University of Leicester in conjunction with psychologists in the USA.
findings also indicate that celebrity worship is not just the remit of teenage
girls prone to idolisation or science fiction fans, but affected up to nearly
30% of the people sampled.
studies carried out by the team suggest that there seem to be three main
dimensions to celebrity worship. Low levels involve following a celebrity for
entertainment and social reasons, chatting with friends and talking about the
object of your admiration.
levels of celebrity worship, by contrast, are characterised by more intense and
personal feelings, reflecting an individual’s belief that he or she may have a
special bond with the celebrity.
High levels of are thought to resemble
more social-pathological attitudes and behaviours that are held as a result of
worshipping a celebrity.
a recent paper by the team in the Journal
of Nervous and Mental Disease, the authors reported findings that suggested
that there might be both positive and negative consequences of following a
who do so for entertainment and social reasons are also found to be more
outgoing, happy and optimistic. However
those who follow celebrities for intense-personal reasons are likely to be more
depressed and anxious, whilst those who demonstrate high levels of celebrity
worship may well be solitary, impulsive, anti-social and troublesome.
John Maltby, University of Leicester Lecturer in Psychology, commented: “It
has to be remembered that celebrity worship is not necessarily a bad thing.
However, our findings suggest that, like many other behaviours,
over-indulgence in one thing may not always be good for you”
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Further information is available from Dr John Maltby, University of
Leicester Department of Psychology, tel 0116 252 2165, fax 0116 252 2705, mobile
07968 586441, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.