Hating Celebrities And Their Lifestyle Involves Psychological Factors, According To A Study

Are you someone who religiously keeps up with celebrity news, or are you part of the group that absolutely abhors hearing anything remotely linked to celebrities?

Most people tend to lean toward one group or the other, while some are in the gray area where they simply just don’t care about what’s new or who’s doing what in the glamorous lives of celebrities and their never-ending conquest of staying relevant.

PHOTO: Unsplash/Clem Onojeghuo

Sure, some celebrities have helped people find happiness through their songs or their good deeds, for example – idolizing these types of stars would be a result of that. And then we have some stars who just exist, influencers who shot to fame in one way or another, yet people still follow them and purchase anything they endorse or create.

When watching a news broadcast and the celebrity bits come up, are you the type to stay and watch it, or do you skip back to the actual news?

A study shows that there are actual psychological factors involved in celebrity culture hate.

“People tend to love and hate celebrities. The emotion of hatred can occur at the interpersonal level (i.e. directed at one celebrity) or the intergroup level (hatred toward celebrity culture in general),” the study said.

The study’s author, Ho Phi Huynh, explained that people started hating celebrities instead of admiring them recently. Of course, there have always been the paparazzi or scandal-focused news sites like TMZ, where they follow celebrities in hopes of getting exclusive information, bad or not.

PHOTO: Unsplash/Zeg Young

Is it ingrained in our brains to seek out bad news or scandals in hopes of watching the fall of those at the top?

“People seem to enjoy discussing and reading hateful celebrity gossip. This study was conducted to answer the question of why an inter-group conflict is forming between celebrity class and community by investigating the potential psychological factors that predispose individuals to hate celebrity culture,” the researchers said.

Even though most celebrity news focuses on American celebrities, the study used data not just from an American demographic but also from a number of Iranian participants.

The researchers developed a “Celebrity Culture Triangular Hate Scale” where they asked their participants to rate their feelings, from ‘not at all’ to ‘extremely’ towards questions like whether they think celebrity culture is truly disgusting and whether they feel personally threatened by celebrity culture.

In addition to the “Celebrity Culture Triangular Hate Scale,” the researchers also examined predictors of hating celebrity culture with questions involving materialism, humility, relative deprivation, threat, victimhood, and social dominance orientation.

Psypost mentioned that the researchers measured these things by asking their participants’ level of agreement with statements about admiring someone who owns expensive things, the importance of having a lot of money, their sense of deprivation compared to celebrities, their subjective social status, and their comfort with group-based hierarchy.

“As predicted, celebrity culture hate was significantly associated with a variety of psychological variables including humility, personal relative deprivation, and perceived victimhood and threat,” the study said.

“It seems that celebrity culture hate is not a culture-specific phenomenon, and such hatred is growing in both western and eastern cultures. Findings suggest that the feelings of the vulnerability of the members of society from celebrities (feeling victimized by the existence of celebrities and celebrity culture) are fueling the community’s hatred toward the celebrity class and their lifestyle,” Huynh told PsyPost.

PHOTO: Unsplash/Annie Spratt

Interestingly enough, the results from their American participants showed that materialism and social dominance orientation weren’t much of a factor when it comes to celebrity hatred compared to that of the Iranian participants. They assume that Americans tend to be more materialistic themselves, so such factors don’t contribute to their hatred.

What makes this study significant?

The researcher said, “A fundamental chasm between people and celebrities is forming, which can significantly reduce the productivity and efficiency of society.”

Celebrities aren’t just a source of scandal; they can be a source of inspiration instead! Read more heartwarming celebrity stories here or here.

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