Are measures of life satisfaction linked to admiration for celebrities?

  • Mara S. ArugueteEmail author
  • Ho Huynh
  • Lynn E. McCutcheon
  • Blaine L. Browne
  • Bethany Jurs
  • Emilia Flint


A pattern of research findings indicates that excessive devotion to a favorite celebrity is linked to attitudes and behaviors that are psychologically unhealthy and may predict low life satisfaction. This study examines whether four common measures of life satisfaction (i.e., curiosity, meaning in life, gratitude, and flexibility) predict admiration for celebrities in two university samples and one community sample of young adults. Our results showed significant correlations between celebrity admiration and two measures of life satisfaction (curiosity and gratitude). We also found that the predictors of life satisfaction correlate with each other in ways that are consistent with previous research in positive psychology. Our research suggests an inverse relationship between celebrity admiration and life satisfaction. In addition, the results contribute to establishing the validity of four contemporary life satisfaction measures.


Celebrity admiration Life satisfaction Meaning in life Curiosity Gratitude Flexibility 



  1. Aruguete M, Griffith J, Edman J, Green T, McCutcheon L (2014) Body image and celebrity worship. Implicit Relig 17:223–234. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashe DD, McCutcheon LE (2001) Shyness, loneliness, and attitude toward celebrities. Curr Res Soc Psychol 6:124–133. Accessed 18 July 2018
  3. Ben-Itzhak S, Bluvstein I, Maor M (2014) The psychological flexibility questionnaire (PFQ): development, reliability and validity. Webmed Central Psychol 5:1–10Google Scholar
  4. Brdar I, Kashdan T (2010) Character strengths and well-being in Croatia: an empirical investigation of structure and correlates. J Res Pers 44:151–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cohen J (1977) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Compton WC, Hoffman E (2013) Positive psychology: the science of happiness and flourishing, 2nd edn. Wadsworth, BelmontGoogle Scholar
  7. Crumbaugh JC (1968) Cross-validation of purpose-in-life test based on Frankl’s concepts. J Individ Psychol 24:74–81Google Scholar
  8. DiFabio A, Palazzeschi L, Bucci O (2017) Gratitude in organizations: a contribution for healthy organizational contexts. Front Psychol 8:2025. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Emmons RA, McCullough ME (2003) Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. J Pers Soc Psychol 84:377–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Erdfelder E, Faul F, Buchner A (1996) GPOWER: a general power analysis program. Behav Res Methods Instrum Comput 28:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fox GR, Kaplan J, Damasio H, Damasio A (2015) Neural correlates of gratitude. Front Psychol 6:1–11. Google Scholar
  12. Graham CD, Gouick J, Ferreira N, Gillanders D (2016) The influence of psychological flexibility on life satisfaction and mood in muscle disorders. Rehabil Psychol 61:210–217. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Griffith J, Aruguete M, Edman J, Green T, McCutcheon LE (2013) The temporal stability of the tendency to worship celebrities. SAGE Open 3:1–5. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kashdan TB, Rottenberg J (2010) Psychological flexibility as a fundamental aspect of health. Clin Psychol Rev 30:865–878CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kashdan TB, Steger MF (2007) Curiosity and pathways to well-being and meaning in life: traits, states, and everyday behaviors. Mot Emotion 31:159–173. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kashdan TB, Gallagher MW, Silvia PJ, Winterstein BP, Breen WE, Terhar D, Steger MF (2009) The curiosity and exploration inventory-II: development, factor structure, and psychometrics. J Res Pers 43:987–998. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Maltby J, McCutcheon LE, Ashe DD, Houran J (2001) The self-reported psychological well-being of celebrity worshippers. N Am J Psychol 3:444–452Google Scholar
  18. Maltby J, Houran J, Lange R, Ashe D, McCutcheon LE (2002) Thou shalt worship no other gods—unless they are celebrities: the relationship between celebrity worship and religious sorientation. Personal Individ Differ 32:1157–1172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Maltby J, Houran J, McCutcheon LE (2003) A clinical interpretation of attitudes and behaviors associated with celebrity worship. J Nervous Mental Dis 191:25–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Maltby J, Day L, McCutcheon LE, Martin MM, Cayanus JL (2004) Celebrity worship, cognitive flexibility, and social complexity. Personal Individ Differ 37:1475–1482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Maltby J, Giles DC, Barber L, McCutcheon LE (2005) Intense-personal celebrity worship and body image: evidence of a link among female adolescents. Br J Health Psychol 10:17–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maltby J, McCutcheon LE, Lowinger RJ (2011) Brief report: celebrity worshipers and the five-factor model of personality. N Am J Psychol 13:343–348Google Scholar
  23. Marshall E, Brockman RN (2016) The relationships between psychological flexibility, self-compassion, and emotional well-being. J Cognit Psychother Int Q 30:60–72. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Martin MM, Cayanus JL, McCutcheon LE, Maltby J (2003) Celebrity worship and cognitive flexibility. N Am J Psychol 5:75–80Google Scholar
  25. McCullough ME, Emmons RA, Tsang J (2002) The grateful disposition: a conceptual and empirical topography. J Pers Soc Psychol 82:112–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McCullough ME, Tsang J, Emmons RA (2004) Gratitude in intermediate affective terrain: links of grateful moods to individual differences and daily emotional experience. J Pers Soc Psychol 86:295–309. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McCutcheon LE, Lange R, Houran J (2002) Conceptualization and measurement of celebrity worship. Br J Psychol 93:67–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McCutcheon LE, Maltby J, Houran J, Ashe DD (2004) Celebrity worshippers: inside the minds of stargazers. PublishAmerica, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  29. McCutcheon LE, Scott VB Jr, Aruguete MS, Parker J (2006) Exploring the link between attachment and the inclination to obsess about or stalk celebrities. N Am J Psychol 8:289–300Google Scholar
  30. McCutcheon LE, Griffith JD, Aruguete MS, Haight E (2012) Cognitive ability and celebrity worship revisited. N Am J Psychol 14:383–392Google Scholar
  31. McCutcheon LE, Wong M, Black J, Maynard D, Frey R, Rich G (2014) Does “irresponsibility” predict the addictive level of celebrity worship? N Am J Psychol 16:519–530Google Scholar
  32. McCutcheon L, Aruguete MS, Jenkins W, McCarley N, Yockey R (2016a) An investigation of demographic correlates of the Celebrity Attitude Scale. Interpersona Int J Pers Relatsh [Online] 10.2:161–170. Accessed 24 July 2018
  33. McCutcheon LE, Aruguete M, McCarley NG, Jenkins WJ (2016b) Further validation of an indirect measure of celebrity stalking. J Stud Soc Sci 14:75–91Google Scholar
  34. McCutcheon LE, Gillen MM, Browne BL, Murtagh MP, Collisson B (2016c) Intimate relationships and attitudes toward celebrities. Interpersona 10:77–89. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Park N, Peterson C, Seligman MEP (2004) Strengths of character and well-being. J Soc Clin Psychol 23:603–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Park N, Park M, Peterson C (2010) When is the search for meaning related to life satisfaction? Appl Psychol Health Well-Being 2:1–13. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Peterson C, Ruch W, Beerman U, Park N, Seligman MEP (2007) Strengths of character, orientations to happiness, and life satisfaction. J Posit Psychol 2:149–156. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Reeves RA, Baker GA, Truluck CS (2012) Celebrity worship, materialism, compulsive buying, and the empty self. Psychol Mark 29:674–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Steger MF, Kashdan TB (2007) Stability and specificity of meaning of life and life satisfaction over one year. J Happiness Stud 8:161–179. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Steger MF, Frazier P, Oishi S, Kaler M (2006) The meaning in life questionnaire: assessing the presence of and search for the meaning in life. J Couns Psychol 53:80–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Steger MF, Kashdan TB, Sullivan BA, Lorentz D (2008) Understanding the search for meaning in life: personality, cognitive style, and the dynamic between seeking and experiencing meaning. J Pers 76:199–228. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wood AM, Joseph S, Maltby J (2009) Gratitude predicts psychological well-being above the big five facets. Personal Individ Differ 46:443–447. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mara S. Aruguete
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ho Huynh
    • 2
  • Lynn E. McCutcheon
    • 3
  • Blaine L. Browne
    • 4
  • Bethany Jurs
    • 5
  • Emilia Flint
    • 6
  1. 1.Lincoln University of MissouriJefferson CityUSA
  2. 2.Texas A&M University-San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.North American Journal of PsychologyWinter GardenUSA
  4. 4.Valdosta State UniversityValdostaUSA
  5. 5.Transylvania UniversityLexingtonUSA
  6. 6.Black Hills State UniversitySpearfishUSA

Personalised recommendations