Research asks: What’s your attitude towards celebrities?

Celebrity Study

Do you know your 'R-Patz' from your 'TomKat'? Can you name all six children of 'Brangelina'? How about the upcoming nuptials of Miley Cyrus – got them sorted?

If you do, this is the study for you.

University of Western Sydney researchers Dr Rebecca Pinkus and Jenny Duggan from the School of Social Sciences and Psychology (opens in a new window) are looking for participants to help them explore attitudes to celebrities.

They hope to expose the reasons why people are interested in celebrities and what influences such interest.

Dr Pinkus, lecturer at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, says that the study will explore the relationship between a person's attitudes toward celebrities and variables such as personality traits.

"This project aims to extend the current understanding of people's reasons for engaging with celebrities," says Dr Pinkus. "We will look at the relationship among attitudes to celebrities, personality traits, attachment style, the need to belong and indicators of well-being."

"The research is being conducted to examine whether the rise of social media about celebrities and how it is now easier than ever to be informed about celebrities and even to communicate with them, is associated with people's social well-being," Dr Pinkus says.

To help answer these questions, participants are being asked to complete a computerised survey. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will include demographic questions, questions that measure the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and questions that indicate time spent reading gossip magazines.

Participants must be aged 18 years and over and will be reimbursed $10.00 to help cover the cost involved with travelling to the Bankstown campus  (opens in a new window) to complete the survey.

In order to participate please contact the researchers via email at

This study has received ethical approval from the University of Western Sydney Human Ethics Research Committee. The approval number for this study is HREC H9562.


14 August 2012

Words: Hannah Guilfoyle

Photo: Alice King

Read the story in the Canterbury-Bankstown Express

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