For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Thursday, 14 August 2003

MADONNA WORSHIP CAN BE HABIT-FORMING

One in 10 people may be suffering an acute form of Celebrity Worship Syndrome (CWS), according to a study published today. Dr Lynn McCutcheon (DeVry University, Orlando, Florida) and Dr James Houran (Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield) studied more than 600 people to test their interest in celebrities, asking questions designed to reveal what they really thought about the rich and famous. The researchers identified three different stages of celebrity worship, New Scientist magazine reported (no link available at time of blog). At the entry level, one in five people followed celebrities for "entertainment-social" reasons: these are the readers of Hello! magazine and similar publications. Above that is a "borderline pathological" condition found in around 1% of people (for example stalkers and individuals who are prepared to harm themselves or others in the name of their idols). These individuals are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and social dysfunction than non-worshippers. At its highest level CWS displays itself in addictive behaviour which may be both dangerous and criminal.

The IPKat says: "This news about CWS is perfect for the marketing and commercial exploitation of branded celebrities and their merchandise. How many fans of David Beckham have been induced to part with their hard-earned cash for objects of veneration such as t-shirts, kitbags and mouse pads on the strength of celebrity worship -- arguably a far more potent force than mere goodwill".

Objects of veneration: Jesus, Madonna, The Apostles, The Holy Trinity, Peter, Paul and Mary and the Church of Rock and Roll
Other things that CWS stands for
Magnificent Obsession? Click here for the film




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