Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The more we know about celebrities, the less we like them

Date:
September 25, 2012
Source:
University of New Hampshire
Summary:
Clint Eastwood's famous interview with an invisible President Obama seated in an empty chair at the Republican National Convention may have done more than elicit a round of late-night television jokes. Celebrities who publicly support political candidates may want to think twice about doing so, according to a researcher who has found that those who are most vocal about political, religious, and social causes may pay with decreased popularity and a hit to their wallets.

Clint Eastwood's famous interview with an invisible President Obama seated in an empty chair at the Republican National Convention may have done more than elicit a round of late-night television jokes. Celebrities who publicly support political candidates may want to think twice about doing so, according to a University of New Hampshire researcher who has found that those who are most vocal about political, religious, and social causes may pay with decreased popularity and a hit to their wallets.

In fact, the more the public knows about celebrities' personal views, the less we like them, according to Bruce Pfeiffer, assistant professor of marketing at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics.

"The willingness of celebrities to take on controversial issues out of a sense of social responsibility is admirable. However, informing the public about themselves and their positions on political, religious, and social issues may diminish not only their popularity, but their endorsement appearances and sales at the box office," Pfeiffer said.

Pfeiffer has conducted extensive research about how people react to celebrities once they know their personal viewpoints. For example, he found that when people learned about the personal and religious opinions of two well-known actors with opposite views -- Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson -- they liked them less.

Liberals and conservatives had similar opinions about Hanks and Gibson prior to learning about the actors' beliefs. However, "when descriptions of the practices and attitudes of the celebrities were provided, liberals and conservatives diverged in their evaluations of the actors, particularly Gibson," Pfeiffer said.

In addition, certain groups differed in how they perceived celebrities once they had more information about their views. In the experiment with Hanks and Gibson, liberals and women tended to rate Gibson less favorably with more information. Similarly, likability ratings among conservatives and men dropped as they learned more about Hanks' views.

Pfeiffer also has investigated the impact of educating people about just how little they know about celebrities' personal beliefs, attitudes, and opinions. Once this lack of knowledge is make clear, people tend to think less favorably of the celebrities and consider them less credible as spokespeople.

"The findings reveal one of the important foundations underlying the adoration of celebrities: ignorance," Pfeiffer said. "Unless celebrities harbor mainstream attitudes that have widespread appeal, they are probably better off financially keeping their opinions and practices private."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New Hampshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of New Hampshire. "The more we know about celebrities, the less we like them." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925091344.htm>.
University of New Hampshire. (2012, September 25). The more we know about celebrities, the less we like them. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925091344.htm
University of New Hampshire. "The more we know about celebrities, the less we like them." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925091344.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins