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 October 1, 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 October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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