How Audience Involvement and Social Norms Foster Vulnerability to Celebrity-Based Dietary Misinformation

Jessica Myrick, Sara Erlichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Entertainment media often connect celebrities to potentially dangerous dietary advice that is explicitly at odds with medical opinions about achieving a healthy weight. Despite concern from federal officials about the amount of misleading dietary claims in popular media, many individuals believe and even take up this celebrity-based bad advice. A survey with manipulated stimuli (N = 466) builds upon social- cognitive theory and the appraisal theory of emotions to test a proposed conceptual model whereby audience involvement processes (i.e., identification, parasocial relationships, and liking) and social norm perceptions shape subsequent emotional and social- cognitive reactions, which in turn influence openness to celebrity-based nutrition misinformation. The results partially support the proposed model, indicating that pop culture media can influence audience vulnerability to diet-related misinformation. The findings presented here also offer guidance on ways to potentially mitigate celebrity-based misinformation by utilizing other relatable celebrities to deliver inspiring and accurate messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology of Popular Media Culture
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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VIP
Social Norms
Nutrition
vulnerability
Communication
Social Perception
Identification (control systems)
Culture Media
pop culture
Emotions
social norm
Diet
cognitive theory
Weights and Measures
entertainment
nutrition
stimulus
emotion

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

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