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

Jessica Myrick, Sara Erlichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

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