How audience involvement and social norms foster vulnerability to celebrity-based dietary misinformation.

Jessica Gall Myrick, Sara Erlichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


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. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-379
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Popular Media
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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