Watching The Kardashians Could Make You A Bit Of A Dick
As if you didn't kinda already know that...
In a piece of information guaranteed to change the viewing habits of many more of us that we'd like to admit, people who regularly watch television shows that glamorise fame, luxury, and wealth -- like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Apprentice and Made In Chelsea -- are potentially more likely to be materialistic and anti-welfare, says new London School of Economics research. In fact, watching those shows actually seems to MAKE you more like that.
Dr Rodolfo Leyva who ran the study said that, “Results suggest that momentary exposure to and regular consumption of materialistic media messages (MMMs) induces stronger materialism and anti-welfare attitudes.
“The Apprentice and Keeping Up With The Kardashians are replete with MMMs that are engineered to absorb audiences into the glamorous world of wealth and celebrities and thus have a strong potential to function as cultivators of materialistic values and attitudes."
Humans are inherently materialistic but also very social and communal. The way this is expressed depends on our culture. If there is more emphasis on materialism as a way to be happy, this makes us more inclined to be selfish and anti-social, and therefore unsympathetic to people less fortunate."
Yes, as we said, dicks.
Dr Leyva and his team didn't just watch a bunch of shows and come to this conclusion -- oh no -- they surveyed 487 British adults aged 18-49 in an experiment that was disguised as a memory and attention test, showing some of those taking part four ads for luxury products, four tabloid photos of famous celebrities showing off expensive belongings, and four newspaper headlines of "rags to riches" stories.
The rest of the group was exposed to neutral stimuli such as ads about trains, images of natural scenery and newspaper headlines about dinosaurs. In total, each group was intermittently shown 12 separate images -- each for five seconds. They were then asked a bunch of questions to gauge their attitudes towards wealth and success,as well as government benefits and the poor, and then government policy.
And once they had gathered all their data, the results clearly told of dickdom.
In fact, they clearly stated that just "one intermittent minute of attention to common and typical materialistic media messages caused a significant increase in anti-welfare sentiments".
And it gets worse. When asked about their viewing habits, those who also regularly watched the aforementioned shows were much more likely to hold “stronger materialistic and anti-welfare attitudes than lighter consumers of these shows.”
Quick. To the remote!
Dr Leyva told HuffPost that he thought his research suggested we all just needed to be more aware of our viewing habits.
READ MORE: Kylie Jenner's Forbes Cover Causes A Rich Backlash “I’d simply say that the more people become informed about how these shows and mass media in general can negatively influence their conceptions of reality, values and behaviors, the more they can actively resist some of the negative influences.”
Feature image: Getty