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Celebrities Shoe Choices Alter Women's Brains

Celebrities and Their Shoes Alter Our Brains?

If we listen to science, women are losing control over our lives: we're much too influenced by other people. Last week, we found out divorce is contagious — if a friend gets divorced we're much more likely too — and this week a study discovered that celebrity endorsements alter our brains.

Dutch researchers found that when women viewed a female celebrity wearing a certain shoe, they experienced heightened activity in the part of the brain associated with affection. This brain activity made it more likely that they would associate the celebrity with the shoe. Similar activity did not occur when a woman saw a picture of a similarly attractive non-celeb. People we "know" influence us and only the pervasiveness of the celebrity's fame (aka how well we know them), increased the brain activity. Conversely, attractiveness or perceived expertise about the product had no impact.

This study could explain why many brands have stopped using unknown models, instead having prominent actresses pitch mascara or shampoo to women, as well as the motivation behind the abundance of product placements in the Sex and the City movies. Now they just have to make sure we can afford those shoes the celebrities are wearing.

Join The Conversation
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
I wonder what the results would be like if a researcher put a certain pair of shoes on a subject's friend (someone she knows more closely than a celebrity). Would a friend or a relative have more sway than a celebrity? What if the friend was less attractive than the celebrity? More attractive? How would the friend's influence over the subject compare to the celebrity's? The brain is so interesting! Our brains are still running the operating system they came with when our species started, and it's fascinating how they work with today's culture. Also, those pink and white shoes are silly. :D
stephley stephley 7 years
Or is this just about shoes?
stephley stephley 7 years
I can't think of one product I use that I bought because of who was in the advertising, and 24 women is a pitifully small sample. If the study is right, how would we know what to buy when companies selling the same product use different celebrities? Do I buy mascara Drew advertises, or go with Gwyneth?
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