A couple of minutes ago I read the groundbreaking revelation that model Liz Hurley “disagrees with doctors” about how you can successfully lose weight and what she thinks how nutrition should function in general.
Hot Water And Oat Cakes
According to her you shouldn’t have much of a breakfast and it should consist of “mugs of hot water first thing, maybe an espresso and a few oat cakes mid morning”. As I’m writing this, her profound insight into nutrition was subject of 85 news items just in the US.
But I am not Liz Hurley, you probably aren’t either, and we may wonder why her way to start the day should interest us if we aren’t her. I strongly suspect that if your MD next door, who went through years of a hard medical education, told your local newspaper that he thinks oat cakes are a great way to start the day, the editor of said newspaper wouldn’t have to think twice about not printing it. And even if the editor did I highly doubt that dozens of news sources would pick up that article. And all this despite the fact that your doctor is much more qualified on health topics than Liz Hurley.
So, the interesting question is of course why it gets printed when Liz Hurley says it. And the answer of course is that she is famous. In psychology this is called the “halo effect“: When a person is successful in one field people tend to give that person credibility in totally unrelated fields, even if there is no reason to.
Think about it: Christina Aguilera and David Beckham tell us to drink Pepsi and Paris Hilton wants us to have hamburgers. If we follow the logic, I might as well ask Ms. Aguilera what car I should I buy, Mr. Beckham where I should get the insurance and Ms. Hilton if she thinks the suspension is working as it should.