Noseworthy on Contagion Effects of Celebrity Memorabilia (study)

What do Britney Spears’ (chewed) bubble gum, Bernie Madoff’s footstool and Lady Gaga’s fake fingernail have in common? They’ve all been sold at celebrity memorabilia auctions.

Professor Theodore J. Noseworthy [pictured] is an expert on the so-called ‘contagion’ effects of such celebrity memorabilia, and says (in a Schulich.School of Business press release on the subject)

“[…] people can make some pretty odd inferences about the behaviour of people known to have purchased celebrity memorabilia,”

“For example, if someone were to buy a jacket previously owned by convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff and then behaved in an honest way, such as returning a lost wallet with money intact to the owner, they would be judged to be even more morally exemplary than their behaviour indicated.”

See: How inferred contagion biases dispositional judgments of others , Journal of Consumer Psychology, Volume 27, Issue 2, April 2017, Pages 195-206.

Note: The paper mentions that :

“[…] people are willing to pay more for George Clooney’s sweater as long as it has not since been dry-cleaned.“ citing Newman et al., 2011 – but Improbable has so far been unable to find any mention of George Clooney in the paper.

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