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MEMBERS: LynJoy Robinson, Tess Petreycik, Christina Marciante, Jacqueline Recio, Matt Benedict
Author: LynJoy Robinson
The Spot Light Effect in Entertainment
The Spotlight Effect is the tendency for one to have a self-conscious approach to situations, essentially overestimating how intensely one’s actions and/or appearance are scrutinized by others. A recent video clip published online featured the Kardashian-Jenner clan on vacation in Costa Rica. The video was tagged Kourtney Kardashian brings her beautifying team on vacation. The video featured Kourtney Kardashian sitting down getting her makeup done, by a member of her beauty team, while she made a snapchat video for her fans to see. (Anthony, 2017)
The Kardashian girls jump through hoops to ensure their appearance is always on point, both in person and on their social media pages. They typically do not like being photographed without their makeup and hair done. But do people really care about how these ladies look? Are the Kardashians making a big fuss out of something insignificant? I believe the answers to these questions are Yes! Based on how these ladies think they should look, they are evidently experiencing the Spotlight Effect.
A peer reviewed article, The Spotlight Effect in Social Judgement, written by Thomas Gilovich et.al (2000) eloquently explains this concept. The article draws the conclusion that people typically “overestimate the extent to which their actions and appearance are noted by others (Gilovich, Medvec, Savitsky., 2000, p. 1).” The researchers conducted a three-part study. The participants were asked to wear t-shirts that had either a flattering image, or an embarrassing image. The participants wearing these t-shirts overestimated the amount of observers that would be able to recall the words/ images on their shirt. In another study, participants were placed in a group discussion, where they again overestimated the extent to which their exchange of words were remembered by their fellow group members.
The research concluded that the Spotlight Effect is very present in everyday life. The assessment of one’s self sparks the perception that one’s actions are ‘under the microscope’ of others. People “typically end up overestimating their own prominence in the eyes of others” (Gilovich, et al., 2000, p. 9).
As humans, we are all guilty of over assessing our own behaviors and actions, even when we don’t realize it. The article and video cited earlier gave a pronounced example of the Spotlight Effect. The Kardashian-Jenner ladies payed presumably thousands of dollars for a beauty team to follow them all the way throughout Costa Rica, just so they could look their absolute best while on vacation to maintain the image they thought was necessary. They believe the world is scrutinizing their imperfections. But the reality is, no one seem to care as much as they think. People are largely caught up with more concerning issues happening in the world.
Anthony, R. (2017). Kourtney Kardashian Strips Naked For A Sexual Skinny-Dipping Picture.
Elite Daily. Retrieved from http://elitedaily.com/entertainment/celebrity/kourtney-kardashian-naked-skinny-dipping-snapchat/1772727/
Anthony, R. (2017). Kourtney Kardashian brings her beautifying team on vacation. Elite Daily.
Retrieved from http://elitedaily.com/entertainment/celebrity/kourtney-kardashian-naked-skinny-dipping-snapchat/1772727/
Gilovich, T., Medvec, V. H., & Savitsky, K. (2000). The spotlight effect in social judgment: An
egocentric bias in estimates of the salience of one’s own actions and appearance. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 78(2), 211-222. doi:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.52
Myers, David G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology. New York: McGraw- Hill.