A Splash In The Water: Accident Or Murder?

Although an old topic, the mysterious case of Natalie Wood has been puzzling authorities for years and continues to do so to this very day. A case that happened about thirty-seven years ago was reopened in the year 2011 and has once again been cycled around. The case involves Natalie’s late husband Robert Wagner, Christopher Walken, and a yacht captain, Dennis Davern. While out on a yacht trip, Natalie Wood had been found floating dead in the water. Suspicions were raised over how Natalie had died, pointing fingers at Wagner, Davern, and Walken. In the most recent update to the case, Natalie’s sister Lana, speaks up about how she feels and how she wants her brother-in-law to admit to what truly happened that night on the boat. Us Weekly Magazine gives us the inside scoop with an article containing a small excerpt of audio between Lana and Wagner.

The case revolves around many assumptions, theories, and thoughts of skepticism. However, when we look at it from the perspective of social psychology we can apply different concepts to help explain or dwindle down certain views or maybe even perhaps make the case even more elusive than it already is. A main concept that plays a role in this case is the concept of the confirmation bias. The confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information that helps confirm our own preconceptions. For instance, Natalie’s sister Lana opens with this statement in the thirty-minute clip found on an exerpt by US Weekly, “We all have to accept what we’ve done in life and accept the wrongs. We have to all face up to it…and if that’s what he’s done, he has to face up to it.” She constantly implies that Robert Wagner was involved in Natalie’s death. She also implies that he was involved with the death of Natalie by confronting him in an interview and saying “…but R.J you’ve changed your story, you’ve never said anything to me, you’ve never for one minute stopped and said, ‘This is what happened”’, after saying that he had spoken about the events to people many times. This relates to confirmation bias by the simple fact that Lana is trying to find information to confirm her own views, and is reluctant to look or accept facts that support other possibilities.

We also see the concept of illusory correlations play a role in this investigation. Illusory correlation happens when we perceive a strong relationship between two things rather than what truly exists. We have a perception that there is a prominent relationship, when there really isn’t any. In the case of Natalie Wood, there may be a high tendency of correlating two events that happened to the buildup of Natalie’s death. This tends to be rather easy for the simple fact that the case does not have a lot of people involved, and the area in which the events took place were confined to that of a boat. A prime example of this illusory correlation would be surrounding the idea of Natalie and Robert fighting earlier on in the night. Many times when we see that a spouse of someone has died rather unexpectedly or abruptly, we like to trace it back to the other half. For example, if a man’s wife had suddenly died due to some freak accident, many people would be inclined to believe that the woman and her husband had had a bad marriage or some sort of conflict that lead the man to do something horrible to his own wife. People would assume that they had gotten in an argument that lead to extreme anger leading the man to lash out regardless of previous judgements of the couple. However, there is no true correlation between this woman dying and her husband being involved with the murder. However strong the correlation between fighting and something bad happening preceding a fight is, we cannot conclude in complete confidence that Natalie and Robert arguing, lead to Robert murdering his own wife.

Perhaps by looking at the mind puzzling case without preconceptions and wants of our own, we could see it in a different light and by chance find new facts. The reason I say this is because our own needs to fulfill our confirmation bias, as well as illusory correlation, blinds us from seeing other possible options.

Citations:

Us Weekly Staff. (2018, October 1st). Natalie Wood’s Sister Lana Confronted Robert Wagner: ‘Why Won’t You Speak to Detectives?’

.Retrieved from https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/natalie-woods-sister-confronted-robert-wagner/

Prejudice and Discrimination at Hartford University

The University of Hartford, or UHart, is known for its diversity and wide varieties of study. However, UHart has recently been the home to a very controversial issue. Chennel Rowe, a freshman at UHart from New York City, was living with “The Roommate from Hell”. Chennel Rowe and Brianna Brochu were paired to be roommates through their freshman year of college. Rowe was becoming increasingly sick about a month and a half in living with Brochu, and she claimed to have felt unwelcome in her own room. Rowe’s sickness got so severe that she was unable to speak or sleep due to extreme pain in her throat. Her school’s medical services recommended she see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor because her illness had gotten too serious. Rowe was unaware of what was causing her sickness but she would soon find out. The day that Rowe began to move her belongings out of her current room into her new one, Brochu asked for confirmation of her room change and it was granted. Immediately after Brochu was seen texting on her phone and by the time Chennel got downstairs, her neighbor informed her of a post made by Brochu. On Brochu’s Instagram read “Finally did it ya girl got rid of her roommate! After 1½ months of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons [on] her backpack, putting her toothbrush where the sun doesn’t shine and so much more I can finally say goodbye to Jamaican Barbie”. It seems that Brochu had prejudice feelings towards Rowe and this caused to her to discriminate against her.

Brochu had no logical reasons to dislike her former roommate, she even began to mistreat her before getting to know her. In this case we see that Brochu made racial slurs towards Rowe such as Jamaican Barbie”, and contaminated her personal belongings. Prejudice is a fixed opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.-It is quite evident that Brochu had prior negative judgements associated with black people and individualized those on Rowe. Those judgments are called prejudices. Evidence of this evidence is shown in a live video posted by Chennel Rowe. Brochu’s prejudice in regards to Rowe also caused her to display unwarranted negative behaviors towards her, otherwise known as discrimination. Although these are broad terms, Brochu’s behavior can be explained …When breaking down the idea of Prejudice, it is easy to get a better understanding of our dual attitude system. Our dual attitude system can come in the form of implicitness and explicitness. Implicit prejudice refers to automatic attitudes towards the same target. This basically means that you know something or feel a certain way about something without actually knowing that you know or feel that way. If she had shown implicit behaviors, she would have maybe expressed those feelings in a more subtle manor being that she was unaware of the subconsciously. In this case maybe the outcome would have varied. Nonetheless, explicit prejudice refers to conscious attitudes towards the same target. In this case Brochu expresses explicit prejudice. This is seen through her direct negative feelings of wanting to find a way to get her out of the room. She was aware of her attitude when considering Rowe, and these attitudes were neither pleasant nor friendly.

This case went viral after Chennel Rowe posted a live video on her Facebook account describing how the situation unfolded. She gives much more detail as to what was done to her and how she was being treated generally by her roommate. Rowe also touched on the fact that she had no control on how the issue played out. She decided to use her social media outlet as a way to bring more attention to the issue. This actually sped up the investigation process and Brochu was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief and breach of peace. The NAACP as well as Rowe and her lawyers want to push for hate crime charges, so trial is continued to December 18th, 2017. Click here to watch Chennel Rowe’s live video!

Miller, J. R. (2017, November 01). Roommate from hell’s sick sabotage involved bloody tampons, licked utensils. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://nypost.com/2017/11/01/roommate-from-hells-sick-sabotage-involved-bloody-tampons-licked-utensils/

Press, A. (2017, November 21). Roommate from hell not expected to face hate crime charge. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://nypost.com/2017/11/21/roommate-from-hell-not-expected-to-face-hate-crime-charge/

Kiana Charles

 

 

Ads Persuade Us More Than You Think

Pop star and actress, Selena Gomez, signed a contract with Coach to design her own line and become the face of the brand. She has a very large fan base and is the most followed account on Instagram with 129 million followers. Coach has seen a spike in sales and social media interaction. Whenever Selena posts a photo of her with a Coach bag, the brand’s social media pages have shown a dramatic increase in activity. An analysis by assessment management firm Piper Jaffray, reported that since partnering with Selena, Coach has seen an increase of roughly fifty percent in followers. Her promotion of the products has helped increase sales; on the same day Coach and Selena launched their fall collaboration collection, the brand’s stock rose by 2%. It is a marketing tactic to have celebrities promote products in order to influence the consumer’s mind about it. The goal is to convince consumers that the merchandise is worth buying. This is persuasion, the process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors.

Celebrity endorsements and promoting products on their social media page is a peripheral route to persuasion. This occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues like a speaker’s attractiveness. The audience/consumer was able to focus on the very famous pop star/actress who has a huge following on social media which triggered automatic acceptance without much thinking involved. Associating a product with celebrities and their fame and attractiveness allows these visual images to become peripheral cues. Peripheral route processing builds implicit attitudes, through repeated associations between an attitude object and emotion. This means that people unconsciously formed attitudes through the repeated connection between their

feelings and judgement of Selena Gomez in the ad. This is different from central route to persuasion where the audience focuses on the content of the message. If the ad or photo had facts about the kind of material used for the Coach bag and said the quality was the best, then the audience can be convinced by the arguments presented and not by peripheral cues.

Credibility of the speaker in an advertisement is important in the persuasion of the consumer. Selena Gomez has the perceived trustworthiness and expertise necessary to make her promotion of the merchandise believable. A lot of times celebrities get caught up in scandals like inappropriate behavior and drug abuse. Selena Gomez has never been involved with any kind of scandals and is seen as a person with a good reputation. She’s worked with many charities and foundations and rose to fame due to her starring role in a popular kid’s television show. Gomez is very involved in the fashion world so she has lots of experience with clothing brands. It makes sense why there are so many athlete endorsement deals. There’s more credibility if an Olympic gold medalist were to be in a sneaker advertisement than if it were just any ordinary person. A credible person makes consumers believe that they can trust the speaker because they are experts in what they are promoting. So, next time you see an ad, ask yourself did you really like that product or did you like who was promoting it?

References

Velasco, P. (2017, October 09). Did Selena Gomez Boost Coach’s Insta-Popularity? Retrieved November 06, 2017, from http://people.com/chica/selena-gomez-boosts-coach-instagram-success/

 

– Hilary Concepcion

A Surge in Internet Suicide Searches Brought on by “13 Reason’s Why”

When Selena Gomez, decided to produce the Netflix’s adaption of the novel 13 Reason’s Why, she set out to create a show that spread the awareness of the dangers of suicide.  Although she was successful in making suicide a more talked about subject, suicide has now fallen into the realm of reality of some youth.  The series followed a teenager named Hannah Baker, and her journey throughout high school which was seemingly filled with turmoil and chaos.  Following the many obstacles she faced throughout her life, Hannah committed suicide which was graphically depicted towards the end of the season.  There was no trigger warning for those who were sensitive to such material.  The very vivid depiction of suicide was intended to illustrate the severity of suicide.  Instead, youth seemed to respond to the show under a false consensus.

A false consensus is the idea that individuals have the tendency to follow a belief they believe the majority also shares, in other words it is when an individual believes their belief to be conventional and common.  This was a concept prevalent amongst viewers of the show in that it is likely that since suicide was portrayed in the show as the most practical solution by a very relatable character, young viewers going through a similar situation may have glorified suicide.  This possibly drove viewers to deem their urges for suicide as the norm.  It is feasible they jumped to the notion that other views may share similar beliefs and they’re probably also taking after the main character, Hannah Baker.  This is a very practical reasoning for the strong correlation between the airing of the series as well as the upsurge of searches on how to commit suicide.  According to the Huffington Post, researcher found that Google searches pertaining to phrases such as “how to commit suicide” increased by a frightening 26% along with similar Google searches also increased following the airdate of the series.  This sudden growth of Google searches that followed the airing of the series was perchance due to young teens falling victim to the false consensus effect.

In a report conducted by Florian Arendt and Sebastian Scherr, examined the aftermath and effects that followed the suicide of celebrity, Robin Williams.  According to the report, although the suicide of the actor spread awareness for suicide, it also proved to have several risk elements to it as well.  In the report, search engines were monitored ad examined both before and after the publicized suicide and it was discovered that following it was an increase in harmful searches which included “commit suicide”.  It was noted that the amount of query shares, or the total volume of harmful searches divided by the number of queries in the region which including “commit suicide”.  It was show that it had rose drastically and doubled from the ten days prior to the ten days that followed.  The conclusion drawn from this study was that the highly publicized suicide of Robbin Williams seemed to cause a rise in the amount of searches on suicide and commit it.  Much like the series, it is possible that since many seem to form connections with celebrities and characters, they seem to feel the inclination to also follow in their footsteps and solve their own problems the way the person they look up to would.  It is evident that the discussion and/or depiction of suicide in shows or in media has the ability to influence people in a negative manner which raises the question, why aren’t there more trigger warnings?

 

References:

Ahsan, S. (2017, August 01). Did 13 Reasons Why lead to a rise in suicide rates? Retrieved September 27, 2017, from   http://nationalpost.com/entertainment/television/did-13-   reasons-why-lead-to-a-rise-in-suicide-rates

Holmes, L. (2017, August 02). ’13 Reasons Why’ Led to A Major Increase in Suicide Internet Searches. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/13-    reasons-why-suicide-search_us_5980808be4b0d6e28a107dbe#

Arendt, F., & Scherr, S. (2017). The impact of a highly publicized celebrity suicide on suicide-related online information seeking. Crisis: The Journal Of Crisis Intervention And Suicide Prevention, 38(3), 207-209. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000455

 

Shannon Luke

Cults in Hollywood Exposed

It’s no secret, Scientology has been getting a lot of attention recently mainly for its cultic characteristics and celebrity recruitment in Hollywood. Cults are known to be a group with 3 identifying characteristics including (1) distinctive ritual and beliefs related to its devotion to a god or a person, (2) isolation from the surrounding “evil” culture, and (3) a charismatic leader (Myers, 2012). Recently in the past few years, a number of celebrities have opened up about their former involvement in a cult, mainly the cult of Scientology. Celebrities who’ve spoken out about their experience in Scientology, also reveal the abuse, harassment and trauma they endured as an active member of the church, as well as a former member.

Business Insider published the article All the most shocking things about Scientology, according to Leah Remini’s revealing show, which discusses celebrity Leah Remini exposing the dirty hidden secretes about the church of Scientology in her new hit show, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”. Remini left the church 5 years ago and states that this A&E show is her platform to expose Scientology’s abuse and manipulation, as well as help current members of Scientology that want to escape from the church’s corruptness (Nededog, 2017). A main

One research article, Cult Experience: Psychological Abuse, Distress, Personality Characteristics, And Changes in Personal Relationships, discusses the psychological abuse and distress that ensues in a cult, whether an active or former member. The study also highlights the personality characteristics of a typical cult member, and the changes that occur in their personal relationships. The study mentions that there are identify four distinct factors associated with cultic environments:  Compliance, Exploitation, Mind Control, and Anxious Dependency (Gasde, I., & Block, R. A., 1998). These findings correlate to Remini explaining a policy the church uses called “fair game”, which implies that members have the ability to push the boundaries of the law in order to keep ex-members quiet and prevent destruction of the church organization. The news article reports a statement from Remini’s show talking about fair game policy, “…actions could include stalking, digging up dirt, checking out people’s background, vilifying them in the media and on the internet, and hiring private investigators to surveil them” (Nededog, Jethro, 2017).

It’s clear to see why members who have doubts and want to leave the cult would have such high anxiety and hesitation, knowing the repercussions that will ensue. Still, advocates like Leah Remini stand as a motivational figure, helping to expose this wrongful abuse and inspire others who desperately want to break away from the cult their involved in. “Langone (1995) insightfully remarked that the reason why cult members generally do not return to the cult after the floodgates of recognition and emotion have opened is “because the suffering they experience after leaving [the cult] is more genuine than the ‘happiness’ they experienced while in it.  A painful truth is better than a pleasant lie” (Gasde, I., & Block, R. A., 1998).

 

References:

Gasde, I., & Block, R. A. (1998). Cult experience: Psychological abuse, distress, personality characteristics, and changes in personal relationships reported by former members of Church Universal and Triumphant. Cultic Studies Journal, 15(2), 192-221. Retrieved from http://www.icsahome.com/articles/cult-experience-psychological-abuse-csj-15-2

Myers, David G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology. New York: McGraw- Hill.

Nededog, Jethro. (2017, February 2). All the most shocking things about Scientology, according to Leah Remini’s revealing show. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/craziest-scientology-facts-leah-remini-2017-1/#hubbard-based-scientology-on-his-claim-that-he-healed-himself-from-war-injuries-a-claim-that-going-clear-author-lawrence-wright-says-is-fabricated-2

Mannequins on the Red Carpet

For decades, various award shows would spotlight what women were wearing, instead of what they were at these ceremonies for. Men were scarcely asked what designer they were wearing and got to speak more about their roles in their product. Shows like Fashion Police would compare women’s outfits the next day, picking out which they liked best and making fun of others to the point where they would have “who wore it better” segments. On Fashion Police, the number of men being judged for what they wore was a fraction of that of the women. In magazines following the event, there would be multiple pages dedicated to which woman they believed had the best dress. Is the point of an award show to see fashion? Does it really matter if you don’t like what a star was wearing or if they wore something similar in past years? Why are women constantly asked what they are wearing when men are rarely asked? We can attribute this to society’s creation of gender roles. A gender role is a set of expectations society has for men and women. Traditionally, men are valued for their work and what they have to bring to the table, whereas women are valued for their looks while their skills are overlooked.

Since 2014, there has been a push on social media to #askhermore. This means that at the red carpet, women should be asked about their roles in their film or their career goals over being asked what designer they are wearing. According to the Bustle article, at the 2017 Golden Globes, women were first asked how they were or about their movie role, then asked about what they were wearing, which led to the end of the interview. Women were asked about their roles more than they were in the past, but there is still significant improvements that can be made on the quality of questions women are asked (Griffiths, 2017).  “Because men occupy a privileged position in the social hierarchy and women occupy a subordinate position (Ridgeway & Correll, 2004), holding the belief that gender roles are fixed may have different consequences for how each gender views themselves and the legitimacy of the social system as a whole” (Kray 2017). By pushing to have more equal treatment for men and women on red carpets, we can help to remove the subordinate gender role from women and have an equal appreciation for each gender’s contribution.  Additionally, In a study by Kray, Howland, Russell, & Jackman they “predicted that fixed gender roles would trigger masculine identity motives and lead men to align their self-perceptions with masculine attributes more than feminine attributes. Given the implied value of masculinity over femininity under fixed gender roles, we did not expect to see evidence of elevated self-stereotyping for women, as claiming more feminine characteristics would require distancing themselves from the more highly esteemed masculine traits. Instead, fixed gender roles might also increase women’s identification with masculine attributes over feminine attributes” (2017). Because men are higher in the social hierarchy than women, on red carpets women are taking more traditional masculine roles by demanding that their worth isn’t defined by what they are wearing. They are thus elevating their societal position to match the advantage of men.  This would also help remove the inherent objectification in only examining women for how they appear.

By: Christina Marciante

 

References

 

Griffiths, K. (2017, January 08). The 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet May Have Asked Her

More, But They Still Had One Big Problem.Retrieved March 29, 2017, from

https://www.bustle.com/p/the-2017-golden-globes-red-carpet-may-have-asked-her-more-

But-they-still-had-one-big-problem-28850

 

Kray, L. J., Howland, L., Russell, A. G., & Jackman, L. M. (2017). The Effects of Implicit

Gender Role Theories on Gender System Justification: Fixed Beliefs Strengthen

Masculinity to Preserve the Status Quo. Journal Of Personality & Social Psychology,

112(1), 98-115. doi:10.1037/pspp0000124
Myers, D. G. (2015). Exploring social psychology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Swift Refuses to Conform

The 2016 election was probably one of the most memorable elections of this generations’ lifetime. No one could have guessed that TV personality and businessman Donald Trump would not only run for presidency, but also win and become the 45th president of the United States. Besides Donald Trump’s lack of political experience, what really surprised many was his outspoken, unfiltered, and more times than not, very controversial way of speaking. During this election, many well-known names spoke out against Trump and publicly voiced their political position. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and many others made it known that they were against Trump and fully supported his opposing candidate, Hillary Clinton. Though many celebrities spoke out and against Trump, one celebrity in particular, one who many would expect to follow the same route remained relatively silent and because of this has received some backlash for it.

In an article by one of Cosmopolitan’s contributors and authors, Mehera Bonner, Bonner discuses how singer-songwriter Taylor Swift recently received some backlash from actress Lola Kirke for not using her platform to denounce Trump. Kirke’s stance was that Taylor might as well have supported Trump since she remained silent during the election. Bonner writes, “There’s no obligation for celebrities to tell their fans who they voted for. But — in the age of Trump — the phrase “silence is compliance” gets thrown around for good reason.” This article presents an example of conformity. Conformity is a change in behavior or belief as the result or real or imagined group pressure (Myers, 2015). Two main reasons why individuals conform are because they believe that the mass majority knows something that they don’t, and therefore they must be right. The other reason is to avoid any discomfort or possible judgment that comes with disagreeing or going against the mass. This article presents a perfect example of nonconformity and what can result. By not conforming and not following the same path as other popular celebrities, Taylor Swift received some pretty harsh feedback. Though she did not reveal whom she was voting for, Swift made it clear that she was voting through social media. Many would assume that she did in fact vote for Clinton due to her public support for her in 2008. Did Swift remain silent because she supported Trump, or did she just want to remain private for this personal matter? In one article, the topic of political conformity is explored.

In one particular study, it was tested to see if individuals would conform on political issues and which individual differences influence this behavior. The study revealed that individuals do alter their political opinions they share with others whom they disagree with (Carlsen, 2016). It was found that many individuals, more than 80%, did alter their previously stated political views. It was also found that when in a group with other participants, the majority disagreeing with the main subject’s viewpoint, the participant was more likely to conform.

Taylor Swift’s reason for remaining silent during this past election is still unknown, but based on the study there could be several theories as to why she kept quiet. Taylor Swift has been very active in various causes throughout her career. She has promoted the Every Woman Counts campaign and she has spoken out against LGBT discrimination. Due to her active participation in more liberal causes, the mass majority of her fan base more than likely supported Clinton. If Taylor Swift did have opposing views to the majority and possibly decided to vote for Trump for other reasons, her awareness of her fan base may have led her to keep her silence in regards to this election. By remaining silent, Swift would avoid possible controversy and fallout with her and her fans.

 

 

 

 

 

Carlson, Taylor N. and Jaime E. Settle. “Political Chameleons: An Exploration of Conformity in Political Discussions.” Political Behavior, vol. 38, no. 4, Dec. 2016, pp. 817-859. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11109-016-9335-y.

 

Bonner, M. (2017, March 17). Lola Kirke Slams Taylor Swift for Staying Silent About Trump. Retrieved from

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/a9146655/lola-kirke-taylor-swift-trump-interview/

 

Myers, D. G. (2015) Exploring Social Psychology. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education.

Women In The Film Industry

By: Emily Indriolo

In today’s media,we see a lot of controversy over gender inequalities in the industry almost every day. If you go on social media, it will likely be one of the first news topics to pop up. This was the case when we found the article “Women still woefully underrepresented in Oscar nominations, study finds,” written by Nicole Sperling on Entertainment Weekly (or EW). The article outlines the disappointment of this years Oscar nominations, a very lacking lineup of female nominees. The behind the scenes roles seemed to be the ones to suffer the most, dropping by 2% compared to last years nominees. The Women’s Media Center conducted an investigation on the matter and concluded that 80% of all the nominees of behind the scenes roles are men. San Diego State’s Center for the study of Women in Television and Film also conducted research on the matter. They found that of all the top-grossing 250 films in the United States in 2016, that only 17% percent of all the behind the scenes workers were women. This article gave interesting points for how women are being forgotten in the industry, but it also contradicted itself. The writer may not have realized it but for as many negative points as she gave, she provided just as many positive ones.

This article presents examples of two important concepts. The first concept shown in this article is of an illusory correlation. An illusory correlation is a concept to describe the imagined relationship between two things or, in the case of the article, a stronger relationship perceived between two things (Myers, 2015). The two “things” would be the nominations and women. The imagined relationship is the theory this article suggests, that because they are women they are not receiving Oscar nominations. The author of the article makes it seem like there is a stronger relationship between the two. Those who vote for the Oscars are those in the industry themselves and they vote for who they believe to be the best of that year. Hollywood is a very vocal community in demanding equality for everyone, so it would be odd to think that they would purposely snub women. The second concept presented in this article is of confirmation bias. A confirmation bias is when a person seeks out information to further prove or confirm what they already believe (Myers, 2015). This article decided to highlight the negative factors and gloss over the positive ones. Some points the author briefly mentioned was that there were films nominated with strong female characters as the main protagonists, nine female producers were nominated in the Best Picture Category as well as women taking nominations in usually male dominated categories. Those are quite honorable and noticeable achievements but that is not what the article was focusing on. The author brought in facts, which are mentioned in the first paragraph, that further confirm her point.

Although this article may show examples of an illusory correlation and confirmation bias that does not mean that there is not a real issue at hand here. In 2004 two studies were conducted by Dean Keith Simonton that analyzed the gender differences in the film industry. Study 1 analyzed 2,157 films that received Oscar nominations or awards between 1936 and 2000. In study 2, 1,367 films were analyzed that received awards or nominations from seven major professional, journalistic, and critical associations between the years 1968 and 2000. Both studies showed a statistical difference between genders. Both studies uncovered that outstanding acting performances by women are less likely to be associated with outstanding films (Simonton, 2004). Simonton coined this phrase the “Best Actress Paradox.” While Simonton proved there was a statistical difference between the two genders, he also made sure to include the fact that other factors, such as time period, genre, and acting performance, play a role when it comes down to it.

 

Works Cited

Simonton, D. K. (2004). The ‘Best Actress’ Paradox: Outstanding Feature Films Versus Exceptional Women’s Performances. Sex Roles, 50(11-12), 781-794. doi:10.1023/B:SERS.0000029097.98802.2c

Sperling, N. (2017, January 30). Women still woefully underrepresented in Oscar nominations, study finds. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from http://ew.com/awards/2017/01/30/oscars-2017-women-underrepresented/

Myers, D. G. (2015) Exploring Social Psychology. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education.