Why do we listen to celebrities for medical advice?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Paul  Hokemeyer, PhD
Marriage & Family Therapy
People are taking medical advice from celebrities whose best credential is being on the cover of a magazine or winning an Oscar and that’s because our brain functions in two separate ways. The first is the emotional part of the brain and the second is the logical part. 

We are built to be better, we want to improve ourselves and what better goal than a beautiful successful person who seems from the outside to have everything in place? We are naturally drawn to them, sometimes like a moth to a flame.

A recent study found something called the “Halo Effect”: if we see that a person is successful in one area of their life, they must be successful in all areas. One of the things I’ve found in my work is that what’s behind the veneer is a different truth.

The root problem is that we are looking to the outside to fix our insides. Basically, we don’t feel good about ourselves because we are constantly comparing ourselves to the outside world. We will never reach the ultimate goal, since there will always be someone who is prettier or younger or wealthier. It’s a losing proposition.

There are, however, some medical professionals who have achieved celebrity status and deserve our attention. For example, Dr Oz is a very solid, credentialed surgeon and has worked for a long time as a doctor. He is using his experience and credibility to give advice. It is not his opinion, it is based on upon science. Where you get into trouble is when a celebrity is giving his or her opinion on something and it’s not based on solid scientific evidence. 

What makes this site so important is that it gives real medical professionals a platform to reach a wider audience.

Continue Learning about Emotional Health

Emotional Health

How well you handle stress, anger, relationships, work, family life-it all factors into your emotional health. Finding balance in life-as well as peace of mind-helps us cope with life's ups and downs. Take time to explore new ways ...

to find stress relief, and to release anxiety, and unhappiness. Counseling can help-as can a gratitude journal.
More

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.