Keep up with the Kardashian-Jenner family at your own risk.
According to a new study out of the London School of Economics and Political Science, watching proves like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” can induce you less sympathetic to the plight of the poor.
The researchers found that even 60 seconds of exposure to materialistic media — content that “glamorizes fame, luxury, and wealth” — was enough to significantly increase anti-welfare beliefs.
Lead researcher Rodolfo Leyva said that’s in part because humen are naturally materialistic and proves like “KUWTK” may simply draw out our more selfish sides.
“If there is more emphasis on materialism as a style to be happy, this constructs us more inclined to be selfish and anti-social, and therefore unsympathetic to people less fortunate, ” said Leyva, a fellow of media and communications at the school.
“This study can contribute to explanations for why the U.K. public’s support for welfare to aid the impoverished and unemployed has been decreasing, ” he added.
Leyva studied two groups of 487 British adults, ages 18 to 49. Both groups believed they were participating in an experiment to exam memory and attention.
While one group was shown ads for luxury goods, tabloid photos of celebrities and newspaper headlines featuring rags-to-riches stories, the other group was shown more neutral imagery: scenes of nature, ads for the London subway system and newspaper headlines about dinosaurs.
The groups were asked questions that measured their attitudes toward wealth and success, the less fortunate and government benefits.
In the end, the group exposed to the materialistic media were more prone to anti-welfare attitudes and supportive of anti-welfare policies( tax cuts, austerity measures and welfare reductions ).
The participants were also asked about their TV viewing habits: Did they tune into programs that showcased glamorous lifestyles( like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “Made in Chelsea, ” a reality series following a group of rich London 20 -somethings )? Did they watch shows that emphasized luxury goods and promoted cutthroat competitor for wealth and fame( such as the U.K. versions of “The Apprentice” and “X-Factor” )?
They were also asked if they regularly read tabloid newspapers or publications filled with luxury goods( like GQ, Vogue and Esquire .)
As with the first experimentation, the results showed that all the persons who regularly devoured such media were far more likely to hold “stronger materialistic and anti-welfare attitudes than lighter consumers of these shows.”