(ORDO NEWS) — Psychologists from the UK and Denmark studied the reaction of fans of the American blogger and actor Logan Paul to his controversial act of visiting the “suicide forest”, and came to the conclusion that they justify him, no matter what.
Logan Alexander Paul gained popularity in 2013 by posting sketches on the Vine app, and then opened his own channel. In January 2022, it had 23 million subscribers and over 5.8 billion views.
Paul is seen in several controversial acts. For example, in December 2017, he visited Japan and the famous “suicide forest” Aokigahara, where he filmed one of the victims.
He uploaded these shots to his YouTube channel. The video was accompanied by jokes from Logan and his friends.
The video scored 6.3 million views and drew criticism from celebrities and politicians – Paul was accused of being insensitive to the victim.
After that, the blogger deleted the video and issued a public apology. The public continued to blame him, and the fans continued to justify him.
This phenomenon interested psychologists from Cambridge (UK) and Aarhus (Denmark) universities. In a study published in the Social Psychological Bulletin, they used language processing algorithms to gauge the level of “moral emotions” they observed in comments from Paul’s followers, ranging from anger and disgust to adoration. A total of 36,464 messages were analyzed.
It turned out that the majority of fans (77 percent) continued to support their idol even after he committed an unseemly act.
Only 16 percent expressed anger and four percent disgust. Moreover, after the scandal, people began to express their support for the blogger by 12 percent more than before.
The psychology of people is such that the more important a certain person is to them, the less likely they are to want to change their mind about him.
“People often use celebrities to build their social identity. A threat to a public figure’s reputation can be perceived by fans as a threat to their own self-identity, which is why they defend him so fiercely, ”said Simone Schnall, senior author of the study from the University of Cambridge, social psychologist and professor.
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