In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, scientists found that the work of creatives who are thought of as eccentrics is more highly rated than those who are "normal." The study had two groups rate Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflower painting. One group was told about Van Gogh's self-mutilation before rating the work and the other group was not, and the first group gave the painting higher marks.

In another study, the researchers used Lady Gaga to test a theory about authenticity and perceived eccentricity. The abstract explains: "Lady Gaga's music was more appreciated when she was displayed as highly eccentric; however, the eccentricity effect emerged only when the display seemed authentic." As ANIMAL points out, not having full access to the article (subscription based) means that we don't know if previous knowledge of the artists or other factors could have affected the results, but it is still an interesting idea and would explain the successful careers of a lot of people who shall remain nameless.

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[via ANIMAL]