There's a winning psychological aura for getting an Oscar

Harold Mandel's picture
Charlie Chaplin

Improving your chances of winning an Oscar as an actor can be explained with the right psychological aura. Being an American actor who plays a role in a film which portrays American culture offers the best chance of winning an Oscar.

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Every actor has a dream of winning an Oscar award. There seems to be more to winning an Oscar than just being a good actor. There's a certain psychological aura which appears to increase an actors chances of winning an Oscar.

Being an American actor who portrays American culture seems to enhance the chances of being a winner at the Academy Awards

The British Psychological Society reports that being an American actor who portrays American culture seems to enhance the chances of being a winner at the Academy Awards. This was the conclusion of Dr Niklas K. Steffens who is from the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland and his associate authors.

The researchers did an extensive analysis of the distribution of the Academy Awards given for best actor and for best actress in a leading role by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. The researchers also analyzed the award for best actor and for best actress in a leading role given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London.

American actors dominated these awards

It was found that American actors dominated these awards. The American actors won greater than 50 percent of all prizes across the Oscars and British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Actors were found to have a greater chance of winning if they shared social group membership with the judges.

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Dr Steffens has commented that there is a great deal known about factors which enhance a person's capacity to demonstrate exceptional performances. A different question has however been raised in dealing with what actually makes a given creative performance most likely to be viewed as being exceptional. This is the question which was raised in this research.

When the perceivers and performers share social membership together in a social group a performance is more likely to be seen as brilliant

It has been noted by Dr Steffens that whether or not we see a particular performance as being extraordinary is not simply a function of the objective quality of the performance. A performance is a great deal more likely to be perceived of as absolutely brilliant when the perceivers and performers share social membership together in a social group.

Nationality also seems to make a difference with American actors having received 67 per cent of all nominations for the Oscars and 78 per cent of all awards. The same consideration seemed to hold true for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, where British actors were given 31 per cent of all nominations and 42 per cent of all awards.

The subject matter of the movie also had a significant influence on determining chances for winning an award. When considering the Oscars American artists made up 26 per cent of award winners whose performance took place in movies about non-US culture. However American artists made up 88 per cent of award winners whose performance took place in movies which were about American culture.

This study has been published in the British Journal of Psychology. Researchers have determined a shared social identity improves the recognition of creative performances. American artists performing in movies dealing with American culture also drew attention.

This has been an era where social unrest at home and overseas has often created dangerously intense anti-American sentiments and protests. Perhaps a realization of the potential for positive impact on the mindsets of people of American artists playing in films about American culture will position Hollywood to nurture a more positive image for the United States.

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