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Publicity, Paradox of

The paradox of publicity is a concept that refers to the possible negative consequences of positive public recognition. The old saying that “there is no such thing as bad publicity” aptly captures the folk wisdom that any and all forms of public recognition are beneficial to the recipient—or, at the very least, are not harmful. This adage is thought to be especially true in the case of public recognition that is positive in nature, such as winning an award or receiving a positive review of one’s work. In support of this statement, a large body of research has documented the positive consequences that follow when an actor’s status or reputation is enhanced by favorable publicity. Yet public recognition can also entail deleterious consequences.

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