Would Lady Gaga be as revered if she’d never worn that meat dress? Given that being “off beat” is a quality often associated with creative types, researchers in the UK did a series of experiments to test how an artist’s personality influenced opinions of his work. Participants rated a fictitious artist’s work as better and more valuable if they were told he was eccentric, or if they saw a picture of the supposed artist with an assymetrical haircut and overgrown beard. The caveat: The stereotype only works in an artist’s favor if his or her work is similarly unconventional and if the persona is believable, not contrived.
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