As a Hollywood star from the TV sitcom What I Like About You alongside Jenny Garth and the musical Hairspray with John Travolta, Amanda Bynes is one celebrity that many fans think is a pretty good girl. With a squeaky clean image, Bynes has been put into a category of celebrities most would not easily visualize as someone that would skip out on the police.
After a routine stop for using her cell phone while driving, Amanda drove off and eluded the cops in Los Angeles. While she did turn herself in later that day, she sure gave them a scare. What motived the young actress to do so?
Some research indicates that people behave in a positive manner hoping it will earn them a credit of sorts to behave badly later, or as one article puts it, a ‘license to sin’.
To date Amanda Bynes has supported charities such as The Coalition of Skin diseases, The Heart Truth, and YouthAIDS. Did Bynes participate in this charity because she truly cares for the causes, or was she hoping to generate ‘moral credit’? One psychologist, Nina Mazar of the University of Toronto, posits the following:
“Sometimes after we behave in line with our goals or standards, it’s as if our action has earned ourselves some moral credit,” “This credit can then subsequently be used to engage in self-indulgent or selfish behaviors without feeling bad about it.”
Many Hollywood celebrities try to skip out on the police or talk their way out of an arrest by using their celebrity status or bringing up their extensive charity. Actress Natasha Lyonne from the movie American Pie tried to convince the police not to arrest her when she was stopped for a DUI in Miami Beach in 2001.
So what do you think? Could there be some truth to this ‘moral credit’, at least in regards to the supposed humanitarian celebs out there that have taken their chances with the law?
Belky Perez Schwartz, The Examiner