Never before has America been more enthralled with the concept of “celebrity” or with celebrities as individuals. This surge in our collective obsession has reached a level that is now proven to detrimental to our society’s fabric. As it turns out, those who are preoccupied with Hollywood gossip and A-list celebrities have now been declared low-intelligence by science, which will undoubtedly come as a shock to those who enjoy reading over the pages of tabloid magazines and watching reality television.
According to the study, “there is a direct association between celebrity worship and poorer performance on cognitive tests” evaluating both literacy and numeracy, which was published in BMC Psychology late last year. Breitbart News broke down the testing methodology here.
The study asked 1,763 Hungarian adults to complete two intelligence subtests — one a vocabulary test and the other a digit symbol substitution test — before completing a questionnaire, titled, “Celebrity Attitude Scale” to determine their levels of interest in celebrities.
The study also recorded each participant’s material wealth, current family income, and general socio-demographics.
The researchers discovered that high Celebrity Attitude Scale scores were linked to poor performance on the two cognitive ability tests. In order to get the most thorough picture possible, participants were also queried about their income, material wealth, and educational levels. Alana Mastrangelo continues:
The results found that “linear regression models indicated that celebrity worship was associated with lower performance on the cognitive tests even after controlling for demographic variables, material wealth and self-esteem, although the explanatory power was limited.”
The researchers, however, said that it remains unclear whether celebrity-obsessed people perform poorly on cognitive tests because they are using their brainpower to think about famous people, or if they are fixated on celebrities because they are less intelligent to begin with.
“Future studies should seek further support for our suggestion that the cognitive effort invested in maintaining the absorption in a favorite celebrity may interfere with the person’s performance in tasks that require attention and other cognitive skills,” the researchers told PsyPost.
“Although our research does not prove that developing a powerful obsession with one’s favorite celebrity causes one to score lower on cognitive tests, it suggests that it might be wise to carefully monitor feelings for one’s favorite celebrity, keeping in mind that most celebrities are human beings who have some flaws just like average persons have,” they added.
However, it’s unclear whether celebrity worshipping is a cause or consequence of low cognitive function. Is more testing a worthwhile endeavor, or have you already figured it out?