Celebrity-Obsessed People Are Less Intelligent: Peer-Reviewed Study

Data show “celebrity worship was associated with lower performance on the cognitive tests.”

  • A peer-reviewed publication in science jounrnal BioMed Central (BMC) concluded that people who worship celebrities found a “direct association between celebrity worship and poorer performance on the cognitive tests.”
  • “Linear regression models indicated that celebrity worship was associated with lower performance on the cognitive tests,” write the authors, “even after controlling for demographic variables, material wealth and self-esteem, although the explanatory power was limited.”
  • Researchers “measured the relationship between fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, and the admiration for one’s favorite celebrity, controlling for extraneous variables that might explain earlier findings.”
  • They concluded that excessive celebrity obsession “can impair cognitive functioning due to the increased focus and energy invested in the behavior that dominates the person’s life.”
  • The study was a first of its kind, exploring the “contribution of celebrity worship and socioeconomic factors to cognitive performance in one comprehensive model” and using “a relatively large sample of Hungarian adults, which allowed for the investigation of these associations in a culturally different context.”

“It is possible that individuals with stronger cognitive abilities are less likely to express higher celebrity worship levels because they can recognize the marketing strategies behind a celebrity,” the researchers claim, “but it is also possible that the cognitive effort put into maintaining the absorption in a celebrity may interfere with other tasks that require attention and focus.”

  • “A cross-sectional study design was used. Applying an online survey, a total of 1763 Hungarian adults (66.42% male, Mage = 37.22 years, SD = 11.38) completed two intelligence subtests designed to measure ability in vocabulary (Vocabulary Test) and digit symbol (Short Digit Symbol Test),” researchers explained.
  • “Participants also completed the Celebrity Attitude Scale and the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale. Subjective material wealth, current family income and general sociodemographics were also reported by participants.”
  • The study authors noted that nearly two decades of research have already been completed on the relationship between celebrity-worship and intelligence, that research producing “mixed findings.”
  • This study aimed to extend previous research “by applying the two-factor theory of intelligence by Cattell on a relatively large sample of Hungarian adults” and by investigating the “explanatory power of celebrity worship and other relevant variables in cognitive performance.”
  • BMC has published some 300 peer-reviewed journal entries, “sharing discoveries from research communities in science, technology, engineering and medicine,” according to the organization’s website.

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