According to a test conducted by some allegedly smart people, there might be low intelligence levels lurking amongst the type of people who live and die by red carpet analysis, blind items, Instagram pregnancy reveals, reality shows filmed on yachts, Calabasas, or sexy unique restaurants, or who Pete Davidson is dating. Non-biased third-party verification very much needed, I know! But according to this study, it’s apparently true. Those who are compelled to follow the comings and goings in the world of celebrity are reportedly not the brightest of what humanity has to offer.
The New York Post writes that this study was published late last year by BMC Psychology, which is a psychology-focused offshoot of BioMed Central, a UK-based, for-profit scientific open access publisher. For profit? I knew it! This study was definitely financed by PBS or NPR. I’m on to you, BMC Psychology! The study was titled “Celebrity worship and cognitive skills revisited: applying Cattell’s two-factor theory of intelligence in a cross-sectional study” and the nearly two-decades of research shows that there’s a direct association between celebrity worship and poor performance on cognitive tests. To be fair, I don’t know if celebrity research conducted two decades ago can be applied to celebrity research today. Those were the Bennifer years, and I’m pretty sure we all had reduced cognitive function after watching them in Gigli. But here’s how the study was broken down.
The study asked 1,763 Hungarian adults to undertake a 30-word vocabulary test and a digit symbol substitution test, before completing a “Celebrity Attitude Scale” questionnaire to determine their levels of interest in famous people.
Participants had to answer “yes” or “no” to a series of statements on the Celebrity Attitude Scale, including: “I often feel compelled to learn the personal habits of my favorite celebrity” and “I am obsessed by details of my favorite celebrity’s life.”
Researchers found that higher scores on the Celebrity Attitude Scale oftentimes meant lower scores on the cognitive ability tests and vice versa. However, researchers also were not able to determine if the high scores on the Celebrity Attitude Scale were the reason for low cognitive scores, or if the participants were just not very smart to begin with. So clearly, this isn’t a terribly accurate study. This is too bad because I’ve already begun typing an updated follow-up to Flowers for Algernon based on a Gemma Collins stan. Oh well!
Because it’s unclear whether celebrity obsession is a cause or a consequence of low intelligence, the researchers believe they need to conduct further studies into the matter. Or they can just accept the hard truth that being obsessed with celebrities might actually make a person smarter? It takes a huge brain to store all that useless information! In math, you need – what – a couple formulas to solve for X? Celebrity anthropologists can tell you the names of every Kardashian, every loser they’ve hooked up with, how many problematic churches Justin Bieber has been associated with, and at least 3 of Tamar Braxton’s catchphrases. Trust me, in terms of the potential for cognitive function, we’re all basically Einsteins.