Although there is a large number of people worldwide who “worship celebrities” it may not surprise you that recent studies have linked this act to lower intelligence. Scientists speculated this could be for many reasons but are unsure if obsession with celebrities is the cause of lower intelligence or because of lower intelligence. More research will have to be conducted to further identify how intelligence correlated with celebrities being so widely followed by the masses. Here’s what we know so far!
A study conducted in Hungary consisted of over 1,700 participants. The survey was done online and measured multiple factors. These included, two different aspects of cognitive abilities, a participants level of interest in celebrities’ affairs, of material wealth, and of self-esteem. We all differ from one another in most aspects including how we prioritize things. Scientists found that not everyone who participated in taking the survey has the same level of obsession with celebrities. Some have a lower level, categorized as “entertainment-social” and tend to include attributes such as discussing celebrities’ lives with friends, or only acknowledging their fandom in a social setting.
The next level, categorized as “intense-personal” is a bit more involved, typically these fans compulsively think about celebrities meaning obsessing about the latest news stories or fashion trends supported by these celebrities. They are consumed by and live their lives according to the beliefs of their favorite celebrities. The highest level, categorized as “borderline-pathological”. These fans would be willing to go to great lengths to seek approval from their favorite celebrities, some even admitting they would commit crimes or other unpleasantries.
The cognitive tests measured and compared “crystallized” and “fluid” intelligence. Raymond B. Cattell developed the theories in the early 1940’s. It is suggested that “fluid” intelligence peaks around age 40, while “crystallized” intelligence peaks much later in life around age 70. Crystallized intelligence is measured based on a participant’s general knowledge, such as in, vocabulary or reasoning.
Fluid intelligence is one’s ability to generate information based on real time events. Although the linear regression models don’t indicate that worshiping celebrities plays a role in the drop of cognitive abilities, scientists postulate these obsessions hinder brain function because of the level of focus given to worshiping celebrities, rather than focusing brain power on other topics generally associated with higher cognitive function. Another theory is that higher levels of intelligence allow one to discern between the one sided emotional connection felt by people who’ve never met these celebrities and the marketing purposes these celebrities serve. Scientists found lower scores to be associated with higher levels of obsession with celebrities, even when other demographic factors, such as education or wealth, were considered.