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It's official: being obsessed with celebrity is just plain dumb

Researchers have found that people who are obsessed with Hollywood gossip and A-list celebs do not have very high IQs

16 January 2022 - 00:00
If you're obsessed with the Kardashians, you might not be that bright.
If you're obsessed with the Kardashians, you might not be that bright.
Image: Instagram/ Kloe Kardashian

It's easy to become obsessed with celebrities. No longer do you need to buy the latest YOU or People magazine, just glance at your phone and within minutes someone famous will monopolise your screen. But what does this fascination with the famous actually say about you?

Chances are your infatuation with Timothée Chalamet or your preoccupation with the changing body shapes of the Kardashians are telling you that you're an idiot — at least according to Hungarian academics. The New York Post reported this week that new research suggests that people who are obsessed with Hollywood gossip and A-list celebs do not have very high IQs — a blow to fans who live to read the pages of tabloid magazines and adore reality TV.

The study was published in the BMC Psychology journal and says that there's “a direct association between celebrity worship and poorer performance on cognitive tests” measuring both literacy and numeracy. The study asked a group of 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 scale, including “I often feel compelled to learn the personal habits of my favourite celebrity” and “I am obsessed by details of my favourite celebrity’s life.”

Another yes-or-no statement asked: “If I were lucky enough to meet my favourite celebrity, and he/she asked me to do something illegal as a favour I would probably do it.” Researchers found that high scores on the scale correlated with lower performance on the two cognitive ability tests. 


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