Celebrities have millions of followers or disciples but recent research has indicated that people who spend time obsessing or looking at the lives of celebrities have lower cognitive test scores.
A report in BMC Psychology explained that celebrity worshippers had lower intellectual capabilities but it was still not clear if this obsession was a cause or a consequence of such an impairment.
Understanding The Research To Link Cognitive Abilities To Worshipping Celebrities
The researchers took in 1,763 Hungarian adults for a survey(online) which included several intelligence tests, which were designed to assess 2 different aspects of cognition.
The first of these tests was aimed to understand “crystallized intelligence” by testing the people’s vocabulary, while digital symbol tests were used to calculate their “fluid intelligence”.
The participants of this test completed the Celebrity Attitude Scale questionnaire, first, which was important to determine their level of obsession with these celebrities.
People whose interests were limited to discussing the same with friends were placed under the tab of “entertainment-social” fans. The next level was “intense-personal” and involved compulsive thinking about the said celebrities.
“Borderline-pathological” was deemed to be the highest level of obsession and people under this tab agreed with statements that involved being lucky enough to meet their favorite celebs and were asked to do “something illegal” they would probably do it.
The researchers then assessed their level of material wealth along with their self-esteem.
The researchers then deemed that higher levels of obsession with these celebrities were linked with reduced scores for both the fluid intelligence and crystallized one. They even confirmed that this trend would hold true even if they take other demographic factors into account.
Linear regression models did not succeed in indicating that the worship of celebs was indeed linked to the drop in cognitive abilities, which made it difficult to understand why such an association existed. The authors of this study speculated on the nature of this link and claimed that such an obsession hindered their cognitive abilities due to high levels of focus which was necessary for them to maintain a “one-sided emotional bond”.
They postulated that people who had higher levels of intelligence were less likely to worship the celebrities, as they were able to recognize the celebs’ “marketing strategies”.
It was ultimately concluded that more research was needed to determine if such an obsession was the consequence or cause of lower intelligence. The authors summed up their findings and explained that such a “worship” could be regarded as a contributing factor, which could alter and diminish cognitive abilities and was independent of demographic factors(education, material wealth, and age) although other factors might be stronger predictors of cognitive performance.