Study Suggests You Are an Idiot

Just because you read a lot about celebrities doesn’t mean you lack cognitive skill, okay

Collage of three celeb photos: Eric Clapton, Will Smith, and Jojo Siwa.
L – R: Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty Images; Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images; Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images.
Uncalled For

People who are fixated on celebrities tend to have lower cognitive abilities, if you believe a recent study published in the journal BMC Psychology.

The study was conducted on 1,763 Hungarian adults, who were tasked with completing two intelligence tests — with one focused on intelligence as it relates to pattern seeking and problem solving, and one focused on intelligence vis à vis previously obtained skills and knowledge — as well as surveys on their self-esteem and their level of celebrity worship.

For the latter, participants were asked to score how much they agreed with yes/no statements such as: “My friends and I like to discuss what my favorite celebrity has done” (we do that every day here on, “I have frequent thoughts about my celebrity, even when I don’t want to” (one could probably posit that that is the core ethos of Teigen Tales), and “If I were lucky enough to meet my favorite celebrity, and he/she asked me to do something illegal as a favor I would probably do it” (this is a site for conducting legal business only).

The study’s authors found that, even when controlling for variables like gender, age, education, income, material wealth, and self-esteem, results suggest that “there is a direct association between celebrity worship and poorer performance on the cognitive tests that cannot be accounted for by demographic and socioeconomic factors.”

Excuse me? You’re telling me that with each new post about Real Housewives and Jojo Siwa we’re only proving some hypothesis about our lower intelligence? That Kelly Conaboy’s recent polemic titled “Give Us Kathy Griffin Back” was not evidence of true genius? That Allie Jones’s comprehensive assessment of the most annoying celebs of 2021 was not a work of serious scholarship that should be preserved long after this website has died (again)?

Well, smarter people might point out that 1,763 study participants is not such a huge sample size, and that the study itself acknowledges that the relationship between celebrity worship and cognitive skills is “weak” albeit consistent, and that further research is needed to delve into these supposed correlations in case there are other factors at play.

But we — readers of the site, who gives us traffic on all these literary articles — are evidently not very bright, so not a single one of those qualifiers have crossed our collective single brain cell. In the words of one highly intelligent 30 Rock episode, idiots are people, two!