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Study finds that people who obsess over celebrities have reduced cognitive abilities

The researchers found that higher levels of celebrity obsession have something to do with lower scores for crystallized and fluid intelligence even when demographic factors were considered

A new study suggests that people obsessed with famous personalities have inferior intellectual abilities.

1,763 Hungarian adults agreed to participate in an online survey that included intelligence tests designed to evaluate two aspects of cognition. One assessed “crystallized intelligence” by testing participants’ vocabulary, while the other was a digit symbol test that measured “fluid intelligence.” Respondents’ also had their level of celebrity obsession identified through the Celebrity Attitude Scale questionnaire.

Three categories were identified: One was “entertainment-social,” people who discuss celebrities’ lives with friends. Another was “intense-personal” which describes people who think about celebrities compulsively. The highest form of obsession was named “borderline-pathological.” Under this category, people tend to agree with statements such as “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.”

The researchers found that higher levels of celebrity obsession correlate with lower crystallized and fluid intelligence scores even when considered demographic factors.

In the journal BMC Psychology, researchers said it is still unclear that admiration of celebrities is a direct cause of poor scores on cognitive tests. Part of their hypothesis said that celebrity obsession could affect cognitive capacities because of the focus and attention required to maintain this “one-sided emotional bond.”

Meanwhile, people that are categorized as more intelligent are less likely to be obsessed with celebrities as they recognize the “marketing strategies behind a famous person.”

The authors of the study admit that more research is needed to completely conclude whether celebrity obsession causes a decline in cognitive abilities, adding that “celebrity worship can be regarded as one contributing factor that may alter cognitive performance beside – and independent from – education, age and material wealth, although other factors may be stronger predictors of cognitive performance.”

The biggest celebrities are also used to having stalkers. Earlier this year, a man was arrested again for violating a restraining order after showing up at Kylie Jenner’s Beverly Hills home.

Written by Charles Teves

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