Are you passionate about the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial? The twists and turns of the royal family have no more secrets for you? Perhaps you are affected by this annoying mania which, according to science, makes us all a little dumber.
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Star gossip would dumb us down
The passion in question? Taking a little too much interest in the lives of our favorite celebrities. With the omnipresence of social networks and the proliferation of pages and media dedicated specifically to people, it’s a temptation to which even the most educated among us give in. It was a Hungarian study published in the journal BMC Psychology that revealed this fact. According to the researchers, there is “a direct association between celebrity worship and poorer performance on cognitive tests”.
To reach this conclusion, the scientists asked nearly 1,800 adults to answer a vocabulary test of around 30 words. They were then subjected to a number symbol substitution test and finally had to complete a questionnaire of “Celebrity Attitude Scale”, in order to determine their level of knowledge on the life of stars. Result ? People with the highest level of interest in people scored lower.
You’ve followed Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian’s three weddings closely and swoon over Vincent Cassel and Tina Kunakey’s “matching outfit” on the Croisette, and you wonder if that makes you any dumber. than the average? No worries. First, intelligence is not measured solely on the results of cognitive tests. Second, even if we observe a direct correlation between the cult of celebrities and lower performance on cognitive tests, there is no evidence that the fact of “Developing a powerful obsession with your favorite celebrity results in lower cognitive test scores” according to the researchers themselves.
The latter admit that further studies are needed to prove that passion for people makes people stupid. It is therefore impossible to determine at this time whether people who are obsessed with celebrities score poorly on cognitive tests because their gray matter has become focused on Hollywood gossip or because they are already less intelligent to begin with.
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