Celebrities Anxiety Intelligence

New studies: two studies explain indicators of low intelligence

I saw two interesting studies that shed some light on how to diagnose a person with low intelligence. The first one was published in PLOS ONE journal. It talks about what a person’s attitude to C0VID tells us about their intelligence. The second one was published in BMC Psychology, and talks about what a person’s attitude to celebrities tells us about their intelligence.

Here’s a report on the first one from the UK Daily Mail:

A new study has found that those who are worried about the COVID-19 pandemic are slower at processing information, worse at retaining information and more likely to overestimate negative odds than their less anxious counterparts.

The study, conducted by McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital, surveyed 1,500 Americans online from April to June 2020.

The authors concluded that people more worried about coronavirus and its effects performed worse at information processing tests and had a distorted view of risk levels.

And here’s an article about the second one from New York Post:

New research has deemed people obsessed with Hollywood gossip and A-list celebs to be not that smart — which will surely come as a blow to those who love poring over the pages of tabloid magazines and tuning into reality TV.

The study, published in BMC Psychology late last year, asserts that “there is a direct association between celebrity worship and poorer performance on cognitive tests” measuring both literacy and numeracy.

[…]Researchers found that high scores on the Celebrity Attitude Scale correlated with lower performance on the two cognitive ability tests. Participants were also asked about their income, material wealth and levels of education in order to gain the most detailed picture possible.

Very interesting. This provides a quick way of checking on a person’s intelligence. Just ask them what their level of anxiety is about C0VID, and ask them what their level of knowledge is about celebrities. I wonder if they include artists, musicians, and athletes in the category of celebrities?

This reminds me of an article from 2018 that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The article talks about a recent Gallup survey entitled “Look Who’s Irrational Now“.


The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won’t create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that’s not a conclusion to take on faith — it’s what the empirical data tell us.

“What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.

The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity.

[…]The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

Conservative Christians were even less likely to be irrational than progressive Christians:

[…][T]he more traditional and evangelical the respondent, the less likely he was to believe in, for instance, the possibility of communicating with people who are dead.

When I think of the “weird” things that evangelical Christians believe, I think of the origin of the universe, the cosmic fine-tuning, the origin of life and the sudden origin of animal body plans in the Cambrian. All of this is superstition to an atheist, and yet all of it is rooted in mainstream science. Not just that, but the scientific evidence for these defeaters of atheism has grown stronger as science has made more discoveries.

I can accept the fact that an atheist may be ignorant of the science that defeats his atheism, but that’s something that has to be remedied with more studying of the evidence, not less. If you generate a worldview by 1) your desire to dispense with moral judgment and/or 2) your desire to prefer Star Trek and Star Wars to mainstream science, then of course you are going to have an irrational worldview. I’m not saying that all atheists do this, surely someone like Peter Millican does not. But for rank-and-file Dawkins acolytes, I think this is pretty accurate, and it’s why we get the survey results that we do.

3 thoughts on “New studies: two studies explain indicators of low intelligence”

  1. Well from my experience and research, Covid is dangerous but for certain groups of people like: elderly, infants ,and people with underline health problems. For the average person who somewhat decent shape, Covid isn’t bad. It’s like a cold.

    Now for the Atheist part, Atheists seem to attack either the fringe or the most popular “Christians” and claim they debunked Christianity even though their not really attacking what Christianity really is or the evidence that backs up our faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not obsessed with celebrities by any means. I do, however, like to hear them speak in interviews. Or at least I used to. Seeing them on the old Johnny Carson show was entertaining, yet not particularly informative about their lives, though one got a sense of who the person was to a small extent. Now, however, I shudder at the prospect of finding a favored actor is a raving lefty.

    I think athletes can have the same affect on some who follow sports in the same way as those who are obsessed with actors and musicians. For me, the same thing goes. I can’t tell you how maddening it was to see how many sports figures bought into the BLM narrative and supported protests as that which Colin Kapernick engaged in. To see a “Black Lives Matter”, or “End Racism” on the back of a football helmet sickens me. I don’t need to see political or social messaging while I’m watching football or any other sport.


  3. Hmm. I think it’s usually pretty easy to tell approximately how intelligent someone is. Just talk with them for a few minutes, and you will get a sense of it. Of course, that’s assuming you are talking with them about a topic that interests both of you, or you are pursuing conversation about their interests. Then you will find out how intelligent they are, on their own ground, with their strengths. It won’t do to lecture them about your own hobby horse and then write them off as unintelligent because they are uninterested.

    But then, what do you do with that information? Those of us who think we are intelligent have to be careful that we don’t write people off or patronize them just because we (perhaps rightly) detect that they are not as smart or well-spoken as we are. We need, again, to meet people on their own terms, and also to remember that they likely have information that we don’t about specific topics. As C.S. Lewis says, you would be ill-advised to disregard a child’s warning “Don’t drink that. Mummy says it’s poison.”

    Now about Covid. The thing that has caused me a TON of cognitive dissonance is that many dear friends seem to have fallen for what seems to me an obvious train of lies, non sequiters, and misuses of statistics, even though I KNOW they are smarter than that, and in many cases smarter than I am. It is really maddening. It may be true that slow processors are also falling for all of this (that would make sense), but I also see an awful lot of fast processors using their great brains to justify the narrative they like, and/or to bury it in a sandstorm of irrelevant data.


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