Science proves celebrities really are full of shit

Dr. Drew Pinsky from the radio show Loveline and his partner psychologist Mark Young had 200 celebrities that appeared on their show fill out a psychological questionnaire called The Narcissism Personality Inventory. The results show that celebrities really are more full of themselves than the average person. They’re more concerned about their appearance and have an inflated sense of self importance. The less real life skills they have, the more likely they are to be off the charts narcissism-wise.

Two Los Angeles psychologists have produced the first scientific evidence that many celebrities sincerely believe that they are better than the rest of us. The psychologists’ forthcoming book suggests that many pop culture icons are heading for disaster.

Mark Young and Drew Pinsky used a mathematical formula to measure the traits, including exhibitionism and vanity, that make up narcissism. Psychologists believe that in general men are both bossier than women and show off more. However, in the “celebrity class” women are far more narcissistic than men and up to a third are more manipulative and vain about their appearance than the typical woman in the street, according to the psychologists from the University of Southern California.

Young and Pinsky have had rare access: celebrities queue up to appear on Loveline, Pinsky’s nationally syndicated radio show, where he has been compared to Professor Anthony Clare, the BBC psychiatrist, for his revealing interviewing style.

They asked 200 celebrities who appeared on the programme to fill out a standard questionnaire called the Narcissism Personality Inventory. They were asked how they felt about themselves, including whether they felt they deserved compliments or were embarrassed by them and whether they insisted on being “respected” at all times.

Participants remain anonymous but interviewees featured on Pinsky’s website include Renée Zellweger, Jessica Simpson, Jim Carrey and members of Duran Duran, the British pop band.

It was people like that — actors, comedians, musicians and reality TV contestants — who emerged as the most narcissistic of all,” said Pinsky. “The fewer real-life skills they had, the louder they tend to be in their attempts to hold on to attention.”

The article goes on to say that crotch-baring may be a sign of their extreme narcissism. People who are full of themselves “crave attention, are over-confident… lack empathy and can behave erratically,” but are often charming in person.

Keep in mind that Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears never went to college. Paris Hilton has a GED, Lindsay Lohan graduated from high school on Long Island, and Britney Spears was home-schooled and attended a performing arts school. I cannot figure out if she earned any kind of degree. Nicole Richie attended college for two years at the University of Arizona but didn’t earn an associates as far as I could tell. What kind of jobs could these women get if they were forced to fend for themselves like average people? I have a feeling Paris might do well out of sheer persistence.

It’s not surprising that celebrities are full of themselves. Is that a symptom or a cause of their fame or a bit of both? Why bother to learn anything else when you can earn big bucks just by showing up and being yourself?

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17 Responses to “Science proves celebrities really are full of shit”

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  1. FF says:

    Narcissism isn’t a product of celebrity – they become celebrities because they’re personality disordered and crave attention.

    Anyone else would think twice before wanting to live like that.

  2. Gigohead says:

    Wondered if this study will be in the published in the journal of “Duh”. (Thanks Norm Macdonald to the joke). It’s quite clear that we didn’t need a study to prove this, but it was clearly helpful.

    Good for Pinksky. this is a brilliant finding.

  3. AC says:

    I didn’t go to college and I have a very good job. It’s not about degrees all the time. But it’s safe to say even if they HAD degrees, they’re not capable of holding a normal job.

  4. Mandi says:

    thanks for posting these kinds of interesting stories. I love how Paris Hilton likes to call herself “royalty”.. yes, America’s royalty, highly educated at the most prestigious univer-.. um.. high schools. Celebitchy, it would also have been good to see which stars DID go to college, like Matt Damon, Natalie Portman, and Ron Livingston. Some celebs are actually not a waste of space lol

  5. Sarah says:

    I think the problem is that these girls became celebrities when they were still children. What 18 year old wouldn’t like to be famous? I fantasized about being a supermodel for most of my teenage years, despite being 5’4 and a size 12. I imagined myself winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe, going to fabulous parties, wearing beautiful clothes and jewels…

    But then I grew up and learned that I am not the center of the universe, I am not and will never be Cindy Crawford, and that fame really sucks, apart from the money (and there are better ways to earn it).

    But Lindsay, Paris, Nicole, Britney…they became stars when they were still young enough to believe that when fame hit, it would last forever, we would always love them, and their “talent” was somehow the most important thing in the world.

    I feel sorry for these girls. Maybe they have enough money to never need a real job or a college degree, but it seems like a sad, lonely existence.

  6. MaiGirl says:

    I really don’t care about the stars themselves and what wreckage they make of their own lives with their reckless, attention-seeking ways. What I care about are young people with no critical faculties who see these people (especially the Beaver-flash Brigade) and want to emulate them. I know, celebs in my formative years were crazy too, but at least they didn’t make sex tapes that went public (except for Rob Lowe, of course) or flash their bare bits like cats in heat.

  7. kailie2 says:

    I think that there is a certain type of personality that craves attention to begin with–it’s often fueled by their parents, as in case of Britney or Lilo, for ex. They just have no frame of reference — surrounded by sycophants, they have no self-criticism either but I don’t think they’re overly confident. I think that all the eating disorders and erratic behavior result from being extremely insecure and craving validation. Incidentally, I was staying in a hotel where a big name was having a New Year’s Eve party in NYC and the amount of insanity that went on was ridiculous. You’d think that the Queen of England was landing–security, pushing, shoving etc. I can totally see how they lose their minds early on, esp. if there is no talent or good family to fall back on. It’s surreal.

  8. FF says:

    I actually think it’s family life and upbringing that makes them narcissistic. Even if they appear to have model families it isn’t necessarily so on an emotional level – and attention-seeking behaviour usually proves otherwise, afterall, why seek it if you’ve had it all along?

    I was actually reading a book that covers this and it mentions that non-empathic rearing is usually what causes problems, particularly in the first three years. But that’s digressing…

    ps – not all child stars go nuts. Natalie Portman, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Christian Bale all seem to have dodged those particular bullets. We’ll have to wait on Dakota Fanning, though.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Britney and I both attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Distance Education High School. I attended the program for my junior and senior years of high school because my intense training schedule did not permit me the time to attend high school like most normal teenagers. POINT BEING: I graduated at 16 in 1999 and, at that point, Britney was still Freshman status.

  10. gavin says:

    Great Post Celebitchy! Love it. Its sad with so much money that these women cannot bother to get more education. And what is even more disturbing is that there is not more of an outcry from teh american public. Money is a barrier to higher education for many, but it was not for these women, and now they are role models. ITs so sad.

  11. Other Karen says:

    It’s self-selecting. You have to have a lot of confidence to give Hollywood a shot, and to keep on trying until success hits.

    I don’t think that all celebrities automatically lack real-life skills. Those that find extreme success at a young age are more likely to have a skewed persepective, as someone above pointed out. Heirs and heiresses who were raised to rely on their fortunes probably have the same issues.

    The parenting style probably has a huge influence on how the kids turn out. Compare Chelsea Clinton to the Bush twins.

  12. me says:

    I think you, Americans, should ask yourself why are these girls celebrities. You read about them, you gossip about them, and then you complain about them? Doesn’t make any sense. Stop doing that and they will disappear in a second! You should definitely reevaluate your moral standards as a nation. As a person who was born and raised in Europe and now lives in the US I can see kind of a problem in that area. I’m not saying that Europeans are better, don’t jump on me right away. There are so many reasons why you are a great nation, and I do live here. All I’m saying is that we are teaching our kids wrong things. Party, shopping, shopping, party,….drugs,….shopping, party,….But that makes money and that is the most important, right? Who cares about kids. It’s all about money. In Europe people have more vacation time, 5-7 weeks to start with, 14 sick days, plus holidays, a plenty of time to spend with kids and family. In the US parents have much less time for kids because they have to work long hours, 2 weeks vacation, and then TV, media, and tabloids are left to raise kids. No wonder why some of them choose “easy money” over years of education.

  13. Toubrouk says:

    This is one excellent article Celebitchy.

    In a way, I knew it for years. How can we expect that adults who lived their whole childhood into a dream where they were told how perfect they are can develop as stable human being? This explain why A-List celebrities, Athletes and Pop-Stars are so disconected from reality.

    If we add to that the tons of money they make every year, there’s no way they will take any contact with us, lowly mortals, anytime soon…

  14. FF says:

    lol, American blog readers and writers are the reason Paris et al. are celebrities?!

    I think you might want to have a word with all the magazines who’ve put them in editorials first.

  15. Randi says:

    And in other news: The sky is blue.

  16. S P Talaga says:

    The whole thing of “I’m important” can all be blaned on PBS. I call it the “MR Rogers Syndrome” As Mr. Rogers would say, “You’re special…” Well the celebrities actually think they are. Nobody can tell them that you’re special when you are 3 years old. Now that you are an adult you’re not special, you’re just a number. Hears a clue, the number you are as a celebriry is not #1

  17. IM REAL says:

    Personally, you shouldn’t hate on them for having a GED..its a quicker way of getting to the top..with a GED you can still attend college…They made it…Their wealthy aren’t they?duh…most people get in education just for the money.College is to prepare you for your career but if your already at your career..why go to college?a GED gets you to college so why not get a GED?If it wasn’t for the GED or “drop out” situation u wouldn’t even have a story…thats why we mainly mind our business..i don’t care how a person make it,as long as they make it why look down on them on their personal decisions?