This just in: celebrities are narcissistic

Ransom Riggs

Stop the presses, right? Sure, most people assume that celebrities are more narcissistic than regular people. Until recently, however, we didn't have a study to prove it. That's where Dr. Drew Pinksy (of Loveline fame) comes in, who is, by the way, an actual doctor of psychology (unlike his less-credentialed ex-sidekick, Adam Carolla). Dr. Drew has celebrities appear on his radio show all the time, and during breaks over the last several years, he has been asking them to take a test.

It's called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, and it's exactly the kind of thing that publicists and managers exist to stop celebrities from taking, which is why there isn't much hard data on this sort of thing, until now. Drew's results were pretty interesting:

  • On a scale of 1 to 40, 1 being "normal" and 40 being "extremely narcissistic," celebrities averaged a score of 17.84, or about 18 times more narcissistic than normal people.
  • Female celebrities tended to score much higher than male celebrities.
  • Celebrities who are actually good at something, like musicians, scored on the low end of the narcissism scale. Celebrities with no real skill set, like reality stars, had scores in the stratosphere.

So what does all this mean? Basically, the that people we idolize -- and to some degree aspire to be like -- have personality disorders. "Narcissism is not about self love," says Dr. Drew. "It's a clinical trait that belies a deep sense of emptiness, low self-esteem, emotional detachment, self-loathing, extreme problems with intimacy."