Celebrities often have many job titles: actor, producer, fashion designer, skin-care-line guru, but a handful have a more erudite description to add to their resume: research study author. A number of celebrities, from actors to magicians, have appeared as authors in psychology journals, as a new article in Perspectives on Psychological Science (highlighted in Discover magazine) details. Here are nine famous celebrities you might not realize were also part-time psychologists:
1. COLIN FIRTH
The award-winning actor appeared as an author on a study about the neurological roots of political affiliations after he was the guest host of a BBC radio show in 2011. He asked neuroscientists to scan the brains of politicians from the UK’s Conservative and Labour parties for the show, and the researchers decided to continue their analysis with more volunteers. The research was published in Current Biology.
2. NATALIE PORTMAN
When she was still a Harvard psychology major named Natalie Hershlag, Portman worked on a study with several prominent psychologists using fMRI scans to determine which brain areas are correlated to the idea of object permanence. It appeared in NeuroImage in 2002.
3. TIM DUNCAN
Retired Spurs power forward Tim Duncan coauthored a book chapter on social psychology as a Wake Forest University undergraduate. It covered how people respond to others’ narcissistic behavior.
4. MAYIM BIALIK
After Blossom was over, Bialik earned her B.S. and her doctorate in neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1999, she and several coauthors published an article called "Cortical correlates of affective vs. linguistic prosody" in NeuroImage.
5. LISA KUDROW
Kudrow, the daughter of a neurologist, appeared as fourth author on a paper with her father on a study on the relationship between handedness and headaches. She and her dad both suffer from migraines.
6. BETTY FRIEDAN
The Feminine Mystique author studied psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1943, but didn’t finish her doctorate. Decades later, she wrote an article in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry discussing harmful stereotyping of older people.
The magician was an author on a 2008 article in Nature Reviews Neuroscience on how magicians can contribute to the study of human attention and awareness.
8. THE 14TH DALAI LAMA
In 2008, His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatzo) wrote a book with psychologist Paul Eckman—a noted expert in the study of emotion and facial expressions—called Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Psychological Balance and Compassion.
9. ELIZABETH WARREN
The Massachusetts senator coauthored an article in Health Affairs on the relationship between medical issues and bankruptcy. They found that half of the personal bankruptcy cases they studied cited medical causes (mental illness included) as the reason for declaring bankruptcy.