Study: Liking Trashy Movies Means You're Smarter Than Average

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 6 years old.
A scene from Sharknado, which is, yes, a movie about a tornado made of sharks.

We all have one: a friend who, in addition to being a very well-rounded human who you generally think of as smart and capable, can also happily describe the plot of each film in the Sharknado franchise while those around her look on in amused horror. Or maybe you are that friend?

No shame if you are  -- according to a new study, you're probably the smartest of the bunch. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, which is a real school in Frankfurt and not a discarded jumble of words from a Wes Anderson movie, found that people who like to engage in ironic viewing of films and television shows they fully understand to be "bad" are generally people with above-average intelligence. (Cough, KQED Pop's devotion to Crossroads; just gonna leave this here.)

"To such viewers, trash films appear as an interesting and welcome deviation from the mainstream fare," researcher Keyvan Sarkhosh told The Independent, which noted that the team mainly wound up studying low-budget horror movies. "We are dealing here with an audience with above-average education, which one could describe as 'cultural omnivores'. Such viewers are interested in a broad spectrum of art and media across the traditional boundaries of high and popular culture."

See? There is something real that's compelling you to watch Encino Man at least twice a year -- your giant, above-average brain. Science said so.