Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

9 Celebrities Who Have Authored Psychological Studies

 Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

[h/t Discover]

Ben Leuner, AMC
You Can Cook (Food) With Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in the Original Breaking Bad RV
Ben Leuner, AMC
Ben Leuner, AMC

A new contest is giving Breaking Bad fans the chance to cook a meal with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. A new charity fundraising campaign is sending one lucky fan and a friend out to Los Angeles to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Breaking Bad’s premiere with the stars themselves—Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and that beat-up RV.

“That’s right, the real Walter White and Jesse Pinkman will join you in The Krystal Ship to whip up some delicious food, take tons of pictures, and bond over the most addicting show ever made,” the contest’s page on the charity fundraising site Omaze trumpets.

All you have to do to throw your (porkpie) hat in the ring is break out your wallet and donate to a good cause. Every dollar you donate to the contest through Omaze is basically a raffle ticket. And the more you donate, the better your odds are of winning. Each dollar donated equals 10 entries, so if you donate $10, you have 100 chances, if you donate $25, 250 chances, etc. At higher donation levels, you’ll also get guaranteed swag, including T-shirts, signed set photos by Cranston and Paul, props and scripts from the show, and more.

Technically, you can enter without donating, but don’t be a jerk—it’s for the kids. The proceeds from the contest will go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Kind Campaign, an anti-bullying charity.

The contest winner will be announced around September 12, and the big event will take place on September 15.

Donate to win here. The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on August 30.

Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images
60 Years Later, a Lost Stanley Kubrick Script Has Been Found
Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images
Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images

A “lost” screenplay co-written by famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has been found after 60 years, Vulture reports.

The screenplay is an adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novella Burning Secret, which Vulture describes as a reverse Lolita (plot summary for those who forgot high school English class: a man enters a relationship with a woman because of his obsession with her 12-year-old daughter). In Burning Secret, a man befriends an adolescent boy in order to seduce his mother. Zweig’s other works have inspired films like Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (which the director claims he "stole" from Zweig's novels Beware of Pity and The Post-Office Girl).

Kubrick’s screenplay adaptation is co-written by novelist Calder Willingham and dated October 24, 1956. Although the screenplay bears a stamp from MGM’s screenwriting department, Nathan Abrams—the Bangor University professor who discovered the script—thinks it’s likely the studio found it too risqué for mass audiences.

“The child acts as an unwitting go-between for his mother and her would-be lover, making for a disturbing story with sexuality and child abuse churning beneath its surface,” Abrams told The Guardian. It's worth noting, however, that Kubrick directed an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita in 1962, which MGM distributed, and it was also met with a fair share of controversy.

Abrams said the screenplay for Burning Secret is complete enough that it could be created by filmmakers today. He noted that the discovery is particularly exciting because it confirms speculations Kubrick scholars have had for decades.

“Kubrick aficionados knew he wanted to do it, [but] no one ever thought it was completed,” Abrams told The Guardian.

The Guardian reports that Abrams found the screenplay while researching his book Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of His Final Film. The screenplay is owned by the family of one of Kubrick’s colleagues.

[h/t Vulture]


More from mental floss studios