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Scientists Figure Out What Type of Person Believes BS

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posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:24 PM
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Reporting in the journal Judgment and Decision Making, the researchers asked subjects to rate quotes that are philosophical, mundane, or simply BS—the latter consisting, in their words, of "seemingly impressive assertions that are presented as true and meaningful but are actually vacuous"—on a profundity scale. The team also tested participants' cognitive and reasoning ability. The researchers found that those who are "more receptive" to BS have lower "verbal and fluid intelligence" and are more likely to believe in the paranormal, conspiracy theories, and alternative medicine.

Link to study: PDF

Source

Below is a small excerpt from the University of Waterloo. The abstract is quite groundbreaking in terms of vocabulary and the rest of the study goes on to mention the term over 300 times


"Although bull**** is common in everyday life and has attracted attention from philosophers, its reception (critical or ingenuous) has not, to our knowledge, been subject to empirical investigation."

In my opinion, BS should never be labelled as such at first glance. It is alright to entertain any idea in the realm of your mind as long as you maintain subjectivity. To label something a certain way forever is unfavorable in a philosophical sense and ignorant at best.


For actual examples of readily propagated BS, Forbes reports PhD candidate Gordon Pennycook and his team turned to the Twitter feed of Deepak Chopra, highlighting tweets such as "Attention and intention are the mechanics of manifestation." The Telegraph reports the researchers also used this website, which composes made-up pseudo-profound statements like this one: "Growth is the richness of life, and of us." The researchers found that participants assigned the website-generated BS and Chopra's tweets similar profoundness ratings.

Below is The Telegraph's title of choice in describing the study. Don't take it personal, lol.

Scientists find link between people impressed by wise-sounding, 'profound' quotes and low intelligence


Essentially, it means grand-sounding statements which mean nothing - many people post such things on Instagram.

"Hidden meaning transforms unparalleled abstract beauty."

Sound familiar to you? Have you accepted this quote as constructive and meaningful to your daily existence? I'd love any member here to take a shot at deciphering that one since I'm not willing to get lost in it's supposed meaning.


The paper said that those who were more receptive to the bulls*** statements and who tended to rate them higher were "less reflective, lower in cognitive ability(i.e verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy,) and are more prone to ontological confusions and conspiratorial ideation."

Before you get jumpy, nobody here is asking you to agree with anything that is being said. I don't even fully side with what the researchers are putting forth, but I do believe that there is a correlation between low intelligence and a persons gullibility to believe something without trying to disprove it's worth. Guess I'm a dick. Or at the very least, trying to provoke discussion.



It also said they were more likely to "hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine."

What a bold statement. There is nothing wrong with exploring alternative solutions to any of life's problems including one's health. Some operate under the supervision of their paid to be ignorant doctor, while some uphold an ignorant perception of conventional treatments.

It goes both ways and the best knowledge you can attain is by exploring both and applying what you think will work best. There is a threshold between allowing something you find questionable to continue and cutting one's losses while investigating alternative solutions.

Its a circular exercise that ends up being a personal choice based off of perception and hopefully, sound research. The goal is to maximize the positive outcomes through your decision making without negatively impacting the well being of others that you come into contact with. The researchers go on to say,


"our findings are consistent with the idea that the tendency to rate vague, meaningless statements as profound is a legitimate psychological phenomenon that is consistently related to at least some variables of theoretical interest."

I believe that translates into "a lot of people can't comprehend what they are reading clearly because they're always coming into conflict with their bias mindset, whether that is fortified by BS or not."

Many might not be aware of the truth when they read or see it and many might never be aware of the truth simply because they believe that it doesn't exist in it's current form.

Some take the low road and believe what they hear based off of how they rate authority figures and their credibility. I've learned to develop my own opinions stressing that you maintain a fair viewpoint on all things uncertain.

As always, stay subjective, question authority and strive to explore your full potential. Don't believe the hype.




edit on 5-12-2015 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:45 PM
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Wow, interesting.
But I'm not sure if I believe it.



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:45 PM
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I tend to question everything and default to trusting nothing on face value. Everyone is selling something or some kind of agenda. Examine every statement and try to understand what underlying motivation is lurking just below the surface. There is almost always something else going on.


+6 more 
posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:46 PM
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Was wondering if this study would grab traction on ATS. Sadly the bullsnip study is bullsnip.

1) the "conspiracies" they use in their studies, while implying they are simply conspiracies, if you look at the actual question about ~50% (more or less) are historical fact, so they are outside the realm of simple 'conspiracies' and are absolutely not as the paper describes them (trying to liken 'conspiracy' to 'cookoo'.)

2) about 35% of participants failed the control question. What is a control question? "Write potato to show you are paying attention", I don't remember the exact one (see below). But yeah...

3) the participants were University of Waterloo students, who were simply participating for course credits. Hardly a good sample of the population, students also lack life experience and critical thinking skills.

In other words, the bullshed study is bullshed.

Edit: "Boncho, where's your evidence for these claims?"

Here is the evidence for my comments:

1)

Link: Actual questions used to determine if someone is "conspiratorial" Notice that a number of them are historical fact.


"Government involved in assassinations".
In fact, I believe we needed legislation to stop this from being as prominent as it was. Here is a list of 50 documented assinations or attempts, by CIA and others. Even though some may be disputed, likely not all 100% can be, no matter what position you take on the matter.


"Government agencies have been involved in assassinations of their own citizens"
Well, again this is documented. There was the drone strike against Anwar Al-Awlaki who was actually a prominent voice for the government, shortly after 9/11. He railed against radicalism and spoke openly in favour of US operations, however, when Iraq was invaded his opinions changed, and his speaking engagements were suddenly deemed 'radicalized' he eventually fled the county and was considered an enemy combatant. However, still a US citizen. Eventually he was killed in an airstrike that killed him, as well as his young teenage son. The family was devastated.

I wont continue on the 'conspiracy' questions. Just look yourself and Im sure you can find examples or off hand, are familiar with documented historical facts. If not, its time to invest in some Tin-Foil and start denying ignorance.

2)


was removed due to a large num- ber of skipped questions. Participants were also given an attention check. For this, participants were shown a list of activities (e.g., biking, reading) directly below the following instructions: “Below is a list of leisure activities. If you are reading this, please choose the “other” box below and type in ‘I read the instructions’”. This attention check proved rather difficult with 35.4% of the sample failing (N = 99).


3)


6.1 Participants
University of Waterloo undergraduates (N = 280, 58 male, 222 female, Mage = 20.9, SDage = 4.8) volunteered to take part in the study in return for course credit.


End.


edit on 5-12-2015 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: boncho

If it dragged your ass out of the shadows, consider it worth posting.

I agree with your sentiments. Just throwing chum in the waters, nothing more.




posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:50 PM
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I think the whole study is BS, did I pass?



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:52 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

Maybe the study is "BS" and releasing it is actually part of the real study to see who believes it.



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:52 PM
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a reply to: boncho

I think the same of the population studied, also BS does not sound professional in an article.

I am a bit sad you make claims, but dint really read the thing, there where several trials and half of them were made on Amazon (warehouse?) employees, also a small sample size.

All in all I think they reach conclusions that cannot be reached with such a small and limited population.
edit on 5-12-2015 by Indigent because: Bad tablet, stop changing my words



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:53 PM
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Sounds like a lot of Bullshiite to me.


PS, is that the desired answer?

I'll add , it's nice to see the bullshiiteometer back again though!

edit on 5-12-2015 by smurfy because: Text.



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:56 PM
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All my life i studied one field of expertise, do i know anything outside of that paradigm, no i dont. Maybe a few good books could give me a mystery to solve, but everything in my little bubble of make believe is confined within that bubble.



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 07:58 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
I think the whole study is BS, did I pass?

I don't know, my opinion might be bull**** to you, lol.

It only depends on whether you believe that you have passed or not.




posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:06 PM
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a reply to: Indigent


I am a bit sad you make claims, but dint really read the thing, there where several trials and half of them were made on Amazon (warehouse?) employees, also a small sample size.


That's fair enough, there are too many glaring problems with the study for me to take it seriously though. The 'conspiracy' questionnaire being the biggest one. For reference: source. How can you use questions like these to determine if someone 'believes in conspiracies' or are 'conspiratorial' when the questionnaire contains a number of things that are simply documented facts? The same conclusion could be made then for people who 'are well versed in accounts of documented history, including but not limited to subversive actions by government actors'.


edit on 5-12-2015 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:08 PM
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originally posted by: Abysha
a reply to: eisegesis

Maybe the study is "BS" and releasing it is actually part of the real study to see who believes it.

You may be right, I may be crazy. This study just may be the answer that you're looking for.

edit on 5-12-2015 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:11 PM
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a reply to: boncho

As I said, I agree with you, but at the same time you BS while calling their BS, pretty Ironic if you ask me.




posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:11 PM
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originally posted by: eisegesis
Scientists Figure Out What Type of Person Believes BS

So, people unable to perceive 'original critical thought' are more susceptible to catching a passing 'belief infection'.
No!
Really?
I have been saying this for decades!
I wonder how much this idiot science cost the taxpayer?
What a waste!
It's frikking COMMON SENSE!

I'm depressed... *__-



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:12 PM
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originally posted by: boncho


3) the participants were University of Waterloo students, who were simply participating for course credits. Hardly a good sample of the population, students also lack life experience and critical thinking skills.



I believe the particants were drawn from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service. Something I had never heard of until I read it in the paper you linked.




posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:12 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis


Just throwing chum in the waters, nothing more.

I'll bite. The war on terror is contrived, the term is bulls*** used to pull the wool over peoples eyes. Like when they say gun violence and Muslim extremist.

BS dissemination by word association.

Now I'm off to pop some Humanitarian Intervention BS bubble somewhere.



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:17 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

I don't understand what's so hard to believe that stupid people are prone to be bullshi**ed.



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:20 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

Super thread Eisegesis. But I'm not sure how super yet,
since I lost the translation.

'Hidden meaning' is something at least to me like a box with a
light bulb in it. If nobody picks it up and screws it in, there
wouldn't be any transformation, would there? So without the
preposition of 'Realizing...' the true beaury level remains
invisible, because the abstraction hasn't been comprehended.

And now to the somewhat pertinent metaphors....
Abstract or straightforward, beauty still is in the hard drive
of the illegal server
. Trouble is, did it even exist to an idiot
until Trey Gowdy mentioned its existence was illegal?

If it's ignored, undiscovered or better yet erased how could
we tell if it is BS beyond compare? Except unless the obvious
abstraction was that no idiot out there can perceive how
beautifully the law can be ignored by smart people.

And they get away with wordcrafting that makes me look
around for the five minutes I wasted trying to type this.
But you're right about the sentence being ill-constructed BS.

EDIT:: After reading into the thread... I don't think I passed
anything my whole life. It was other's and older perceptions
of my own that made them believe I wasn't a Divergent

edit on 5-12-2015 by derfreebie because: Good movie, and too idelogically true of our hive



posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:22 PM
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originally posted by: Swills
a reply to: eisegesis

I don't understand what's so hard to believe that stupid people are prone to be bullshi**ed.

I agree, there is a correlation. This study is just not the place to look for it. In my opinion, it is too encompassing and refuses to take into account the power of intent. If I bull**** you with enough intent, your inclined to believe at least part of what I'm saying out of respect, no?

What I just said was BS. Blame it on Lawson's Finest.




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