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Scientists Figure Out What Type of Person Believes BS

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posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:28 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

Well, I'd agree that people with less intelligence are ore likely to believe lies. That's quite sensible. Their jump to labeling all "paranormal, conspiracy theories, and alternative medicine" as BS is a bit much, though. Some of the stuff quoted is, of course, nonsense, but that doesn't mean all paranormal belief is nonsense, or all conspiracies are fake, or all alternative medicine is no good. Seems they have an agenda themselves, and are shoveling some BS of their own, along with the valid portion of the results which they share.

Ironic, that the intelligent folks will see through their little scheme, and the foolish ones will assume it's all good, and reject things they ought not reject.

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:43 PM
I think my verbal intelligence is broken
. Am I missing something, or is this a serious study? I will take a shot at it... Does it mean that secrets or missing information, once available, changes beauty? I think that perception alters subjectivity, and vocabularies are unique to the individual... There really is no way to discredit anthers comprehension on vaguely mundane statements. LOL, just BS. S&F

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 08:44 PM
Too many big words in that article, that makes me question whether they are using those words to intimidate or to push some BS.

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 09:00 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

And at the very top of the list of BS artists...Politicians and Scientists followed by Clergy.

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 09:01 PM
a reply to: Swills

Ummm...hello Swills...what's even harder to believe is that...someone would feel the requisite primal urge to imagine themselves above the rest of the herd and moooon the other denizens as they defecated on their fellow ungulates perceptual cognitive such a self righteous manner...that is

Like drowning men...we stand on the shoulders of giants...if only to be the last to last gasp...

Be well my friend...


posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 09:10 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

Ummm...hello EasyJesus...

I was wondering...if you chum the waters with feces...should one be overly surprised by the flotsam...?

Gotta love the prevarication...

Be well my friend

edit on 5-12-2015 by YouSir because: I was a baaaad boy...

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 09:10 PM


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

Nice catch. Yea certain groups of those questions are facts.

I do understand what they mean though. I now have normal people I know suddenly say they won't eat gluten bc of one article and then they kind of cut it out and yet they don't really understand what the word placebo means. I'm still on the fence about the extent of the population that is gluten intolerant/sensitive excluding celiacs.

Or maybe they are talking about old wives tales or hangover cures which can get way out there.

Also as said in other posts it is important to note that the sample is college students. Meaning people slightly smarter but at the same time more idealistic/optimistic than the general population and possibly more naive due to lack of real world experience.

and generally in studies such as these it can only be extrapolated to WEIRD societies. The majority of the world's population are not WEIRDos

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 09:46 PM
I would say 99% of the earth believes bs, literally everybody relies on MSM to get their info.

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 09:53 PM

originally posted by: eisegesis

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


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.

So if you accept the mainstream view you are normal is the crux

A few other reasonable statements thrown in to give the document weight

I smell a big pile of bullshi?

Good thread
edit on 5-12-2015 by Raggedyman because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 10:05 PM
Most Americans can't tell BS from a jar of peanut butter. Why do you think the likes of Fox news and Rush Limbaugh are so successful. Both Fox and Rush are brilliant in their approach to the demographic appeal, overall message/dogma and marketing.

I think HL Mencken said it best....

“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”


L. Ron Hubbard — 'You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.'

I think L. Ron knew what he was talking about. AS did P T Barnum
edit on 5-12-2015 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 10:20 PM
a reply to: YouSir

Sounds like a bunch of bullsh*t to me.

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 11:36 PM

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.

oh, wait, does that make the study a conspiracy, then?

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 11:38 PM
The entire thing is bogus. It is obviously skewed to a political agenda.

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 11:44 PM
I'm sure there are people who are more prone to fall for certain things than other people are. But I'd say it all just comes down to what you've seen, learned, and experienced and the opportunities you've had more that a predetermined level of intelligence. Measuring intelligence isn't a formulatic thing...there are many components to smarts, street smarts, common sense, emotional factors, and so on that even if they are not part of it certainly play key roles in it. But it's always fun when they try to quantify the unquantifiable human condition. Makes for some interesting thought and discussion.

posted on Dec, 5 2015 @ 11:45 PM

originally posted by: NowWhat
Wow, interesting.
But I'm not sure if I believe it.


Awesome reply!

posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 12:13 AM
a reply to: eisegesis
Since I alreayd know my IQ is lower than average, I don't feel liike I have much to lose by learning I'm dumb. I feel empowered.

Favorited the PDF for future reading. (here).

Here're a few of my other favorites: - Insights into the Personalities of Conspiracy Theorists... - "What about building 7?" A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories...
edit on 12/6/2015 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 12:34 AM
i'd like to point out that the study's defining example of "meaningless bullshyte" isn't meaningless at all. it's a truism that's very easy to test.

Attention and intention are the mechanics of manifestation.

attention: continually noticing something
intention: the desire to achieve a specific result
mechanics: basis or method
manifestation: (yeah this word is new agey and appears meaningless, but it has a specific meaning in the way new agers use it) achieving a desired result. "end result" is also appropriate. new agers use the word manifestation to refer specifically to the achievement of a result without alluding to the steps involved in achieving it.

so what the phrase is saying is "in order to achieve anything, you first have to devote attention to that possible future achievement, and you also have to know what you want to achieve."

ok, here's how to prove it. look around your house. what areas do you pay attention to? cleanliness? comfort? paying bills on time? whatever gets your attention gets maintained. whatever you tend to ignore goes to shyte at a rapid rate. now think about the things that you notice, but have mixed feelings about. maintenance in those areas tends to be really inconsistent. to make a change in your life you have to invest attention and have a clear purpose.

so it's a truism. how profound it is as a statement is a measure of 1: how well you understood what he meant and 2: how shocking the idea is to your psyche. if it was already obvious, it's not that profound.

posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 12:50 AM
a reply to: boncho

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'.

I fear you have misunderstood. Those questions weren't the ones used to establish who was susceptible to BS and who wasn't. They were used only to establish respondents' hospitality to conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories were not treated as BS for the purpose of the study. The authors were trying, among other things, to see whether believers in conspiracy theories are unusually susceptible to BS. Turned out (unsurprisingly) that they are.

The questionnaire is an excellent yardstick for determining belief in conspiracy theories — the more so precisely because some of the questions are indeed factual.

the participants were University of Waterloo students, who were simply participating for course credits.

Only in the first of the four studies that were conducted. Participants for the other three were drawn from members of Amazon Mechanical Turk and were selected only for US residence and self-reported fluency in English. I presume the participants in the first study were mainly Canadian.

about 35% of participants failed the control question

Thank you for mentioning that there was a control question. In each study, however, it was found that eliminating the responses of those who failed the control question had no effect on the results, so they kept them in. This actually argues for the robustness of the findings, not against them.

Apart from telling us nothing we didn't already know, this was a very good, well-conducted study — especially for the field, psychology, which is notorious for gimcrack research design.

Of course, the majority of ATS members will reject it, because they believe in conspiracy theories, and conspiracy theories are all BS.

Those more receptive to BS are less reflective, lower in cognitive ability (i.e., verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy), are more prone to ontological confusions and conspiratorial ideation, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine. The Study, p.359

Not very flattering, is it? But from ten years of membership here, I can testify that it is true.

edit on 6/12/15 by Astyanax because: it is indeed true.

posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 01:31 AM
It's probably most accurate to say "stupid people are prone to believing BS (obviously), but people who believe BS are not necessarily stupid."

posted on Dec, 6 2015 @ 01:32 AM
a reply to: Eilasvaleleyn
Some of the people most of the time.
Some of the people all of the time...

Is that how it goes?
edit on 12/6/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)

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