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A new study has found that people who buy into "pseudo-profound bullsh*t" – the researchers' words, not ours – are more likely to score on the low side for verbal and fluid intelligence, and are also more likely to believe in conspiracies and endorse alternative medicine.
What exactly is pseudo-profound bullsh*t, you might ask? In the context of this study, it's defined as statements that sound super deep but actually make very little sense – you know, the kind that one friend is always sharing on Facebook. For example: "Wellbeing requires exploration. To traverse the mission is to become one with it," and "Hidden meaning transforms unparalleled abstract."
"Although this statement may seem to convey some sort of potentially profound meaning, it is merely a collection of buzzwords put together randomly in a sentence that retains syntactic structure," the researchers write in the journal Judgement and Decision Making.
It probably comes as no surprise that this kind of bullsh*t is everywhere these days, particularly when it comes to the Internet. But very little research has gone into why some people are so responsive to these types of statements, and so PhD student Gordon Pennycook and a team of researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada have published what they believe is the first study to "empirically investigate" bullsh*t.
And just in case you were wondering, yes, the word bullsh*it does appear in the article precisely 200 times, which is likely to be another first.
To test people's belief in pseudo-profound statements, the researchers used a random generator to come up with a range of nonsense quotes and sentences. They then asked 280 undergrad students to rate these statements from 1 to 5 based no how profound they found them, with 5 being very profound, and 1 being not at all.
The mean rating for the statements was 2.6, which is kinda high given that the statements didn't really make any sense at all. But what was more worrying was that 27 percent of the participants rated the sentences a 3 or more.
"These results indicate that our participants largely failed to detect that the statements are bullsh*t," write Pennycook and his team.
In a second experiment, the researchers mixed up the randomly generated sentences with "particularly vague" tweets posted by spiritualist Deepak Chopra. Again, this new group of participants rated the statements pretty similarly on the profundity scale.
originally posted by: hounddoghowlie
seems to me that scientists, are out to make every one that doesn't accept their word to be idiots.
first there was this thread,
Scientists Figure Out What Type of Person Believes BS
now that i compare the two,looks like it could be the same study, i guess i'm one of those.