Study shows link between stupidity & bullsh*t

© Michaela Rehle
Scientific evidence has emerged that questioning more is a sign of intelligence.

Researchers at Canada’s University of Waterloo presented their new research paper "On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullsh*t", which revealed that people who find statements like "rejuvenation is a constant, joy requires exploration" to be profound are less intelligent.

"Bullsh*t, in contrast to mere nonsense, is something that implies but does not contain adequate meaning or truth," says research team leader Gordon Pennycook.

Through a series of five tests, Pennycook generated a number of statements using the New Age Bullsh*t Generator website as well as tweets from Deepak Chopra. Three hundred participants were then asked to rate their profoundness using the "Bullsh*t Receptivity (BSR) scale."

It found that on multiple occasions people were unable to differentiate between these wise-sounding statements and well-known philosophical declarations.

The researchers combined these tests with personality and intelligence tests to see if there was a connection between these judgments and the type of person making them. It turns out there is and if ever there was an impetus for you to question more, this is it.

Those who had a tendency to rate redundant statements as being profound were, the study found, less intelligent, more prone to believe in conspiracy theories, more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and were more likely to use alternative medicine.

"This is a valuable first step toward gaining a better understanding of the psychology of bullsh*t," Pennycook said.

The study doesn’t discuss whether the research itself should be questioned, but the findings do suggest why so many members of the US Congress believed the bullsh*t about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.