On Bullshit

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Koyaanisqatsi
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:23 pm

On Bullshit

Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:32 pm

I think this should go here, though maybe the politics forum is more apt: On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit (PDF). From Petra no less!

Yes, it’s real. File under Dunning-Kruger perhaps?

Abstract:
Although bullshit is common in everyday life and has attracted attention from philosophers, its reception (critical or ingen- uous) has not, to our knowledge, been subject to empirical investigation. Here we focus on pseudo-profound bullshit, which consists of seemingly impressive assertions that are presented as true and meaningful but are actually vacuous. We presented participants with bullshit statements consisting of buzzwords randomly organized into statements with syntactic structure but no discernible meaning (e.g., “Wholeness quiets infinite phenomena&#8221 ;) . Across multiple studies, the propensity to judge bull- shit statements as profound was associated with a variety of conceptually relevant variables (e.g., intuitive cognitive style, supernatural belief). Parallel associations were less evident among profundity judgments for more conventionally profound (e.g., “A wet person does not fear the rain&#8221 ;) or mundane (e.g., “Newborn babies require constant attention&#8221 ;) statements. These results support the idea that some people are more receptive to this type of bullshit and that detecting it is not merely a matter of indiscriminate skepticism but rather a discernment of deceptive vagueness in otherwise impressive sounding claims. Our re- sults also suggest that a bias toward accepting statements as true may be an important component of pseudo-profound bullshit receptivity.
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Stupidity is not intellen

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Rie
Posts: 12272
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:02 am
Location: Australia

Post by Rie » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:12 am

Yessir! But always watch the eyes... as looong words can mesmerise if need be. :p
"You understand?" said Ponder
"No. I was just hoping that if I didn't say anything you'd stop trying to explain things to me." - Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero

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