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2015-12-02
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Stupid People Find Nonsense Profound

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Gordon Pennycook, a university researcher, conducted a study by generating random, four-word phrases and evaluating how test subjects felt the text was in terms of its profundity. It should come as no surprise that human beings generally found value in meaningless drivel when they suspected it was deep.

Those more receptive to bullshit are less reflective, lower in cognitive ability (i.e., verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy), are more prone to ontological confusions [beliefs in things for which there is no empirical evidence (i.e. that prayers have the ability to heal)] and conspiratorial ideation, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine.

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