If you are inspired by wise-sounding statements then you probably have a low intelligence level, a new study has found.
A teams of researchers from Canada presented a group of people with random statements, including tweets from Deepak Chopra - a renown advocate of alternate medicine - to measure their level of "bullshit receptivity."
In their paper titled "on the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit" they analyse a range of sentences, including this tweet from Chopra, which reads: “attention and intention are the mechanics of manifestation.”
Here's another, if you need more evidence.
Experience is made out of awareness pic.twitter.com/HJ5D2ew5Iq— Deepak Chopra (@DeepakChopra) December 1, 2015
"...it it may have been constructed to impress upon the reader some sense of profundity at the expense of a clear exposition
of meaning or truth," the researchers write.
For their experiment, they asked 280 undergraduates to rate ten statements for profundity - one being not at all profound and five representing the other end of the spectrum.
The conclusion? High ratings indicate receptivity toward "bullshit," the study states.
Before you judge all your Instagram and Facebook friends who are constantly posting overtly filtered quotes, keep in mind that 280 students are hardly a representative sample.
As you probably also noticed, the authors loved the word "bullshit" - they used it 200 times.
New paper on the psychology of bullshit https://t.co/VMvkA1Wky6 Open access! we only used the term "bullshit" ~200 times...— Gordon Pennycook (@GordPennycook) November 30, 2015
Gordon Pennycook, a Phd student who lead the research, used the website "New Age Bullshit Generator," to generate random profound-stating phrases.