A newly published scientific study found that people who like quotes that are “pseudo profound” have lower intelligence, and are less reflective. The scientists also discovered that those who propagate pseudo-intellectual quotes were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, the paranormal, and alternative medicine.
In the study, the researchers actually described the pseudo-intellectual phrases as “bullsh*t,” which they defined as “something that implies but does not contain adequate meaning or truth.”
Using a website called the New Age Bullsh*t Generator, the researchers crafted quotes that were “merely a collection of buzzwords put together randomly in a sentence that retains syntactic structure” that seemed to imply profound meaning through clunky phrasing.
The Divine Within pic.twitter.com/luAv4Q9S1x
— Deepak Chopra (@DeepakChopra) December 1, 2015
To conduct their experiment, researchers had nearly 300 subjects rate the profoundness of quotes on a scale of 1 to 5. The bullsh*t was placed alongside real quotes from gurus like Deepak Chopra, as well as mundane statements like “newborn babies require constant attention,” which were there to assure that subjects weren’t finding everything to be profound. The tests were administered in four rounds, each one looking at a unique set of quotes and phrases.
Some of the bullsh*t quotes in the study included “Hidden meaning transforms unparalleled abstract beauty,” and, “This life is nothing short of an unveiling quantum leap of mythic rejuvenation,” and “We are at a crossroads of transformation and desire.”
After the quote test, researchers analyzed several other personality traits of the subjects. Ultimately, they concluded that those who rated the bullsh*t highly were,
less reflective, lower in cognitive ability (i.e verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy,) and are more prone to ontological confusions and conspiratorial ideation.”
The bullsh*t fans were also more likely to,
hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine.
The study found that many people are unable to differentiate between real profound quotes and several buzzwords strung together. Shocker.
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