“Deep” Inspirational quotes are everywhere: On websites, your email, on that family WhatsApp group, all over Facebook and tweeted by some Twitter accounts. Question is: Do you get inspired by them?
According to a research aptly named “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit”, 845 students from the university took part in 4 different studies. The first study was to determine how profound a statement was in a scale of 1-5. The second study was to use real examples of bullshit by using vague tweets from Deepak Chopra’s Twitter account, a famous American author. The third study was to investigate if there are people who could be insensitive to pseudo-profound bullship. The final study required the participants to rate how profound 20 intermixed statements (10 bullshit and 10 motivational) area.
The report actually mentions bullshit 200 times if you do a random search for the word and even went ahead to quote a philosopher who defined it as “something that is designed to impress but that was constructed absent direct concern for the truth.
“More analytical individuals should be more likely to detect the need for additional scrutiny when exposed to pseudo-profound bullshit,” the report indicated. “Analytic thinking is thus the primary focus of our investigation as it is most directly related to the proposed ability to detect blatant bullshit”
Gordon Pennycook, one of the researchers was interviewed by the Huffington Post regarding the report. “The basic idea is that people who are more intelligent should be better able to detect that statements are bullshit” he said. “And, similarly, that people that are more skeptical about supernatural claims should be more skeptical about the bullshit that we presented to them.”
If you want to generate quotes from random words check out New Age Bullshit Generator and hit the “Reionize Electrons” button. Nonetheless, this research is rather interesting and gives a whole new light on how people perceive quotes they see on social media.