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Quick! Tell me something beautiful, deep and profound! Did it sound anything like, “To go along the path is to become one with it”? String together meaningless buzzwords, but retain the syntactic structure of a sensible statement, and some people will tell you that’s deep. According to Ph.D candidate Gordon Pennycook, that’s bullshit.
Pennycook, the author of “The Reception and Detection of Pseudo-profound Bullshit”—yep, a real academic paper that swears—presented 300 test subjects with randomly generated meaningless phrases to rate the profundity. Turns out 27 percent of subjects felt the nonsensical statements were “profound” or “very profound.”
Not surprisingly, Pennycook determined those who were more inclined to call bullshit statements profound were “less reflective, lower in cognitive ability…and more prone to…conspiratorial ideation.”
Now, that’s deep…Or, is it?
But what about those who write this pseudo-profound crap? Iflscience.com broke down what the authors of the research consider bullshit, such as…
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