Bullshitting Is Actually a Sign of Intelligence, Study Finds

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    • #432134
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 9,978

      https://www.vice.com/en/article/88nmvz/bullshitting-sign-intelligence-psychology-lying

      In a study published in the scientific journal Evolutionary Psychology, researchers found that people who are better at making up explanations for various concepts tend to be more intelligent than those who struggle to come up with bullshit. Could this finally explain why that classmate who BS-ed their way through an exam often scored higher than those who actually studied? Maybe, but the study also concluded that skilled bullshitters were not necessarily frequent bullshitters. Researchers used 1,017 participants in two studies that examined correlations between cognitive ability, the willingness to BS, and the ability to do it well.

      The participants were shown ten concepts and asked to use a five-point rating scale ranging from “never heard of it” to “know it well, understand the concept” to rate their knowledge of the concepts. Six of these concepts, such as Sexual Selection Theory and General Relativity, were real, while four concepts – Subjunctive Scaling, Declarative Fraction, Genetic Autonomy, and Neural Acceptance – were made up. The willingness to bullshit was then measured based on those who claimed to have knowledge of these made-up concepts.

      To determine the ability to bullshit, a group of 534 of these participants were asked to produce the most convincing and satisfying explanation that they could for each of the above concepts. They were told not to bother about whether they were actually true, but to just be creative and convincing while making up their explanations.

      Then, another sample group of participants, termed as “bullshit raters”, was asked to rate how accurate or satisfying these answers seemed using a five-point scale. This scale ranged from “not at all accurate” to “very accurate” to judge accuracy, and “not at all satisfactory” to “very satisfactory” to determine how well the explanations were framed. The bullshit raters were also asked to determine the intelligence of the participants in the former group.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #432140
      Hobbit709
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      • Total Posts: 2,607

      THAT is the question.

      I don't waste my time teaching pigs to sing.

      • #432170
        Utopian Leftist
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        • Total Posts: 645

        {Ted Cruz} politicians, like most professionals, are relatively intelligent. The problem is that they are also largely surreptitious, two-faced, vacuous, short-sighted, selfish, greedy, misanthropic and downright evil. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Money corrupts all power.

        "All fascism is a result of a failure of the left to provide a viable alternative." ~ Trotsky
        “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti

    • #432143
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,760

      Rush is a bullshitter extraordinaire.

      Seriously, I bet this isn’t so much about the ability to bullshit as the ability to make up good stories based on realities that aren’t nearly as entertaining without Irish bard levels of embellishment. There’s a difference between storytelling and bullshitting. Many people know it when they hear it.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #432172
        Utopian Leftist
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        • Total Posts: 645

        “The Things they Carried,” author Tim O’Brien states that, when we write the truth, no one believes us. He says that he had to fictionalize his accounts of the Vietnam War because no one would believe him when he told the truth about them. They were too epic for the average person to wrap their mind around.

        "All fascism is a result of a failure of the left to provide a viable alternative." ~ Trotsky
        “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti

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