On Pseudo-Profound Bullshit

A recently published study from the Journal of Judgment and Decision Making brought up a number of interesting points about the prevalence and level of acceptance of bullshit in society. The paper’s worth checking out if you have the time, but if not, here’s some of my favorite bits, followed by a great summary by EvanRWT on Reddit:

“Bullshit is a consequential aspect of the human condition. Indeed, with the rise of communication technology, people are likely encountering more bullshit in their everyday lives than ever before.”

“Bullshit is not only common; it is popular…Using vagueness or ambiguity to mask a lack of meaningfulness is surely common in political rhetoric, marketing, and even academia. Indeed, as intimated by Frankfurt (2005), bullshitting is something that we likely all engage in to some degree: ‘One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share.’ One benefit of gaining a better understanding of how we reject other’s bullshit is that it may teach us to be more cognizant of our own bullshit.”

“That people vary in their receptivity toward bullshit is perhaps less surprising than the fact that psychological scientists have heretofore neglected this issue.”