“It takes a great mind to understand a great concept. Most people are like sheep, just following the common notion and rarely stopping their daily routines to question the profound!” Although this statement from me is harsh and generalized, it is the finding of a recent research in the Judgement and Decision Making that affirms the fact that people who are more receptive to profound assumptions and generalization tend to have a lower IQ as well.
These statements, judgments, biases, pseudo-scientific sounding findings and all the rest of the crap that is found on the internet has been called “bullshit” by the authors of this new research in a publication record 200 times. Talk about being rude! The researcher actually used a funny yet manipulative way of getting his results by using an algorithm on a website to randomly generate profound sentences like this:
“Healing is the growth of hope, and of us. We vibrate, we exist, we are reborn”. To many of us, this appears like an influential quote from a “Great” person but in reality, it is just a logical jumble of words from a semi-intelligent machine. This phrase greeted the people involved in the research website’s homepage. A tricky way to start, huh?
The number of test subjects recruited for this study was 300 from a wide variety of gender, ethnicity and academic backgrounds. They were required to rate these random bullshit quotes on a scale from zero to five. On an average, they rated each 2.6, so many believed that they weren’t sure about the whole thing and were halfway between “somewhat profound” and “fairly profound”. Interestingly, 27 percent of the participants gave a score of 2.75 or above. So, more than a quarter of the people thought that these sentences were between “profound” and very “profound”.
In a subsequent test, the same people were asked to rate real life quotes from authors like Deepak Chopra, the New Age Spiritualist and shockingly, the results were very much the same. It means that most people can’t actually distinguish the difference between these computer-generated sentences and the actual quotes that aren’t well-known. In the third and final test, people were asked to rate these mundane statements and well-known quotes from historical figures like Einstein, Ab. Lincoln and Bob Marley. As expected, after seeing these famous quotes, people rated them very profound and the mundane ones not that much.
— Deepak Chopra (@DeepakChopra) December 2, 2015
On individual testing and research, it was found out that people who believed in conspiracy theories, alternative “spiritual medicine” and that sort of things were more likely to rate these statements higher and were unable to tell the difference between computer generated gibberish to unknown statements from an author. They were also linked with a rather low level of intelligence on IQ tests and awareness. So, dumb people tend to readily accept what is thrown at them while those who are skeptical of what is told to them generally have a higher IQ.
This by no mean concludes that we should all start being rude and skeptic like these researchers and start to question each and everything just for the sake of it. It just outlines a trend that was followed in the study and points towards a greater self-realization. In the words of Carl Sagan, one of the researchers, “One benefit of gaining a better understanding of how we reject other’s bullshit is that it may teach us to be more [aware] of our own bullshit.” This statement is quiet profound in its own meaning. What if its computer generated and they are are playing more games with us over the internet?! What do you think? Let us know in the comments!