Have you ever written a full paper for a subject without much effort at all? Alternatively, have you defended your position (whether in a personal conversation or in a more academic setting) through purposefully convoluted arguments that really aren’t that good? Well, it seems that our ability to bullshit through real life events is a sign of intelligence. The proof lies in a study published in Evolutionary Psychology:
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The researchers measured respondents’ intelligence through a cognitive ability test, and tested their ability to bullshit through a verbal exercise that required them to explain 10 concepts (like general relativity), only the catch was that some concepts didn’t even exist. The researchers found the skilled bullshitters who satisfyingly and persuasively tried to explain completely made up theories and concepts.
Unsurprisingly, those who tested high on the bullshit scale also tested well on the cognitive ability test, thereby proving that sometimes, you can actually fake it till you make it.
Maybe bullshitting is just another way of finding connections, or maybe it’s a sign of a charismatic persona. Either way, we now have further proof that bullshitting can make you smarter—or at least make you look smart.
Image credit: Paramount Pictures