The complex relation between receptivity to pseudo-profound bullshit and political ideology

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The complex relation between receptivity to pseudo-profound bullshit and political ideology. / Nilsson, Artur; ERLANDSSON, ARVID; Västfjäll, Daniel.

In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18.03.2019.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - The complex relation between receptivity to pseudo-profound bullshit and political ideology

AU - Nilsson, Artur

AU - ERLANDSSON, ARVID

AU - Västfjäll, Daniel

PY - 2019/3/18

Y1 - 2019/3/18

N2 - This research systematically mapped the relationship between political ideology and receptivity to pseudo-profound bullshit—that is, obscure sentences constructed to impress others rather than convey truth. Among Swedish adults (N = 985), bullshit receptivity was (a) robustly positively associated with socially conservative (vs. liberal) self-placement, resistance to change, and particularly binding moral intuitions (loyalty, authority, purity), (b) associated with centrism on preference for equality and even leftism (when controlling for other aspects of ideology) on economic ideology self-placement, and (c) lowest among right-of-center social liberal voters and highest among left-wing green voters. Most of the results held up when we controlled for perceived profundity of genuine aphorisms, cognitive reflection, numeracy, information processing bias, gender, age, education, religiosity, and spirituality. The results are supportive of theoretical accounts that posit ideological asymmetries in cognitive orientation, while also pointing to the existence of bullshit receptivity among both right- and left-wingers.

AB - This research systematically mapped the relationship between political ideology and receptivity to pseudo-profound bullshit—that is, obscure sentences constructed to impress others rather than convey truth. Among Swedish adults (N = 985), bullshit receptivity was (a) robustly positively associated with socially conservative (vs. liberal) self-placement, resistance to change, and particularly binding moral intuitions (loyalty, authority, purity), (b) associated with centrism on preference for equality and even leftism (when controlling for other aspects of ideology) on economic ideology self-placement, and (c) lowest among right-of-center social liberal voters and highest among left-wing green voters. Most of the results held up when we controlled for perceived profundity of genuine aphorisms, cognitive reflection, numeracy, information processing bias, gender, age, education, religiosity, and spirituality. The results are supportive of theoretical accounts that posit ideological asymmetries in cognitive orientation, while also pointing to the existence of bullshit receptivity among both right- and left-wingers.

KW - bullshit receptivity

KW - political ideology

KW - cognitive style

KW - ideological asymmetry

KW - moral foundations

U2 - 10.1177/0146167219830415

DO - 10.1177/0146167219830415

M3 - Article

JO - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

T2 - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

JF - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

SN - 0146-1672

ER -