• Jonathan Shiek

It’s Psychologically Proven That Being Good At Bullsh*tting Is A Sign Of Intelligence

We all know someone who can seemingly lie their way out of anything, but believe it or not, this takes skills. According to an actual study by the University of Waterloo, Canada, a person with the ability to BS flawlessly through a conversation may actually be smarter than the rest of us. And no, this isn’t BS.

The research gathered 1,017 participants for two studies to examine the relationship between one’s cognitive ability, their willingness to BS, and how well they can do it. Participants were given 10 concepts where they had to rate their understanding of the concepts from “never heard of it” to “know it well, understand the concept”.

But in reality, 4 out of these 10 concepts were completely made up, including Subjunctive Scaling, Declarative Fraction, Genetic Autonomy, and Neural Acceptance. Those who claimed to have knowledge of these fake concepts would then be measured on their willingness to BS.

Out of the existing group of participants, 534 of them were then asked to come up with the most convincing and satisfying explanation for each of the given concepts. Since it’s a test to measure their ability to BS, participants were told not to bother if they were telling the truth, and to simply be creative and convincing when inventing these explanations.

Meanwhile, the remaining group of participants were given the task to rate how accurate and satisfying the explanations were. And based on their response, the participants were also asked to determine the intelligence of the participants in the other group.

The overall results found that most participants who could provide satisfying or seemingly accurate definitions of fake concepts were also able to score higher on a vocabulary test as well as abstract reasoning and non-verbal fluid intelligence test, which measure their ability to analyse and solve problems.

Interestingly enough, the research also found that just because some people are good at BS-ing doesn’t necessarily mean they’re willing to BS more. Meanwhile, people who were willing to BS may also be more likely to fall for other forms of BS, such as fake news.

What about you? Are you good at BS, willing to BS, or just full of BS?


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