Have you ever been annoyed by people who post beautiful images overlaid with profound and meaningful quotations on social media? Have you ever thought to yourself that the person posting such images was kind of silly or not very bright?
There may be evidence to back up that perception.
A new study is claiming that people who post 'inspirational quotes on social media have lower levels of intelligence. In addition, people who post 'inspirational' quotes are more likely to hold religious beliefs, believe in the paranormal and be taken in by conspiracy theories.
The study is titled "on the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bulls**t." The study was led by Gordon Pennycook, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, and was published in the journal Judgement and Decision Making.
The team behind the study measured 845 volunteers across four different experiments. One of the experiments involved asking the volunteers to evaluate several "profound" statements or quotes and say if they agreed with them or not.
Some of the statements/quotes they used in the study included 'Hidden mean transforms unparalleled abstract beauty' and 'A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power but its persistence.' Another quote used was 'A wet person does not fear the rain.'
Many of the statements/quotes used in the study came from Deepak Chopra, who is considered a New-Age guru by many and a promoter of popular forms of spirituality.
— Deepak Chopra (@DeepakChopra) November 25, 2015
The research team also recorded volunteers cognitive abilities through a series of tests.
After the paper was published, British physicist Brian Cox sent a link to it via Twitter to Chopra, according to the Daily Mail.
Chopra responded by saying: "'S**t of any kind is profound. It is stardust and recycles as life."