Why are you still checking your newsfeed multiple times per day? Is it purely out of boredom, or are you genuinely interested in what the guys you used to hang out in the Taco Bell parking lot with, figuring out how to score beer are up to? Kidding, you’re obviously just looking for a quick self-esteem bump, and social media always delivers.
If you’re ever in a rut, you know there’s someone that’s just a few clicks away who will boost your spirits with a spirited motivational quote, or if you’re lucky, a motivational hashtag, that will have you running through a wall. Who doesn’t want to seize the day, or maybe even #RiseAndGrind? Lord knows I do.
Well, a study conducted at Canada’s University of Waterloo confirms what we probably already knew: there’s a link between low intelligence and posting inspirational quotes.
Titled “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit”, researchers set out to find the answer to two of the most pressing questions of our time: “Are people able to detect blatant bullshit? Who is most likely to fall prey to bullshit and why?”
In the study, nearly 300 participants were presented with various statements, including those of the “bullshit” variety, and asked to react to them by rating their profoundness on a scale of one to five, classifying quotes as either profound, bullshit, or mundane. They were also given tests meant to measure their cognitive ability and personality.
The paper gave the following as an example of a statement participants were asked to respond to: “Hidden meaning transforms unparalleled abstract beauty.”
Those who were unable to detect the bullshit and rated the pseudo-profound as actually profound were determined to be lower in intelligence, less likely to engage in reflective thinking, and more likely to hold conspiratorial or paranormal beliefs.
I know this is a lot to take in, as you probably just finished a life-altering Instagram sesh where Mike from high school posted, “To live is to experience things, not to sit around pondering the meaning of life” (Paulo Coelho), and Sara from your internship junior year hit you with an “Everyone wants to eat, but few are willing to hunt.” Deep. So damn deep.
Look, you can’t knock your quote slinging friends for trying. Are they posting these quotes so they’ll give off the vibe that they are super motivated and grabbing life by the haunches and humping it into submission? Probably. And so what if instead of rising and grinding they’re sleeping in and half-assing? Posting motivational quotes is the ultimate way to fake it ’til you make it. Just keep on posting until someone important notices you, and you’ll be set.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I just rose, so it is time to grind..
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