Are neoliberals more susceptible to bullshit?

Joanna Sterling, John Jost, Gordon Pennycook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We conducted additional analyses of Pennycook et al.’s (2015, Study 2) data to investigate the possibility that there would be ideological differences in “bullshit receptivity” that would be explained by individual differences in cognitive style and ability. As hypothesized, we observed that endorsement of neoliberal, free market ideology was significantly but modestly associated with bullshit receptivity. In addition, we observed a quadratic association, which indicated that ideological moderates were more susceptible to bullshit than ideological extremists. These relationships were explained, in part, by heuristic processing tendencies, faith in intuition, and lower verbal ability. Results are inconsistent with approaches suggesting that (a) there are no meaningful ideological differences in cognitive style or reasoning ability, (b) simplistic, certainty-oriented cognitive styles are generally associated with leftist (vs. rightist) economic preferences, or (c) simplistic, certainty-oriented cognitive styles are generally associated with extremist (vs. moderate) preferences. Theoretical and practical implications are briefly addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-360
Number of pages9
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Volume11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

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Aptitude
Intuition
Individuality
Economics
Cognitive style

Keywords

  • Bullshit receptivity
  • Cognitive ability
  • Cognitive style
  • Neoliberalism
  • Political ideology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Sterling, J., Jost, J., & Pennycook, G. (2016). Are neoliberals more susceptible to bullshit? Judgment and Decision Making, 11(4), 352-360.

Are neoliberals more susceptible to bullshit? / Sterling, Joanna; Jost, John; Pennycook, Gordon.

In: Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 11, No. 4, 01.07.2016, p. 352-360.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sterling, J, Jost, J & Pennycook, G 2016, 'Are neoliberals more susceptible to bullshit?', Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 352-360.
Sterling, Joanna ; Jost, John ; Pennycook, Gordon. / Are neoliberals more susceptible to bullshit?. In: Judgment and Decision Making. 2016 ; Vol. 11, No. 4. pp. 352-360.
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