If you’ve ever been guilty of sharing inspiration quotes on Facebook, usually set to some generic sunset background, science has got some bad news about you. There’s nothing wrong with a good quote here and there, a positive mental attitude is step one to making your dreams come true. However, research has confirmed that people that notoriously share these over-used, usually incorrectly sourced quotes have lower IQs.
If you are one of these people, don’t get defensive. Just lock your door and numb your brain with more posters of cats that read: “the harder you fall, the higher you bounce” or some other optimistic nonsense.
Anyway, you get the idea. This revelation has come from one study that asked individuals to evaluate a number of statements. Some were mundane statements like “spending time outside is good for your lungs” and others were a little deeper. These ones were actually sourced from authors, public speakers and people of influence. The third type of phrases were just meaningless and derived from a series of buzzwords.
Some people had a really hard time telling the difference between the actually meaningful quotes and the ones about gardening and other generic statements about people queuing in the post office…
The PhD student behind this study wrote that people were impressed by the quotes because they are more receptive to bullish*t than others. He wrote: “Those more receptive to bullsh*t are less reflective, lower in cognitive ability and more prone to ontological confusions and conspirational ideation”.
In layman’s terms this means that those that will willingly feel inspired by a series of buzzwords set to an aesthetically pleasing background are lower in intelligence and therefore inject their own meaning into quotes that are effectively meaningless. That’s a romantic way to look at it.
Either way, you shouldn’t let some half-arsed Instagram post tell you how to live your life but, for all that is holy, stop sharing these stupid posts.