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Posts Tagged ‘bullshit detector

Psychologists search philosophical mind for bullshit detector, find “friendship deterrence system” instead

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An unfortunate philosopher and his more unfortunate interlocutor fall victim to a friendship deterrence system out of control.

Philosophers pride themselves on being “bullshit detectors,” as having the capacity to recognize and expose bullshit at first sight.  Intrigued by such self ascriptions, a team of psychologists at the University of Washington conducted a study of 37 philosophy professors and graduate students from the US and Canada. Their results will be published later this year in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  While no bullshit detector was found, they did identify what they call a “friendship deterrence system.”

The team’s lead investigator, Ian Hammersmith, explains: “We were looking for a mental module that automatically deploys in the presence of confused or unclear thought, that seizes on and exploits the dialectical weaknesses of others, and that makes the difference between an easy-going conversation partner and a hard-nosed philosopher with a killer instinct.  We didn’t find a bullshit detector, but we do believe we’ve located a friendship deterrent system, or FDS.”

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Written by fauxphilnews

February 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm