Author Topic: WaPo says "Rich guys are most likely to have no idea what they’re talking about"  (Read 1208 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline stands2reason

  • Empiricist, Positivist, Militant Agnostic
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10986
    • View Profile
I can think of a few issues:

The authors also point out that their study was narrowly defined and restricted to the realm of mathematics. “Ideally,” they wrote, “future research should try to include a greater number of fake constructs in order to maximize precision of the bulls--- scale.”

The level of math expertise wasn't controlled, so we don't know how much of it is simply certain groups being more mathematically literate. i.e. those groups in this study that supposedly are less prone to bullshitting might simply be more mathematically literate.

The second issue is that I thought of what I would do in that situation. You are taking the survey, you see that one of the topics it is asking you about appears made up. Actually, if you know that there's no such thing as proper numbers, you do have a 5 out of 5 understanding of the subject. Maybe, there are cultural differences in terms of how teenagers respond to joke or nonsense questions on surveys. Maybe you assume that you or your institution is being judged in some way by the survey; i.e. a cultural bias to play along and give the right answer.

But this is the real howler:

The study drew from the Program for International Student Assessment, which is administered to tens of thousands of 15-year-olds worldwide.


One caveat to consider is that the study subjects were adolescents. Though it seems a good bet to assume that personality traits developed as teens will carry over into adulthood, this study isn’t proof of that. “These 15-year-olds are most likely already thinking about applying to university or entering the labor market, both of which are points during which bulls---ing may serve as an advantage,” Shure said.

So, this isn't a representative sample of the adult population. And note how they use a picture of an adult, rather than an teenager, for the article photo.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 06:24:59 PM by stands2reason »