10,195 people from 24 countries participated in the study. Its authors presented participants with vague, meaningless phrases attributed to a teacher or a spiritual realm. An online generator was used to create itWhich combines New Age buzzwords into a grammatically correct structure, resulting in a seemingly meaningless pseudo-scientific depth.

The purpose of the study was simple. He was supposed to check whether people make the value of information dependent on who speaks it, so respondents were presented in ridiculous terms, the authors of which were supposed to be scholars or clergymen. Of course, the interviewees know who the author of the quoted statements is.

“We found a strong source effect on the credibility ratings of nonsensical data attributed to different entities. In all 24 countries and at all levels of religiosity. The world’s rhetoric was considered more credible From the same chatter of a spiritual teacher.” Study note authors.

The respondents’ level of religiosity also affected the assessment of the credibility of individual data. Non-religious people considered the teacher’s statement to be less credible than the scientist’s statement. While the difference was less for highly religious people. At the same time, the researchers noted that the participants spent more time processing the scientist’s statements than the teacher’s time. That is why scientists called this phenomenon the “Einstein effect”.

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Only a small minority of participants, regardless of national or religious background, demonstrated genuine skepticism about knowledge and irrational statements, and 76% of participants rated world nonsense above average on a credibility scale. Researchers will say.