Do you like to tell a few fibs? Are your stories a little bit tall? Are you able to BS your way through a test or presentation? Well, you just might be a certified genius. According to a study published by the journal of Evolutionary Psychology ‘bullshit ability is associated with an individual’s intelligence’. Furthermore, people who are capable of fabricating convincing lies are ‘judged by second-hand observers to be more intelligent’
Basically, the study asked people to give BS explanations on different subjects, some real and some fake. Then they were rated by another group of participants on how convincing their BS was. Those who scored high on BS ratings also scored high on vocabulary, abstract reasoning and non-verbal fluid intelligence tests.
“We find that those more skilled in producing satisfying and seemingly accurate bullshit score higher on measures of cognitive ability and are perceived by others as more intelligent,”
This would explain those people who never have to study for tests, or are able to give a convincing presentation at work despite doing no preparation whatsoever. They might not be well-read on the subject being tested or presented but can use their vocab and abstract reasoning skills to BS their way through.
But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean the world is filled with highly intelligent dishonest people. The study also found that just because someone was good at BS doesn’t mean they want to do it all the time. “…those scoring higher on our measures of cognitive ability were less willing to bullshit.” So don’t feel guilty if you are lazy and use lies to make up for you lack of planning and preparation, you might just be really smart.