Study Reckons Young Aussie Blokes Are Some Of The World's Biggest Bullshitters
A legitimate scientific study has proven that young Australian men are highly likely to be bullshitters -- and no, this isn't an April Fools' joke.
The study by Australian Catholic University and University College London was indeed released on April 1 but there's nothing to laugh about here -- trust us, we checked!
It's true -- young men are more likely to be 'bullshitters' compared to their female counterparts, particularly if they're Aussie, American or Canadian.
The joint study is one of the first to examine bullshit and is the only one to compare BS levels between different countries.
'Bullshitting' is, by the way, defined in the study as "a well-known social phenomenon, summarised as a situation where an individual claims to have knowledge, experience or expertise in something, when really they do not."
Or, in other words, telling a big old pork pie.
To identify the biggest fibbers ACU's Professor Philip Parker and UCL's Prof. John Jerrim quizzed more than 40,000 15-year-olds from nine English-speaking countries on everyone's favourite subject -- maths.
The teen participants were asked to indicate their knowledge of a list of 16 mathematical concepts -- three of which were deliberately and very sneakily unreal and thus unable to be solved.
The results were telling.
"We found that male participants were much more likely to bullshit about their knowledge of the fake constructs than their female counterparts," says Professor Jerrim.
The male propensity to bullshit was about the same across all nine countries, although in Aus boys were far more likely to bend the truth than girls.
In the US and Canada, however, young ladies were found to be telling tall tales almost as much as their male classmates.
Gender aside, Aussie teens of both sexes came in third on the bullshit scale -- just ahead of New Zealand -- but were beaten by America in first place and Canada in second.
Youngsters from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, on the other hand, were least likely to fib their way through the test.
Here's the full list of the countries whose teens were found to 'bullshit' the most:
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
The researchers also drew a strong link between spinning lies and the liar's sense of self-worth and self-belief.
"Our study shows that bullshitters express much higher levels of self-confidence in their skills than non-bullshitters, even when they are of equal academic ability," said study co-author Nikki Shure from UCL.
They are also much less likely to say that they give up easily when faced with a difficult problem and claim to have particularly high levels of perseverance when faced with challenging tasks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are also more likely to believe they are popular at school.
In summary, Pinocchios might not be top of the class or the most popular but they think they are and that's all that matters. Fake it 'til you make it, right?
According to Prof. Jerrim, the study is an "important first step" in understanding the seemingly ubiquitous phenomenon of bullshit but more research is needed into whether our propensity for BS changes over time or according to the situation we're in.
And that's no lie.
Feature image: Getty.