A quick guide to neurobabble

How to win any argument: pseudo-scientific neuro-gibberish

If you’re hoping to win an argument this week, try talking neuro-gibberish. Irrelevant neuroscience information – or “neurobabble” – makes for the most convincing scientific explanations, according to researchers at Villanova University and the University of Oregon. Scientists gave a group of 385 students brief descriptions of psychological phenomena, including face recognition, spatial memory, and emotional states, each accompanied by superfluous explanations for them, derived from neuroscience, social sciences, or “hard” sciences such as physics. Neuroscientific explanations – involving phrases such as “prefrontal cortex” and “neural circuitry” – were consistently rated the most convincing, even when the information was pointless and offered no further insight. ….[READ]

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