Could Pseudo-Profound BS Exist in Government?


I like to think that I’m intelligent – even profound.  I have a Master’s Degree.  I wrote notebooks full of poetry in college and now I have a firm with staff.  We call ourselves “strategic communications consultants.”

I follow research on risk perception and behavior change, and a scientist colleague regularly sends me articles on the topic.

Usually, I set them aside to read when I’m not on a deadline for some deliverable (which is rare).  But recently he sent me an article with the subject line: “Most important article I have ever sent you

Since he’d never commented on the articles before, I dropped everything and clicked the link to a study, published in the Journal on Judgement and Decision Making entitled: “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit

Seriously?  I had to read on.

Now I’d like to think that I would not have taken 30 minutes to contemplate the following phrase, listed in the study as Exhibit 1 of pseudo-profound BS:

“Hidden meaning transforms unparalleled abstract beauty.”

But I’d be lying.  More likely I’d be going “whoooa, that’s deep …”

I drew a couple of conclusions from this study.

1) They don’t think too highly of Deepak Chopra and

2) I bet there is pseudo profound BS all around – and I may have generated a line or two in my career or at least marveled at the BS created by others.

Hopefully not.

But just for fun, I went to Wikipedia’s page on buzzwords to come up with some BS for this blog.  Let me know what you think of these – and feel free to add your own.

Leveraging an agile framework creates action alignment

Moving forward is the new normal for an exit strategy

We are who we are when we win-win in our wellness wheelhouse

Hey! Who’s up for a game of buzzword bingo!?

Never mind, I better get back to work.

Janice John Roper-Graham is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply