Our beliefs, what we believe to be true, are the most fundamental things to our decisions. Why then are so many beliefs based on bullshit rather than on truth, facts, data, evidence, or established knowledge? I will discuss how lying and bullshitting are distinct behaviors with unique antecedents and unique consequences for beliefs. With a particular focus on memory, I will discuss why it is imperative to understand how bullshit can be more persuasive than lies.
John V. Petrocelli is currently the Scott Family Faculty Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Wake Forest University. His primary research interests and contributions are in the areas of bullshitting, counterfactual thinking, metacognition, attitude strength, and persuasion.