Our results also suggest that a bias toward accepting statements as true may be an important component of pseudo-profound bullshit receptivity.That's from the abstract. More substantively:
The present study represents an initial investigation of the individual differences in receptivity to pseudo-profound bullshit. We gave people syntactically coherent sentences that consisted of random vague buzzwords and, across four studies, these statements were judged to be at least somewhat profound. This tendency was also evident when we presented participants with similar real-world examples of pseudo-profound bullshit. Most importantly, we have provided evidence that individuals vary in conceptually interpretable ways in their propensity to ascribe profundity to bullshit statements; a tendency we refer to as “bullshit receptivity”. Those more receptive to bullshit are less reflective, lower in cognitive ability (i.e., verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy), are more prone to ontological confusions and conspiratorial ideation, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine.What does this mean in practical terms?
If you are selling snake-oil, find people who are less bright, ontologically confused, are less reflective, and believe in the paranormal. Nothing particularly earth-shaking in the finding, though it is worth having some empirical evidence supporting common sense.
What would be especially interesting is the reverse formulation - If you are particularly susceptible to snake-oil (anthropogenic global warming, rape culture, gender wage gap myth, UVA type hoaxes, etc.) then is it a value conclusion that you are also "less reflective, lower in cognitive ability (i.e., verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy), are more prone to ontological confusions and conspiratorial ideation, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine." I think their research is confirming that but it would be interesting to see it more explicitly articulated.