What makes Australia a nation of BS artists
EXCLUSIVE: Australians are among the biggest bulls-----rs in the English-speaking world.
And teenage boys are the worst.
No, we're not kidding, nor is this a late April Fool's Day joke.
News Corp Australia can reveal Australians ranked third in a study of "bulls-----rs" according to joint research by the Australian Catholic University and London's UCL Institute of Education.
The study used the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to survey more than 40,000 15-year-olds from nine English-speaking countries.
Students were given a list of 16 mathematical concepts and asked to indicate their knowledge of each, ranging from "never heard of it" to "know it well, understand the concept".
The majority of concepts were real, for example "exponential function", "linear equation" and "vectors", but, crucially, three were fake: "proper number", "subjunctive scaling" and "declarative fraction".
The study showed that despite speaking the same language and having a closely shared culture and history, teenager's likelihood to bull---t about their knowledge varied significantly across English-speaking countries.
Canadians were the most likely to fib about what they knew, followed by Americans and then Australians.
Not even New Zealanders bull---t as much as us.
Professor Philip Parker, from the Australian Catholic University's Institute of Positive Psychology and Education in Sydney said when it came to Australia, teenage boys were more likely to bull---- than girls.
"Australian teenagers scored high on the bull---t calculator but unlike the US and Canada our gender differences were also large with a greater than .40 difference between boys and girls," Professor Parker said.
Professor John Jerrim from London's UCL Institute of Education said: "We found that male participants were much more likely to bull---t about their knowledge of the fake constructs than their female counterparts".
The researchers also examined the relationship between bulls---ing and various other psychological traits, including self-confidence, self-belief in problem-solving abilities, self-reported popularity at school, self-reported measures of perseverance and problem-solving approaches.
"This is an important first step in understanding the seemingly ubiquitous phenomenon of bull---t," said Professor Jerrim.
"But more research is needed into whether an individual's propensity for bullshit changes
over time and whether it changes depending on the nature of the fake constructs."
Social demographer Mark McCrindle said it was part of the Australian persona to bull---t.
"It is a little bit of the Aussie approach," Mr McCrindle said.
"Our attitude is a little bit overconfident. We're a DIY nation. We like to do anything and solve anything and have an opinion on anything."
Mr McCrindle said even though the research was of teenagers it was certain it would translate to Australian adults too.
"We want brand Australia to be a brand of credibility and authenticity and so I think this does need to be a reminder about being a bit circumspect and sticking to the evidence."