Two-Sentence Summary: Random Isn’t Always Better


A series of five experiments shows that, all things being equal, people tend to rate as more important or meaningful those thoughts that pop into their heads seemingly out of nowhere as compared to those that arise as a result of careful, deliberate thought. This suggests that we might give bad or misleading ideas more credit than they deserve simply because they appear to have a magical or serendipitous mental origin, and that no, you probably shouldn’t buy that convertible.