Gerry McGovern is someone I quote from all too often. But here he goes again, alerting us to a book that answers this question:
WHY SOME CONTENT IS DELIBERATELY COMPLEX
Sometimes, we are fools for complexity. When we hear complex
language we can't help but be impressed, even when we don't
understand what's being said.
In Ben Goldacre's excellent book, Bad Science, he often gives
his opinion on the human condition, best summarized by: it looks
complex, it sounds complex, it must be right, and it must be
According to Goldacre, a March 2008 edition of the Journal of
Cognitive Science covered a study "which elegantly demonstrated
that people will buy into bogus explanations much more readily
when they are dressed up with a few technical words."
In a test of a variety of descriptions from the world of
psychology, ordinary people "judged that the explanations with
the logically irrelevant neurosciency information were more
satisfying than the explanations without the spurious
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre seems to be available from Amazon.co.uk only, not .com.