Uh-oh: Most published research findings are false…

I didn’t say it, the New Yorker magazine did, setting off a buzz in the halls of academia.

The theme of the New Yorker article –- titled “Truth Wears Off” –was that most (academic) research was flawed and not able to be replicated.  This is, the results were at best true under some special circumstances at a specific point in time, but can’t be replicated. At worst, they’re just plain bull.

Hmmm.

image

 

Challenging the integrity of publication-driven academics?

Turns out that the New Yorker wasn’t the first mag on the beat.

 

There was an article in 2005 titled “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” published in a medical journal that said point blank: “ It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false.”

According to the study, there are several reasons why.

My favorites:

  • Claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias … that is, telling audiences what they want to hear
  • The hotter a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true … that is, rushing to ride the wave
  • The greater the financial and other interests and prejudices in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true … no kidding?

Geez, if you can’t trust stuff printed in academic journals, what can you trust?

= = = = =

P.S. Here’s a video rebuttal to the article “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” … gets down to the statistical weeds, but worth viewing.

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