Punch line: Sometimes, published academic research results are flat out wrong. Hmmm.
Excerpted from HBR’s Daily Stat: Researchers Can Easily “Prove” False Findings
Using legitimate statistical analyses, researchers were able to show in an experiment that participants were nearly 1.5 years younger after listening to the Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” than after listening to a song that comes with the Windows 7 operating system …
… an obviously ridiculous finding that demonstrates how easy it is for research to yield “false positives,” say Joseph P. Simmons and Uri Simonsohn of The Wharton School and Leif D. Nelson of UC Berkeley.
Too often, researchers aren’t aware of the high likelihood of finding false evidence, and the pressure to publish leads scientists to convince themselves of the validity of their findings, the authors say.
Source: False-Positive Psychology : Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant
Surprise, surprise, surprise.