We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What the researchers omitted, as they went on to explain in the rest of the paper, was just how many variables they poked and prodded before sheer chance threw up a headline-making result—a clearly false headline-making result.
The odds of statistical bogosity grow when researchers don't have to report all the ways they manipulated their data in exploratory fashion. For example, the researchers "used father's age to control for baseline age across participants," thereby fudging the subjects' actual ages. They factored in lots of completely irrelevant data. And, rather than establish from the outset how many subjects they would test, they tested until they obtained the false result.
The authors of that provocative paper were Joseph P. Simmons and Uri Simonsohn of the University of Pennsylvania, and Leif D. Nelson of the University of California at Berkeley. "Many of us," they wrote—"and this includes the three authors of this article"—end up "yielding to the pressure to do whatever is justifiable to compile a set of studies that we can publish. This is driven not by a willingness to deceive but by the self-serving interpretation of ambiguity. ... "
I couldn't agree more. Speaking of which, do you realize that, by the numbers, half of everybody you know is below average intelligence? That sure makes you out to be a doofus, doesn't it? Hanging around with a bunch of below-average losers?
Worse, by the numbers, it's said that three out of four people are clinically insane. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, it's you.
Oh boy--d'ya think, could it be, darn are you saying that maybe, just maybe the whole "theory" of homosexuality being a physical condition human beings are born with--do y'a supppose that was "crafted research" also?
I'll bet unlimited dollars from any particular community can guarantee just about any outcome in psychological research!
As my old stats professor used to say...there are lies, damned lies, and then statistics.
People with half a brain and proper motivation can take any statistical analysis and turn it in their favor. Cherry picking data is not anything new and should serve as no surprise unless you are just plain naive.