Bad science



I have a friend (well more a friend of a friend) who does a lot of blogging. Her posts sometimes stray into the realm of psychology, which is was the subject of my undergraduate degree and area of PhD. Anyway I've notice a few times she has completely misrepresented (or misunderstood) psychological research, and used this to back up her arguments. Which kinda really grates when I know the studies she's using and they did not say what she claims they did.

Would you.

1) Say nothing.
2) Annonymously post a comment pointing out the error
3) Publically post a comment pointing out the error

So far I've gone for option one, especially as often it is a small part of the blog post that doesn't detract from the main argument. It's just annoying seeing reasech misused. Especially as bloggers tend to have a habit of simply saying 'research showed........' without a reference.


I'm in psychology as well so understand were you are coming from - there appears to be no end of useless research and mis-represented research out there. I'm sure your friend's blog isn't the only one to commit such crimes! I don't think that I would do anything unless she irritated me for some other reason; if I was in an especially catty mood I'd probably make an anonymous comment, ensuring that it is provocative enough to get a response! I have done this before when an irritating wannabe journalist friend wrote a terribly snobbish article on the Guardian comment network on CCTV in taxis in Oxford - unfortunately it seemed that a lot of people were also annoyed with her so my comment didn't really stand out! Has nobody else ever commented on her 'bad science'?

Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

At the end of the day, it's a blog and therefore no one professional will hopefully take it too seriously as a reliable source of information.

At best, engage in a bit of banter anonymously to point out any errors. That should be enough to put queries about it in other people's minds, if you think something is incorrect that may lead to someone using the information to make an ill informed decision. However, unless this misrepresentation might lead someone vulnerable to do something silly (bearing in mind it is psychology), I wouldn't lose any real sleep over it.

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)


LOL it happens all the time!

i think u should only intervene if it's something serious.

for things like "why do we yawn when others yawn" kinda thing, well it doesnt really matter if the explanation given on the blog would tally with actual research.

however, on something like "handling crisis with friends".. well, if it's critical, u should offer an accurate account of the real research involved.