Every so often you come upon a study that leaves you asking “and they managed to get money to do that research?” It’s not that the findings are so shocking and provocative, more that they are so bloody obvious that you didn’t really need to do a study to find it out – such as if you drink more alcohol you are more likely to end up drunk than if you don’t drink at all.
Sounds silly I know but here are real life examples that shows just how absurd some of these studies are.
Such as the latest research from those fine folks at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. They came to the groundbreaking conclusion that homeowners who are in foreclosure are more likely to suffer from a major depression than homeowners who are not in foreclosure. Really! You mean if the house you bought and loved and cared for is about to be sold from underneath you and your family you are more likely to be miffed about it than if you are not about to lose your home. Wow, that’s some pretty rigorous scientific inquiry.
An article in the journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology – what do you mean you stopped your subscription! – had some helpful research for people wishing to avoid smog and dirt in the air. After extensive study they advised people to wear a face mask. Gasp! The researchers thoughtfully went into some detail as to why this would be helpful, explaining how covering your nose and mouth can reduce the amount of particles that get in there. Thanks lads, don’t know what we would do without you.
Cheating on college tests is apparently becoming increasingly common, with students smuggling all manner of electronic devices into exams to help them ace the test. But which students are most likely to cheat? Well, a study from Ohio State University found that dishonest students are more likely to cheat than honest ones. No, honestly they are. The researchers gave students a questionnaire and those who registered lower on measures of honesty were more likely to cheat than those who registered higher. Now we know we can just administer an honesty test before the real test to weed out the bad boys and girls. But what if they cheat on that one too! Hmmmm.
And here’s a good use of research dollars. A study of some 1,341 European clubgoers (what, couldn’t they find any in the U.S.?) found that one third of men between the ages of 16 and 35, and one quarter of women in the same age group, drink alcohol and smoke marijuana to increase their chances of having sex. Apparently drinking and smoking reduced their sense of inhibition so they were more likely to pursue the object of their lust. And presumably if the object of their lust was also drinking and smoking they were more likely to be receptive to those advances. What wonders will science reveal to us next, that better looking people get more sexual interest from the opposite sex than ugly folks!
And finally, a word of warning to all those boys and men who have been hitting the bottle before hitting the bars – those girls that are smiling at you are probably just being friendly, they don’t necessarily want to leap beneath the sheets with you. But don’t take my word for that, thanks to an article in the journal Psychological Science, researchers are able to explain that men sometimes mistake a friendly gesture – such as a smile or making eye contact – with a sexual come on. Apparently boys in heat don’t read body language very well and mistake anything short of a slap in the face as a sign that “she really likes me”.
With research like that out there it’s no wonder that this year’s class at the University of Duh is once again over subscribed.