My actual degrees are in sociology, and I actually taught a class on research methods. And it pisses me the fuck off when reporters go on about “studies” that are anything but.
For example, there was a complete bullshit “study” about driving and music that was based on just one driver.
And that’s not alone – a “study” about drugs and music was funded by an organization which was deeply invested in there being a particular outcome.
That highlights how these jerks are playing you with their clickbait headlines.
Not just for “likes” and “shares” or “comments” – though those count – but because they’re actively undermining the legitimacy of real scientific research.
Your experience is important, even if it’s not the same as everyone else’s. That’s what qualitative research is there for – to see the experiences that others have, even if it’s not the same as the person who is doing the research.
But at the same time, one person’s experience should not be generalized to the population as a whole.
And that’s why sociological research like this, looking at hundreds of participants, with the methodology clearly available (PDF link) is so vitally important. We get to see when our experience is not the norm, and how our society is a constructed and artificial thing.
But when we have bullshit “studies” shared and commented upon with the same weight as real research, they get to play you for a sucker, getting you to buy into whatever agenda they might have.
Be better than that.
Featured Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash