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Painfully Obvious: 15 Useless Studies

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We just did a study on how many ridiculous studies there are out there. Here are our findings.


Painfully Obvious: 15 Useless Studies

Happy People are Healthier

You’re kidding — another study linking happiness to health? You know what would make us happy? If they stopped spending money on these studies telling us how great it is to be happy. Let us know when there’s a study that says people who get majorly pissed off at least once a day are more likely to have awesome abs.

Related study we’d like to see: Lab mice who vacationed on the French Riviera were happier than their counterparts, who were kept in cages.

Kids Like to Copy Adults They See in the Movies

The more exposure young kids have to cigarette smoking, the more likely they are to smoke — especially, says a study, when the lighting up is glorified on the big screen. We had no idea the media was so influential! Is the same true for books? If so, should we stop reading “The Smokey Adventures of Happy Harry Cigarette and His Pal Virginia Slim in Marlboro Land” to our kids?

Related study we’d like to see: When lemmings were shown movies of other lemmings jumping off cliffs, they wanted to jump off, too!

Drinking Alcohol Makes Young Adults Act Stupid

New research by the Washington University School of Medicine has found a direct correlation between heavy drinking and multiple sex partners in young adults. First of all, duh. Second of all, whose kids did they survey? Someone must be proud. Get a load of me, Ma! I'm in a binge-drinking sex study!

Related study we’d like to see: Doctors should refrain from getting stinko drunk right before performing heart surgery.

Workers Happier When Their Workplace Isn't Like a Prison

A new groundbreaking study led by Professor Joseph G. Grzywacz of Wake Forest University School of Medicine says workers are happier when they have the option of flexible schedules, timeshares, and telecommuting. Is this for real? Or is Mr. Grzywacz so passive-aggressive that the only way he can complain he's working too many hours is to publish a pointless study that his boss will read?

Related study we’d like to see: Prisoners happier when their prison isn't like a workplace.

Gymnastics Team More Dangerous than Debate Team

Turns out, contorting your body while hurling it through the air onto the ground isn’t that safe! So says a new study of over 400,000 children who dismounted themselves right into hospital emergency rooms from 1990 to 2005.

Related study we’d like to see: In a study of over 1.5 million National Chess Club members from 1910 to 2008, not one sustained any chess-related injuries.

Kids Who Have Stuff to Play with Are More Active

The University of North Carolina School of Public Health is working overtime on this one. According to their new study, children are more likely to play for longer periods of time when provided with balls, jump ropes, and hoops. Much more active than children given cheeseburgers, televisions, and comfy couches.

Related study we’d like to see: Children who are given books to read are more likely to read them than children not given books.

Why We Don't Eat Our Young

Ever wonder why you’re so fond of infants, particularly your own? A new study says you’re wired that way. Hey, “scientists,” a study wasn’t necessary. Just ask any sleep-deprived mom why she’s letting an 8-pound, 11-ounce person run the show when the only reward is a crooked smile that may or may not be gas. Of course it’s instinct! Otherwise we’d kick those little freeloaders to the curb.

Related study we’d like to see: The reason we don’t fling ourselves off buildings is because instinctively we know we’re not birds.

Being Fat Makes You Sad, and Being Sad Makes You Fat

A mind-blowing study reveals there's a link between depression and weight gain in middle-aged women. Says one researcher, "When people gain weight, they're more likely to be depressed, and when they're depressed they have trouble losing weight." We wonder, last night when we drowned our sorrows in a quart of Dreyer's Double Fudge Brownie, were we participating in this study and didn't even know it?!

Related study we’d like to see: Women who are unable to fit into their pre-pregnancy jeans can't because they've gained weight.

Work Stress Isn't Good for Your Heart

Before you go into cardiac arrest yourself from the findings of this study, here it is in a nutshell: Work-related stress can increase the risk of heart attack. Hmm, we always thought being on the verge of blowing a gasket at work was good for you. Right up there with Flax Seed Oil smoothies.

Related study we’d like to see: A new study finds that 100% of unemployed people DO NOT suffer from work-related stress.

People Drive Better When They're NOT on Cell Phones

A study declares cell phone use on the road snarls up traffic. Hold on a minute — are they saying when we’re driving and talking on the cell phone (and texting, looking at photos, downloading ring tones, and playing Tetris), we might not be keeping up with the flow of traffic?!

Related study we’d like to see: Researchers discover drivers who use their commute to work on their ship-in-a-bottle projects are more likely to have trouble affixing their teeny-tiny sails to their itsy-bitsy masts.

Beer Pong Linked to Higher Blood Alcohol Levels

Maybe we were drunk when we read this study, but we swear these are the findings: Students who play drinking games are more likely to have high levels of intoxication. The study, done in a three-semester time span, monitored 66 college parties. Not completely satisfied with their results (or with not getting to hang out anymore with hot college boys and girls), “the team plans to expand its college research to other environments, including bars.” Nice work if you can get it.

Related study we’d like to see: Playing spin-the-bottle results in kissing, and heating bread leads to toast.

Teens Would Rather Watch TV in Their Rooms than Eat Dinner with Parents

A study says teens that have a television in their bedrooms are less likely to attend family meals. This is news?? Any angst-ridden teen worth his salt would rather stareat a wall than endure another dinner with Mom and Dad, or hear “Honey, what’s wrong?” for the gazillionth time.

Related study we’d like to see: A new study says 100% of teens will respond to anything said by a person over 25 years of age by rolling their eyes.

Interacting with Spouse Keeps Marriages Strong

As reported in the New York Times, the CEO of a public relations firm in Chicago banned BlackBerry and e-mail use when employees were off the clock. The result: The employers were happier at home, and therefore more productive at work.

Related study we’d like to see: Couples who settle their differences with calm discussion rather than screaming and throwing lamps have happier marriages.

Sunshine, Milk, and Exercise Good for Kids

Children who do not get enough sunshine, milk, and exercise are at risk for getting rickets. The Cincinnati Children's Hospital led a study that analyzed the bones of 500 healthy children. One of their discoveries? Milk, sunshine, and exercise build healthy bones.

Related study we’d like to see: Oxygen intake from ages 0-18 is essential for children’s respiratory health.

Sleep Deprivation Makes You Tired

A recent study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine warns us that sleep loss can affect one’s daytime functioning. Wassup? Did the president of the American Academy of Sleep just have kids?

Related study we’d like to see: When deprived of sleep, toddlers are more prone to have embarrassing temper tantrums in the middle of aisle 9.


next: Momlogic Exclusive: Bieber in the Bahamas
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anne January 22, 2010, 5:07 AM

The study about children’s bones and sunshine/exercise/milk was actually focused on what constitutes a healthy range for pediatric bone density, for which there is not wide agreement yet. Many studies confirm readily known, or at least widely suspected “truths” along the way to finding something new; if this study had stopped at the “discovery” you’re mocking, the yes, it would’ve been mock-worthy. But, as that was not its main purpose and it went well beyond that, pooh-poohing it seems inappropriate at best and ignorant at worst.

Ramona January 22, 2010, 7:52 AM

The UNC study you discuss is a lot more valuable than you suggest. The study showed that large, expensive play structures are not necessary for children to get the high intensity exercise they need. In fact, simple, inexpensive toys like balls and jump ropes promote the kind of activity that will help children stay active and be healthy for a life time. Kudos to the UNC researchers who are chipping away at the huge public health issue of childhood obesity.

K January 22, 2010, 8:35 AM

Happy people = satisfied people,
satisfied people = people who buy things (applies to the major part of the population),
buying people = good for the economy,
good economy = rich people get richer.

Ed January 22, 2010, 9:09 AM

You appear not to have understood the scientific method. Scientific research often proves folk-wisdom knowledge, but it also sometimes provides suprising and unexpected results. Research acts as the mortar connecting different ideas and concepts, and as such research offering a grounding in the mundane ordinary ephermera of life can underpin a groundbreaking methodological revolution or scientific breakthrough somewhere down the line.

Jennifer January 26, 2010, 1:02 AM

New study: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Duh! We already knew that all ready! Wait a minute, its the opposite, people who are around their spouses longer like them more…Duh…we knew that…too? Ugh, yes, some sociology and psychology studies do seem like common sense. But that is with a healthy dose of hindsight bias: its really easy to say you knew it all along after we’ve already gone and proved it is so.


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