Spotting Bad Science

Some of these ideas might help with our Media Literacy and Creative Writing.  Click here to view the original poster.

Here are our versions of each of the tips:

  1. Sensationalized Headlines

Headlines that give the wrong impression. When you see a title that looks very flashy it might be a lie.

  1. Misinterpreted Results

Misunderstand information.  Twist the truth.  Read the original information whenever possible.

  1. Conflicts of Interest

If research is helping someone to prove a point, it might be bad science.

  1. Correlation and Causation

Correlation means things happen at the same time.  Causation means one thing CAUSES the other.

  1. Unsupported Conclusion

Beware of guessing language. Make sure that conclusions/answers have lots of proof.

  1. Problems With Sample Size

If you have a smaller sample size you should have less confidence in the results.

  1. Unrepresentative Samples Used

You can’t ask the same question to different groups. “Are gr. 8s smarter than JKs?”

  1. No Control Group Used

Good science compares a test group to a control group. A control group has no changes and a test group does. If there is no control group, it might be bad science.

  1. No Blind Testing Used

When you know that you’re being tested that might change the results.  A blind test doesn’t give full information to the people being tested.

  1. Selected Reporting Of Data

You only use the information that supports your argument.  You ignore all other information.

  1. Unreplicable Results

If you think something is special many sources should agree.

  1. Non-Peer Reviewed Material

Scientists say what they like and dislike about each other’s work before it gets published.  If it hasn’t been peer reviewed, it might be bad science.



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