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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  December 2008

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE December 2008

Subject:

Re: Another important study

From:

mart <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 17 Dec 2008 05:22:27 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (563 lines)

p.s. there is more historical discussion of the relation of marx to darwin, as well as other political figures of the era (lincoln and stalin) which i was unaware of.   (science blogs also discusses this).

www.dailydought.blogspot.com/2008/12/darwin-and-marx-ruled-soviet-union.html 
  
also linked at 
    www.axiomsandchoices.blogspot.com


than about the 'objective world'.  'don't
> believe the hype'.  ). (darwin supposedly got darwinism
> from adam smith, and marx i think tried to get darwin to
> endorse his stuff, but he just left das capital on the
> shelf.) 







> > > see what they are
> > >     after and game them accordingly. How do they
> > correct for that? It
> > >     appears they do so by asking the same
> questions
> > over and over
> > >     again with slightly different wording, but
> this is
> > utterly
> > >     inadequate in my view. I don't know how
> they
> > could do such a study
> > >     much better, but maybe they should be doing
> > something
> > >     very different instead. 
> > > 
> > >     Best,
> > > 
> > >     Michael
> > > 
> > > 
> > >     On Dec 16, 2008, at 1:30 PM, Claudia Hemphill
> Pine
> > wrote:
> > > 
> > >>     Gee, Michael, are you calling scientific
> > experimentation
> > >>     simplistic?  :-)
> > >> 
> > >>     It's true that "media
> effects"
> > -- the technical term for whether,
> > >>     and how, media representations of
> violence,
> > love, etc., change or
> > >>     strengthen audiences' inclinations --
> is a
> > complex subject.  That
> > >>     complexity, however, does not absolve us
> from
> > efforts to study it
> > >>     (especially in a media-saturated world -
> and
> > if none of us think
> > >>     posting and discussing articles can
> change
> > people's minds, why
> > >>     are we engaging in it?), nor does it
> justify
> > pooh-poohing every
> > >>     effort. 
> > >>     Just because something is hard to study
> > (quarks? neurons?
> > >>     evolution?) doesn't mean every tiny
> step
> > toward understanding
> > >>     should be dismissed as futile, or mocked
> as
> > not immense enough.     We can't all be Nobel
> level
> > researchers.
> > >> 
> > >>     I find it more perplexing than amusing -
> > though that, also - how
> > >>     regularly members of this listserve post
> > reports of psychology
> > >>     experiments, apparently only to mock them
> as
> > ridiculous, badly
> > >>     done, futile, pointless, and stupid.  I
> must
> > have missed the part
> > >>     where the list members showed how their
> own
> > science education
> > >>     cross-trained them for peer-reviewing all
> > branches of psychology.
> > >> 
> > >>     But I agree, Michael (G) that reporters
> likely
> > tend to
> > >>     over-simplify and possibly misrepresent
> the
> > results -- and aims,
> > >>     not to mention methods -- of social
> psychology
> > research, for more
> > >>     drama -- thus putting their own media
> effect
> > "spin" on a media
> > >>     effects study.   This makes it all the
> more
> > likely that those of
> > >>     us who are responding solely as
> non-experts
> > will simply snipe at
> > >>     the researcher, instead of seeking some
> > unbiased understanding of
> > >>     the original study, or at least
> considering
> > the bias injected by
> > >>     the journalist and our own unreflective
> > cultural prejudgments.
> > >> 
> > >>     Claudia
> > >> 
> > >>     On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 12:07 PM, Michael
> H
> > Goldhaber
> > >>     <[log in to unmask]
> > <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> > >> 
> > >>         I think Phil has it right. Human
> > psychology
> > >>         is immensely complex. Scientific
> > experiments tend to have a
> > >>         simple design. Drawing valid
> conclusions
> > about the
> > >>         complexities of psychology from
> > experiments of simple design
> > >>         is extremely difficult, yet over and
> over
> > again,
> > >>         experimenters  claim to be doing just
> > this. Then science
> > >>         reporters further simplify and
> exaggerate
> > the conclusions to
> > >>         make the reports seem interesting. In
> the
> > current case,
> > >>         two different claims are made. First,
> > students exposed to
> > >>         a more romantic film , when
> questioned
> > afterwards,
> > >>         are supposedly more inclined to
> believe in
> > fate. We have no
> > >>         reason to believe such an effect, if
> > actual, lasts long. No
> > >>         indication is given of how long it
> last;
> > apparently that was
> > >>         not investigated.. In the second
> case,
> > longtime lovers of
> > >>         romantic films are assumed to be
> affected
> > by
> > >>          them, rather than choosing them
> because
> > they agree with a
> > >>         worldview the viewers already had or
> > wished to
> > >>         nurture. And so on.
> > >> 
> > >>         Best,
> > >>         Michael
> > >> 
> > >>         On Dec 16, 2008, at 10:27 AM, Michael
> > Balter wrote:
> > >> 
> > >>>         That is a fallacious statement of
> my
> > argument, which is:
> > >>> 
> > >>>         Topic A is important.
> > >>>         Study B provides useful insights
> into
> > Topic A, because it
> > >>>         identifies cultural sources of
> > illusions about relationships.
> > >>>         Therefore, Study B is important
> or at
> > least interesting.
> > >>> 
> > >>>         MB
> > >>> 
> > >>>         On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 12:58 PM,
> Phil
> > Gasper
> > >>>         <[log in to unmask]
> > <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> > >>> 
> > >>>             Actually, I think I will use
> this
> > one in my critical
> > >>>             thinking class next semester
> as an
> > exercise for the
> > >>>             students to point out its
> > weaknesses.
> > >>> 
> > >>>             The following is a fallacious
> > argument:
> > >>> 
> > >>>             Topic A is important.
> > >>>             Study B is about A.
> > >>>             Therefore, study B is
> important.
> > >>> 
> > >>>             --PG
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>>             On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 11:51
> AM,
> > Michael Balter
> > >>>             <[log in to unmask]
> > >>>            
> > <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> > >>> 
> > >>>                 Actually, I think this
> kind of
> > study is important,
> > >>>                 and I think if Phil
> thought
> > about it a little bit
> > >>>                 more he might agree.
> > Unrealistic expectations about
> > >>>                 love and marriage are
> indeed a
> > key factor in
> > >>>                 relationships breaking
> up, as
> > most people who have
> > >>>                 voyaged very far into
> > adulthood know anecdotally and
> > >>>                 which psychologists,
> family
> > therapists and
> > >>>                 professionals know from
> their
> > practices and
> > >>>                 research. Since troubled
> > relationships are a key
> > >>>                 cause of suffering in the
> > world, understanding more
> > >>>                 about them makes sense to
> me.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                 As I have said before,
> > let's not be the John McCains
> > >>>                 and Sarah Palins of the
> left
> > when it comes to
> > >>>                 critiquing science.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                 MB
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>>                 On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at
> 12:43
> > PM, Phil Gasper
> > >>>                 <[log in to unmask]
> > >>>                
> > <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> > >>> 
> > >>>                    
> >
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7784366.stm
> > >>>                     Published: 2008/12/16
> > 10:02:45 GMT
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     *Rom-coms 'spoil
> your
> > love life'*
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     Watching romantic
> comedies
> > can spoil your love
> > >>>                     life, a study by a
> > university in Edinburgh has
> > >>>                     claimed.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     Rom-coms have been
> blamed
> > by relationship
> > >>>                     experts at Heriot
> Watt
> > University for promoting
> > >>>                     unrealistic
> expectations
> > when it comes to love.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     They found fans of
> films
> > such as Runaway Bride
> > >>>                     and Notting Hill
> often
> > fail to communicate with
> > >>>                     their partner.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     Many held the view if
> > someone is meant to be
> > >>>                     with you, then they
> should
> > know what you want
> > >>>                     without you telling
> them.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     Psychologists at the
> > family and personal
> > >>>                     relationships
> laboratory
> > at the university
> > >>>                     studied 40 top box
> office
> > hits between 1995 and
> > >>>                     2005, and identified
> > common themes which they
> > >>>                     believed were
> unrealistic.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     The movies included
> > You've Got Mail, Maid In
> > >>>                     Manhattan, The
> Wedding
> > Planner and While You
> > >>>                     Were Sleeping.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     The university's
> Dr
> > Bjarne Holmes said:
> > >>>                     "Marriage
> counsellors
> > often see couples who
> > >>>                     believe that sex
> should
> > always be perfect, and
> > >>>                     if someone is meant
> to be
> > with you then they
> > >>>                     will know what you
> want
> > without you needing to
> > >>>                     communicate it.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     "We now have
> some
> > emerging evidence that
> > >>>                     suggests popular
> media
> > play a role in
> > >>>                     perpetuating these
> ideas
> > in people's minds.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     "The problem is
> that
> > while most of us know that
> > >>>                     the idea of a perfect
> > relationship is
> > >>>                     unrealistic, some of
> us
> > are still more
> > >>>                     influenced by media
> > portrayals than we realise."
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     As part of the
> project,
> > 100 student volunteers
> > >>>                     were asked to watch
> the
> > 2001 romantic comedy
> > >>>                     Serendipity, while a
> > further 100 watched a David
> > >>>                     Lynch drama.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     Predestined love
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     Students watching the
> > romantic film were later
> > >>>                     found to be more
> likely to
> > believe in fate and
> > >>>                     destiny. A further
> study
> > found that fans of
> > >>>                     romantic comedies had
> a
> > stronger belief in
> > >>>                     predestined love.
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     Kimberly Johnson, who
> also
> > worked on the study,
> > >>>                     said: "Films do
> > capture the excitement of new
> > >>>                     relationships but
> they
> > also wrongly suggest that
> > >>>                     trust and committed
> love
> > exist from the moment
> > >>>                     people meet, whereas
> these
> > are qualities that
> > >>>                     normally take years
> to
> > develop."
> > >>> 
> > >>>                     The researchers have
> now
> > launched an online
> > >>>                     study on media and
> > relationships.
> > >>>                     They are asking
> people to
> > participate by
> > >>>                     answering questions
> about
> > personality,
> > >>>                     relationships, and
> media
> > consumption habits by
> > >>>                     filling in a
> questionnaire
> > which you can click
> > >>>                     on here
> > >>>                    
> >
> <http://remark.sls.hw.ac.uk/cgi-bin/rws3.pl?FORM=Media_study>.
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>>                 --                
> > ******************************************
> > >>>                 Michael Balter
> > >>>                 Contributing
> Correspondent,
> > Science
> > >>>                 Adjunct Professor of
> > Journalism,
> > >>>                 Boston University
> > >>> 
> > >>>                 Email:          
> > [log in to unmask]
> > >>>                
> > <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> > >>> 
> > >>>                 Website:      
> > michaelbalter.com
> > >>>                
> > <http://michaelbalter.com>
> > >>>                 Balter's Blog:
> > michael-balter.blogspot.com
> > >>>                
> > <http://michael-balter.blogspot.com>
> > >>>                
> > ******************************************
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>> 
> > >>>         --        
> > ******************************************
> > >>>         Michael Balter
> > >>>         Contributing Correspondent,
> Science
> > >>>         Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> > >>>         Boston University
> > >>> 
> > >>>         Email:          
> > [log in to unmask]
> > >>>        
> > <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> > >>> 
> > >>>         Website:       michaelbalter.com
> > <http://michaelbalter.com>
> > >>>         Balter's Blog:
> > michael-balter.blogspot.com
> > >>>        
> > <http://michael-balter.blogspot.com>
> > >>>        
> > ******************************************
> > >> 
> > >> 
> > >> 
> > >> 
> > >>     --     "EVERY GUN that is made,
> every
> > warship launched, every rocket
> > >>     fired signifies, in the final sense, a
> theft
> > from those who
> > >>     hunger and are not fed, those who are
> cold and
> > not clothed. This
> > >>     world in arms is not spending money
> alone. It
> > is spending the
> > >>     sweat of its laborers, the genius of its
> > scientists, the hopes of
> > >>     its children." --U.S. president
> Dwight D.
> > Eisenhower, 1953.
> > >> 
> > >>     "War is a way of shattering to
> pieces, or
> > pouring into the
> > >>     stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of
> the
> > sea, materials
> > >>     which might otherwise be used to make the
> > masses too comfortable,
> > >>     and hence, in the long run, too
> > intelligent." --British author
> > >>     George Orwell (1903-1950)
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > -- "EVERY GUN that is made, every warship
> > launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final
> sense,
> > a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those
> who are
> > cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not
> spending
> > money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers,
> the
> > genius of its scientists, the hopes of its
> children."
> > --U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953.
> > > 
> > > "War is a way of shattering to pieces, or
> pouring
> > into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the
> sea,
> > materials which might otherwise be used to make the
> masses
> > too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too
> > intelligent." --British author George Orwell
> > (1903-1950)



      

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