Very Interesting Exposition on Science Journalism

“Miscommunication of science: music cognition research in the popular press”

This article sums up a lot of what is wrong with online science journalism. The author also addresses the use of scientific findings in certain major publications. Here we have it from a Harvard psychologist: the press misinterprets scientific data. It seems as if this usually comes in the form of drawing a causal link when there is really only a correlation. The author also complains of an exaggeration of findings.

Although the article is about how psychology of music findings have been interpreted, this phenomenon occurs on a wider scale in pop science journalism. It really comes down to people and incentives. Causation makes a better story than correlation, and exaggerated conclusions make for more controversy.



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