So, it is pretty funny that the British Medical Journal is trolling us.
Participants, setting, and design
To be eligible participants had to be part of a couple and willing to take part in the study. We carried out a parallel trial with one man and one woman in their own home. It was decided without consultation that the female participant would prefer to be right and the male, being somewhat passive, would prefer to be happy.
The male was informed of the intervention while the female participant was not (this form of pre-randomisation is known as the Zelen method2). The female participant was blind to the hypothesis being tested, other than being asked to record her quality of life.
The results of this trial show that the availability of unbridled power adversely affects the quality of life of those on the receiving end.
Strengths and weaknesses
The study has some limitations. There was no trial registration, no ethics committee approval, no informed consent, no proper randomisation, no validated test instrument, and questionable statistical assessment. We used the eyeball technique for single patient trials which, as Sackett says, “more closely matches the way we think as clinicians.”3
Many people in the world live as couples, and we believe that it could be harmful for one partner to always have to agree with the other. However, more research is needed to see whether our results hold if it is the male who is always right.
It’s even funnier that the science correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, the Huffington Post and Medical Daily fell for it hook, line and sinker and, inevitably, Men’s Rights Activists are up in arms.
Trollololol. Season’s Greetings, friends.