How can anyone be this sloppy?
Originally published in JAMA Pediatrics in 2012, the study found that children were more likely to choose apples over cookies during lunch when the apples had a sticker of Elmo. Both the original and the replacement claimed that the study included 208 students “ranging from 8 to 11 years old” at seven schools in upstate New York.
But, as confirmed to BuzzFeed News by the leader of the study, Cornell University professor Brian Wansink, the data was actually collected while observing kids 3 to 5 years old.
“We made a mistake in the age group we described in the JAMA article. We mistakenly reported children ranging from 8 to 11 years old; however, the children were actually 3 to 5 years old,” Wansink told BuzzFeed News by email.
As the “leader of the study”, you’d expect someone to have some vague idea of the approximate ages of the subject…you’d at least know whether the school you were testing at was a pre-school or an elementary school. This is what you’d expect of a guy who is great at churning out papers and grant proposals, but is a bumbling incompetent at the science. Unfortunately, most of the rewards of science go to those who excel at the first set of skills, while the second has a low priority.