Via Ally Fogg, the BMJ has published their annual satirical science story, as they do, and as usual, various slackish and hackish news sites have republished it as true (Hello, HuffPo!), and in addition, this time they’ve sucked in the MRAs! In this case, it’s because they published a stereotyped scenario of men trying so hard to make women happy and making them miserable in the process. You’d think they’d have noticed the second sentence of the abstract:
Mathieu encourages her psychotherapy clients “to try to live in the gray. There are a million shades of gray” (although a recent erotic novel suggests there are only 50) “on the spectrum of white to black, and each provides a much richer telling of a story that is hardly ever as clear as this or that. So, when we looked a bit more closely, we saw that ‘right versus happy’ was not so much about getting crowned the winner or loser, a genius or fool; it was more about flawed thinking and a desire to want to feel being in control.”
No clues there? OK, maybe they could have read the discussion:
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.
Yeah, clever bunch in the media and the ranks of the MRAs.