Is it me, or are sample sizes just getting smaller? I mean, last time round we had that scare story warning us that the art of parenting is being destroyed by smartphones — you know, the one based on observations of 40 adults in a fast food restaurant in Boston. Turns out that 40 adults was just scientific extravagance. You can actually spot the end of humankind on a much smaller budget.
This time our evidence of the descent of humankind into species-wide stupidity is from a study sample comprising twelve children. Yes, twelve.
The sample was boosted by the inclusion of some chimpanzees. Four chimpanzees to be exact, although only one of them proved to be of any interest (I presume the other three just scratched themselves and threw dirt at the experimenters). Continue reading “Stop Press: Some kids are crap at computer games, one chimp is not”
I’ve concluded that they’re right. Mobile phones DO addle the brain. They DO interfere with competent cognition. They DO cause people to become rambling, incoherent, and negligent thinkers, and to talk ever-more-ridiculous garbage. But their effects are quite subtle. They cause this result in some people simply by existing: all these folks have to do is think about cell phones and they become nonsensical.
Especially if their job is to write news headlines on such matters, or to otherwise fill content on the media’s health pages.
Have a look at this headline: Continue reading “Won’t somebody *please* think of the validity?”
I’m on a bus, ploughing its way through an excessive headwind as yet another Atlantic storm blasts us to colour-coded distress (we are Code Red now; there are no more colours left).
But even in distress, we have clever scientifically literate headlines. Fair play to RTE’s news website people for this:
You see? Ever the pun-seekers…