Proposed Book: How to Lie with Experimental Design

From ABC News:

Angelo Tremblay [a professor at Laval University] noticed something odd every time he worked up a grant application for his research program in a Quebec university. He had a craving for chocolate chip cookies.

Professor Tremblay wondered if this meant that thinking makes you fat — which is curious, because it implies that the rest of his job didn’t involve thinking, or at least less of it. More likely is that anxiety makes you crave pleasure-producing food (such as chocolate-chip cookies) to dull the pain; there is a term for it, emotional eating. Grant writing is anxiety-producing, of course: You worry about not getting the grant. Yet — to his credit — Tremblay did experiments to test his idea. And these experiments, he believes, supported his idea that thinking alone can cause obesity, which I’m pretty sure is wrong. It makes me want to write a book: How to Lie With Experimental Design (although I’m sure Tremblay wasn’t trying to deceive anyone). Its predecessor, How to Lie with Statistics, was a big success.

Thanks to Dave Lull.

More From a documentary about Ranjit Chandra:

In the Nestle and Mead Johnson studies, Chandra concluded that those company’s products helped reduce the risk of allergies, while the Ross formula which was virtually the same did nothing.

Masor says he asked, “‘Dr. Chandra, how can you explain that we didn’t see anything with our study and you did with the Nestle study?’ And he said, ‘Well, the study really wasn’t designed right.’

“I said: ‘Dr. Chandra we designed the study with you. You designed it. That’s why we went to you, so you would be able to do it correctly.’ And he said, ‘Well, you didn’t really pay me enough money to do it correctly.'”

An extreme case.

One Reply to “Proposed Book: How to Lie with Experimental Design”

  1. I’ve often noticed that anxiety either feels like, or stimulates hunger. It’s that unsettled, frightened, butterflies feeling in the stomach that does it. Last night I downloaded a Norton Securities update; this morning I could not get online with Internet Explorer. I felt a lot of anxiety until after it was fixed.

    The anxiety makes me want to eat, in fact seems almost inseparable from hunger, except it’s located only in the belly, and is not so globally disorganizing to my functioning the way hunger itself can be…

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