Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Research, Please

The BBC reports that women are "choosier" when it comes to mates and look for things like financial security. But here's the thing. It was a survey of 46 people at speed-dating session. A survey of 46 people is hardly scientific, and I doubt that those at a specifically targeted dating event are representative of their genders as a whole. What's more, here's what the lead researcher said:

"While humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved, most still behave like the stereotypical Neanderthals when it comes to choosing a mate.

"Evolutionary theories in psychology suggest that men and women should trade off different traits in each other and when we look at the actual choices people make, this is what we find evidence for."

I hardly thing that this has anything to do with "evolution" or "psychology" but rather cultural norms and expectations. Somebody get these people an intro to research class.

Cross-posted at campusprogress.org/blog.

3 comments:

Zorro said...

Kay,

I'm sure that this study was crap, but there is actually a huge evolutionary imperative for women to choose mates who are providers. Maybe you need to take an evolutionary anthropology class, hmmm?

Cheers,

-Z

Ming said...

Here's the thing. This article had no pretense of representing real science or "research". It is what is known in the trade as a "human interest story." It is basically filler and requires neither analysis nor rebuttal. So your superior tone and understated sarcasm seem somehow misplaced. What are you going to do next? Criticize the grammar in the comic section?

Nathan said...

actually, a sample size of 46 people CAN be perfectly sufficient. I suggest a basic probability and statistics class.

but anyway, this study involved a sample size of 22,000 people and reached the same conclusions. good enough for you?

http://fmwww.bc.edu/ec-j/semf2006/Hort.pdf

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