Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dumbed down Science

A zillion people in the sample, 67,186 to be exact, came to the astounding conclusion that:

There is no evidence that the benefits of playing brain training games transfers to other brain skills.

So that’s it, dump the games they are not worth the silicon they are running on. Hold on a minute and let’s look in a bit more detail at this BBC research.

1. Only 13,000 of the initial sample group trained three times a week for the full six weeks – so that has cut the sample size by 80%

2. More women signed up to take part than men (57.6%) and they completed an average of 2.2 more training sessions than men. I would have thought this distorts the results - wouldn't you?

3. Participants had generally reached a high level of education, with more than 50% having a university degree or higher qualification. Well that makes it a really representative sample – I don’t think.

The average age was 43 years. There were very few older people taking part. See the graph.

Sorry guys, this is a worthless study that tells us absolutely nothing. I am amazed that Nature thought it worth publishing the results. The sample was self selecting and highly distorted.

I am sure all of this made good TV - it doesn’t make good science. Don't get me wrong. I am not convinced these games do what they claim on the box, but that is just my instinct and not something I would peddle as being the truth.Dick Stroud

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