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Sharing – Here’s How the Media Turns Research Into Misleading Clickbait

I have written about this myself, the article headlines are always going to put this in a way that makes you want to click and read it, even when the effect is super small, and even more so when it’s a hot-button issues like social media.

“Whenever we learn that something has an effect, it’s good to ask the follow-up question, “How much of an effect does it have?”

In the case of social media and teen depression, the answer is, “Not very much.” Many other causes of teenage depression are more significant than social media. For example, getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep has at least three times the effect that social media has.”

So for all those parents limiting the screen time of their teens, you would do much more good for them by making sure they get enough sleep, or frankly, a whole bunch of other things that have more of an effect than social media does.They just aren’t as interesting.

Sadly, most of the media reports on these studies don’t even give you the numbers. Just that researchers found “an effect”, so they really are doing a disservice to their readers. I’ve seen a few article recently on exactly this study, that do not actually list out what the effect is, and unless you have access to the medical journal it was originally published in, you may not ever know.

Go read the whole article and learn more, and maybe, just maybe, understand a little bit more about statistics.

https://nireyal.medium.com/how-the-media-turns-bad-research-into-terrible-clickbait-af4555e69b54

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