April 2, 2004

Concealed Research Benefits No One

Chuck Talk writes "I really have to say that as a person who is capable of reading through research with a very critical eye for potential violations in the scientific method, I find most market research to be utterly useless sound-byte material that isnt fit for printing. If you cannot share the methods of your research, then your research simply will not stand the test of time. Of course, if you never share the methods, sample selection, or size, then it makes it harder to refute the statistical power of your assertions.

I have read a lot of what I would call poor research printed from some of the market research firms that are in the industry. That research is so often reported as gospel when it comes from a research firm, yet the facts are, quite literally, not in evidence. If any researcher tried to print such material in any of the scientific journals, he would be skewered within days of publishing such invalidated and unproven research. The industry needs a big breath of fresh air in order to maintain its proficiency and its survival. This last year has shown that certain high-profile so-called analysts will state their opinions as if they are facts, without regard to taking the view of understanding if there is even one sliver of valid data that shows statistical significance.

What I call this method of research is simply schlock research. Schlock research, for all of its headline-grabbing banner fluff, is simply unable to stand the light of curious statistical validation. It is, pop-culture research when it fails to provide the details that substantiate the conclusions."

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