A recent study from the Institute of Research Studies suggested that the best option is to just throw your hands in the air and not claim to know anything.
Dr. Willy Duneboggle conducted the study of a 1000 Americans who have access to the full content of the internet, hundreds of media sources, and a full of battery resources for developing critical thinking and data-analysis skills. The researchers gave the 1000 Americans the exact same set of information as the control group who were simply asked to sit and offer their opinions without any information on the topic of the day.
The research group turned out to reach confident conclusions despite their beliefs being in direct contradiction to other equally confident members of the study group. The research team then compared the results to a group of people that spent their time ignoring all sources of information and who spent much of their time eating and taking nap. After analyzing the data, the researchers concluded that you might as well be quiet and take a nap: all groups formed the same distribution of random opinions about everything.
Dr. Duneboggle pointed out that the results extended to arguments about religion, politics, and the quality of Marvel films. “What’s remarkable,” he said, “is that even when both groups were given the data about how much money Marvel films made, one set of people concluded that this meant that the films were true cinema, one set of people concluded that the films were pop culture garbage, and another group simply had no idea what Marvel films were despite being given actual copies of the movies.”
Consequently, the data showed that no matter what information people were given, people appear to know nothing about the given topic but, nevertheless, seemed to enjoy opining about it — except for the people who hated opining about it and enjoyed hating opining about it which was, for research purposes, essentially the same thing.
The study’s co-author Professor Sarah Huh, noted that the conclusions were based on strong research methodologies, explaining that the researchers were “reasonably confident that the results are statistically significant. That is, we used a 95% confidence interval to draw our conclusions. This means that there’s a 5% chance that we were wrong. Since no one will probably go and do the study again, there’s no real way of knowing whether we’re right or not, so you might not actually want to believe a word I’m saying.”
“Instead,” Professor Huh said, “You should probably just ignore what everyone is saying about everything and just go spend time with your family and friends and focus on enjoying the time you have on this earth which, studies suggest, might be limited.”
“Then again,” she added. “Who knows.”
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash