Unbelievably exciting results!

Chris Dillow, via Eric:

…even intelligent and numerate people are quick to misperceive randomness and to pay for an expertise that doesn’t exist; the subjects included students of sciences, engineering and accounting.

Which reminded me of Andrew Gelman’s recent post about results in headline academic journals such as Science and Nature. He quotes Sanjay Srivastava saying:

As long as a journal pursues a strategy of publishing “wow” studies, it will inevitably contain more unreplicable findings and unsupportable conclusions than equally rigorous but more ‘boring’ journals. Groundbreaking will always be higher-risk. And definitive will be the territory of journals that publish meta-analyses and reviews.

We may all know that the implausible results that often lead headline journals are likely to be wrong, but it doesn’t seem to stop us citing them constantly!