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Statistics for Self-Marketing3

Dollar Pills!

Nave, G.; Nadler, A.; Dubois, D.; Zava, D.; Camerer, C.; Plassmann, H.; 2018; “Single-dose testosterone administration increases men’s preference for status goods”; 2433; Nature Communications; 2041-1723; 9/1; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04923-0

In this paper it is argued, that a complex biological process of hormonal impact directly influences a complex sociological process of social status by consumption.

The authors asked male test persons for different descriptions of brands ignoring that status in society is combined out of different characteristics such as quality and power itself. They produced an index of social status out of status itself and conspicuousness and prestige as well as an index of power out of power itself, performance and control. But despite the fact that these indexes neither are disjoint and statistically independent nor have a reverence to the same main unit, they are looking for brand pairs with different characterisations in social status, quality and power.

“Importantly, the first task did not allow us to directly disentangle status enhancement and power enhancement motives, as we could not identify (based on the pretest data) any brand pairs that were perceived differently with respect to their status and power associations, and thus we combined the average of the six items to a general measure of social rank associations. Our data indicated that brands high in social rank were typically also perceived as high in quality. However, we were able to identify five pairs of brands for which the difference in social rank associations was significantly greater than the difference in quality associations” (Nave et al.; 2018; 6).

This testing of not disjoint pairs sounds for me a bit like the Condorcet’s Paradox. But assuming that this sophisticated statistics is correct, the question remains: what is the insight of this scientific work?

Is this really a hint that a complex hormonal impact has a direct relation to a complex sociological process? Is seeking for status directly related to a single dose of testosterone or is this effect also possible with other testing variables? Moreover, is this effect because of an enhanced seeking for status or a diminished awareness for power or quality? And what about woman? Don’t they seek for status or is hormonal effect in woman total different? Is this effect really replicable with testosterone in different societies?

Or is this more on the basis of a mere stochastically relation like ‘Storks Deliver Babies (p=0.008)’ (s. Matthews, 2000, p. 36-38)?

Science should not adopt to an intellectual data converter into papers. The mathematical process of refining data should follow a methodological discussion based on theoretical considerations first. As long as impact factor and length of the publication list is directly converted into scientific quality, content is a minor aspect and increases researchers’ preference for career and status.

Just reading the title of this paper makes clear that it is an exemplary product in ‘statistics for self-marketing’. Collect data – analyse it with a powerful software – then think about the theoretical background for these findings –

and finally: write a cool paper with maximal impact factor. Don’t worry – a paper withdrawal won’t have the same factor.

CD

image:

Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons edited by dundotcan

Literature

Matthews, R.; 2000; “Storks Deliver Babies (p= 0.008)”; 36-38; Teaching Statistics; 1467-9639; 22/2; http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9639.00013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9639.00013/abstract

Nave, G.; Nadler, A.; Dubois, D.; Zava, D.; Camerer, C.; Plassmann, H.; 2018; “Single-dose testosterone administration increases men’s preference for status goods”; 2433; Nature Communications; 2041-1723; 9/1; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04923-0

 

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