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Why 'Science-Backed' Advice Is Not Always Better

Studies on The Zeigarnik Effect

The Zeigarnik Effect states that we remember unfinished and incomplete tasks much better than completed tasks. Things remain in our mind due to their being incomplete.

There are several studies that have failed to replicate Zeigarnik’s experiment. But this does not mean the theory is false. It means the concept might be true for some people, but not all people.

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Why 'Science-Backed' Advice Is Not Always Better

Why 'Science-Backed' Advice Is Not Always Better

https://dariusforoux.com/science-backed-advice/

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Key Ideas

When Studies Are Untrustworthy

Many layers of uncertainty along with thinking errors of scientists (blind spots) make the research or evidence untrustworthy about 42 percent of the time, according to a study.

Many studies lack validity, but researchers already being involved in the studies develop ‘learned helplessness’ and start believing in evidence even though there is none. A lack of evidence to prove the contrary is not evidence to support the theory.

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Advice For Reading Scientific Studies

When we read scientific studies, it helps to keep in mind the following:

  1. Scientists are prone to error just like everyone else.
  2. Single source claims are dubious.
  3. There is a lot we don’t know.
  4. We should not be biased towards a particular outcome.
  5. Independent tests of the findings can be done if possible.
  6. Proof of something does not mean it is true, and a lack of proof does not mean it is false.

Studies on The Zeigarnik Effect

The Zeigarnik Effect states that we remember unfinished and incomplete tasks much better than completed tasks. Things remain in our mind due to their being incomplete.

There are several studies that have failed to replicate Zeigarnik’s experiment. But this does not mean the theory is false. It means the concept might be true for some people, but not all people.

Accuracy of Psychological Experiments

It is a good idea to remain critical as most psychological experiments are situational and may not stand the test of time.

Certain ideas that claim scientific evidence like the 10,000 hour rule or Grit, study a specific group of people, and are not universal theories.

Universal Truths

There are very few absolutely certain, universal truths in life. We are quick to think a piece of information is 100 percent true if it's presented as a new, groundbreaking idea, making us have a lightbulb moment.

Apart from basic math, which is a universal truth, very few truths are found in our lifetime that resonate with us for decades.

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There are two possible ways music might be beneficial while working:

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They have lower rates of anxiety and depression and greater happiness. They cope well with problems that consume the rest of the world.

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Instead of wishful thinking, we need to know what we want (specific goals), and have the drive and passion to go towards it (agency) and should be able to generate methods and devices to achieve what we want (pathways).

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