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A study in the U.K. found that 75% of people were carrying their umbrellas on days when it was raining. Therefore the study concluded that umbrellas cause rain, and recommended a ban on umbrellas in the UK to improve the weather... Obviously, that's a bogus study. One of the dangers of studies is that they provide CORRELATIONS, but not necessarily any causal information about the reason for those correlations. For example, this study states the (presumedly accurate) fact that women who talk more are not seen as more powerful, like men. However the reason ascribed to that is completely subjective and without any scientific merit. Let me pose an alternate theory - one that's equally subjective, but perhaps that shows another reason for this difference. First of all, I pose the premise that men and women are different. (On a subjective level I propose that this is a good thing, and that we should embrace, rather than trying to quash these differences. But I digress.) In fact, studies have shown that women talk 3 times as much as men. (This study is in question and recently rebutted, see here: I question both studies.) Certainly, both from colloquial and scientific evidence, men and women communicate DIFFERENTLY. In particular, our brains are wired differently. I would claim that men who communicate more are often perceived to be more powerful because they are asserting a skill that most men lack. On the other hand, women who talk a lot may be perceived as more chatty and superficial - and those women who communicate in a more direct and focused manner would be seen as more powerful. I also believe that men and women are naturally better at different types of communication. None of this EXPLANATION of the results of the study is any more valid than the preparers' explanations. But it points out the danger of studies - the reason behind the result is not always obvious, and is subject to the scientists' bias.
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Sep 16, 2012