SQUIRM-ing at bad research methods


RightWingProf offers up this horror story from a conference presentation for a supposedly quantitative research paper in education. There’s no way to quote all the methodological problems with the paper in a succinct way — there’s too many of them. But suffice to say that a little statistics and a little critical thinking would have gone a long way, although “Jeanne-Marie”‘s paper might not have survived the process. Just go read the article.

I’ve blogged on this sort of issue before, calling out proponents of the so-called Digital Native hypothesis to either produce real statistical evidence to support their claims or else stop making those claims in the first place.

I really think that people who care about research methodology need to create an organization whose members attend conferences where this faux-quantitative research is being presented, ask all kinds of irritating direct questions about the methodology employed in the paper being presented, capture the Q&A session on video or transcription, and then blog it. This sort of anti-scientific nonsense needs to be stopped, and public ridicule seems to be as good an approach as any.

How about calling it the Society for Quantitative Integrity in Research Methods — or SQUIRM for short? Who’s with me?

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2 Comments

Filed under Life in academia, Math, Scholarship

2 responses to “SQUIRM-ing at bad research methods

  1. jackie

    Ok, I’m in… I think I know just enough stats to be irritating. I should be planning lessons…. now I’m thinking about slogans for SQUIRM. Any ideas?

  2. Pingback: Casting Out Nines » Blog Archive » Weasel words in education: “-based”