The Horrors Of Research

Ohio State University recently did a three-day study on the link between heavy use of violent video games and aggression. The researchers used a group of college students in France, which makes sense — when it comes to war and aggression, the French are to the left of the Quakers. The article I read didn’t say how the researchers measured changes in aggression. But given how the French view food, I’ll bet I know what they did: After a long day playing Call Of Duty, the subjects received one Hungry Man dinner for the whole group. The subjects calmly divvied up the dry turkey, fake potatoes, and butter-soaked peas and then said “Mon dieu, c’est horrible. Tres American.” But by Day Three they were throwing punches and screaming “Donne-moi les peas!”

The thing about these studies is that they never tell you what they’re really studying. For researchers, it’s kinda like the Tea Party – you don’t want people to be biased by knowledge. The French students were told that the study would focus on “The effects of brightness in video games on visual perception.” Which is another way of saying “If you’re not too bright you won’t see what’s coming.”

I remember these studies from college. When I was a junior one popped up that paid $400 and I almost went for it. But the study involved removing blood from your system and replacing it with glucose. The stated objective was to determine how well glucose translated into energy. I bailed out but my friend Ted went for it.

Ted told me about the day he quit, which happened to be Day One. After making Ted walk on a treadmill for a bit, the researchers drew some blood and inserted some glucose. He rested for a bit and then got back up on the treadmill. Ted had wires taped to his chest to monitor his heartbeat and a gas mask strapped to his face. The mask was meant to gauge oxygen and CO2 levels. After marching for a half-hour on the treadmill, which kept speeding up, Ted got sick. He filled the gas mask with hurl.

They claimed the study was about energy transference, but I’m convinced it was really meant to test how people react to a gas mask full of vomit. The study was probably funded by the Department of Defense.

Screw scientific inquiry, I don’t trust these people.

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4 thoughts on “The Horrors Of Research”

  1. When I was a teenager, I joined a national theatre group. It was pretty hard to get in and part of the audition involved doing improvisations to see how quick you could react to unknown situations. I was told that I was totally against testing drugs on animals and i got on my high horse and started getting aggressive and screaming at those who opposed my views. In the middle of doing this, the director totally turned he tables on me and I was told that my mother was dying and that there may be a cure but the cure had to be tested n animals, I got off my high horse and started throwing chairs around the room like a demented demon but I got in and I think that’s where my vivid imagination began. Even now as i’m thinking about the effects of research, I want to hit Thirsty Dave! Great post.

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