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Snooth User: Philip James

When drinking equals thinking

Posted by Philip James, May 14, 2007.

A recent Columbia University study showed that "those who consume alcohol have greater cognitive ability than those who never drank". This sounds great, and I don't necessarily disagree with the statement. I do, however, question the validity of the study itself.

Apparently, the study was undertaken by phoning people from the phone book at random and asking them a short series of questions. I don't have the data to hand, but I think they only quizzed 300 people or so. 300 is no where near enough to get statistical validity for something like this. And, moreover, I don't care if people who drink are 'on average' more intelligent than those who don't. What I care about is, will I be more intelligent if I drink more?

Until someone conducts double blind tests on twins, we should stick to the science that is proven .

Replies

Blog comment by Stephen, May 15, 2007.

An interesting post Philip. Good timing as well, as there was a recent (May 9) Decanter article citing a study linking alcohol consumption to a shrinking brain. It, too, caused some sharp criticism among readers for both the phrasing used, and the statistical significance of the study.

Blog comment by bcheung, May 15, 2007.

were all of those people inebriated already when responding to the survey?


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