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 .
When drinking equals thinking
- 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?