As medical research marches on, with an Ebola vaccine being tested on humans and the invention of an anti-HIV cream, some research proves to be far less useful. Here are 7 recent studies that didn’t need to be done:
1. Healthier habits lead to weight loss
A study published in 2014 made the not-so-shocking revelation that participants who maintained low-fat diets and continued regular physical activity over a 10-year period were able to maintain weight loss. In the words of the study: “Long-term weight loss maintenance is possible, but it requires persistent adherence to a few key health behaviours.”
2. University rankings influence applicants
A study done by researchers at New York university found that college and university rankings published each year influence where prospective students choose to apply! It reveals that students are actually interested in the quality of life and academic offerings of the schools they wish to attend.
3. Women prefer taller men
The long-held belief that women prefer to date taller men was confirmed this year thanks to a collaborative study from Rice University. More than half of women surveyed said they want to date only men who are taller than themselves, a preference attributed to a “matter of protection and femininity.”
4. Home field advantage lives up to its name
Home field advantage is, as it turns out, an advantage. Thankfully, an article published in February confirmed that a team playing at home enjoys a psychological edge thanks to encouragement from fans. Crowd influence on officials’ decisions and lack of travel or change in time zone also help prove that the advantage is, in fact, appropriately named.
5. Walking or biking are healthier than driving
A study published in August presented the groundbreaking news that walking or biking to work is healthier than driving. Active commuting, the study found, is linked to lower body weight and fat composition. Public transport was also tied to better health than private vehicle transportation.
6. Music can be empowering
Three top international business schools applied their genius this year to discovering that certain songs can have an empowering effect on listeners. Songs with heavy bass made people feel more powerful than songs with more mild bass tones. Of course, sporting event favourite We Will Rock You by Queen was among the most empowering songs.
7. Anonymous online comments more likely uncivil
After comparing thousands of online comments, University of Houston researchers found those posted anonymously were more likely to be vulgar, racist, profane or hateful. In comparison, posts with users’ names attached were more civil and respectful. Yes, the Internet conveniently allows users to hide behind anonymity to avoid responsibility for comments.
It appears not all research budgets are tough these days.