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What are examples of 'scientific' studies that contradict what you believe about yourself?

by Mati_Roy1 min read3rd Aug 20209 comments

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It can also be old studies that have since been refuted.

I'm actually especially interested in 'scientific' studies that wrongly contradicted what our intuitions would tell us.

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The science about how commuting long distances makes us unhappy and less healthy made me change my beliefs and also take action. I used to downplay the amount of suffering and health issues that accompany regular commuting, plus the risks of e.g. driving a car on a daily basis, especially very early when I was still incompletely awaken.


Reading about this and all the invaluable articles by lukeprog on lesswrong ("How to be happy" and others) made me form a more accurate belief of what really brings about happiness and satisfaction to our lives.


I looked for the flat I currently live in a walkable distance (c. 15 minutes) from my office, and my life has been vastly improved: better sleep, more exercise, more free time, and a better mood overall.

Some studies saying that spoilers don't reduce my enjoyment of a story

Disclaimer: I acknowledge my own zeal on this topic and I am genuinely curious about your experience. My own experience of having conversations in public and semi-public spaces disrupted by people interrupting with urgent cries of "spoilers" has generated some resentment that may leak into the discussion. That resentment is not meant for you specifically. I seek understanding.

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Perhaps you could elaborate, because "spoilers don't ruin people's enjoyment of stories" stands up to at least a quick examination.

If we accept "spoilers... (read more)

All of this seems to assume that knowing things about the plot will reduce all enjoyment of the story; my experience is closer to something like "consuming a work for the first time is a different kind of experience from re-consuming something that I already know". Spoilers can damage the first-time enjoyment, while not affecting the later occasions.

That said, it does also feel to me that I don't reconsume works very much personally, and this feels at least partially because consuming them a second time does feel much less interesting than the first time. Some people clearly like re-consuming works more often, so it may be that some people prefer the first-time experience more than others.

6Mati_Roy1yI feel similarly to Kaj. I don't like spoilers personally. Which doesn't mean it's the same for others of course. I acknowledge that satisfying this preference comes at the cost of having to constantly signal spoilers.

The evidence seems to be mixed, with successive experiments contradicting (or at least nuancing) one another, as a quick 'Spoilers reduce enjoyment' Google search shows. For example: https://www.livescience.com/amp/53126-spoilers-can-ruin-movie-enjoyment.html

I really appreciate your bringing this topic as it has allowed me to update in the direction of worrying less about the possibility of coming across a spoiler: upon further reflection, I conclude that, at least for me personally, they do not seem to affect my enjoyment as much as I thought they did, an... (read more)

4Mati_Roy1yNote that I meant to say that I personally really dislike spoilers despite the 'scientific' evidence saying that I don't. But it could very well be that the evidence is actually mixed (thanks for the link!); I hadn't looked into it more than seeing 1 or 2 papers shared on Facebook. You did that well:)

Studies that seem to show that the brain cannot estimate the loss of his abilities when it's missing sleep. Which has great implications to night driving for example and is definitely not intuitive.

Specific areas of the tongue act as sensors for specific tastes.