02 August 2007
How Humans Make Friends
Author/Illustrator: Loreen Leedy
An alien comes back from an anthropological research trip to report its findings to an audience of alien colleagues. The presentation takes place in Auditorium B5, otherwise known as Mystery Science Theater 3000. Unfortunately, the report "How Humans Make Friends" hardly qualifies as academically rigorous, as it is based mostly on anecdotal evidence. Nowhere in the study does the alien researcher mention some basic attributes of solid research such as valid sample sizes or accounting for construct irrelevant variance, and there isn't even the slightest hint of any attempt to gather longitudinal data.
Nevertheless, the report does shed some light on the bizarre behavioral patterns of human beings. And one can hardly blame the alien for its low academic standards. It was only visiting our planet for a short while. Even humans who study humans for their entire lives are unable to come up with much in the way of groundbreaking revelations.
Just yesterday, newspapers all over the country were reporting on two University of Texas professors who released a report detailing the motivations behind sexual activity.
From the Washington Post: "College-aged men and women agree on their top reasons for having sex: they were attracted to the person, they wanted to experience physical pleasure and "it feels good," according to a peer-reviewed study in the August edition of Archives of Sexual Behavior."
HOLY CRAP! STOP THE PRESSES!!!
(Disclaimer: The Archives of Sexual Behavior is housed in the Library of Shit We Already Knew.)
So college kids are having sex because "it feels good." Thank you Academia for clearing that up for us. Having blown the lid off of this whopper, Dr. David Buss and Dr. Cindy Meston will next unravel more of mankind's most persistent mysteries with three papers to be released in the upcoming months:
-People Eat Chocolate Because It Tastes Good: A Scientific Examination of the Yumminess Factor
-Hands: Good For Holding Things
-Puppies Are Cute: A Control Group Study Outside of Starbucks
Inter-rater Reliability Note: While Dr. Meston looks relatively credible (with a kinda scary, kinda intriguing dominatrix vibe), take a look at Dr. David Buss:
Now, he doesn't look like the kind of guy who would design a research project as an excuse to talk to nubile undergraduates and ask them detailed questions about their sex lives, does he?
Hey baby, why don't we go back to my place and finish this survey over a glass of chardonnay and some Baudelaire?
I'm not trying to start any rumors. I'm just saying... be wary of tainted data.