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Rehab for (recovering) academics.
Academic Pediatric Journal Attacks Music! 
22nd-Jan-2013 01:22 pm
happy in ohsix
Okay, perhaps attack is the wrong word - but I thought this might start some interesting conversation - especially if there are some music fans on this forum. See link to article below:

23rd-Jan-2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
I'll admit - I could only bring myself to read the abstract. But, uhhhhh, no? There is probably a 3rd variable (SES, family situation, mental health status, peer group, whatever) that causes both the music listening and the delinquency.

"Mean gender differences in delinquency and in the growth curve of music genre preferences were cor- rected by regressing these variables on adolescent gender. Likewise, to correct for school commitment, educational level, and adolescent personality type, growth factors of music preferences and observed scores of delinquency were regressed on these covariates."

My first observation still stands - seems like I case of "we chose these covariates because they didn't make our results go away."

Edited at 2013-01-23 03:01 pm (UTC)
23rd-Jan-2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
I couldn't get past the abstract either, because wtf? It sounded like the study from the 50s that showed juvenile delinquents read comic books, therefore comic books cause delinquency. I mean, I *hope* the actual study understands the difference between correlation and causation, but I expect to see some evidence of a better methodology than that even in the abstract.

Also, who *doesn't* listen to one of those genres today? You include rock and African American music (rap *and* hip hop *and* jazz *and* gospel???) and there's hardly anyone who doesn't listen to some form of those genres even if they also like pop or country too.

Keep an eye out, though - next week I'm publishing my study that proves being alive today is a marker of delinquency later in life.
23rd-Jan-2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
It sounded like the study from the 50s that showed juvenile delinquents read comic books, therefore comic books cause delinquency.

Well, duh. Isn't it obvious? That's how we also know that fluoridated water causes [insert social problem here].
24th-Jan-2013 12:08 am (UTC)
My first response was "what a crock of shit" but I thought if I tried to post with that headline, it might get deleted.
24th-Jan-2013 12:05 am (UTC)
At first I could only bring myself to read the abstract as well - then I read the whole thing - and my first observation did not change either. Great example of "when research goes awry"
23rd-Jan-2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I can't hear you over the Anthrax I'm blasting.
24th-Jan-2013 12:09 am (UTC)
23rd-Jan-2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
Black kids who like black music turn out to be delinquents! That isn't stereotyped racism, it is scientific fact! Black kids are delinquents!

I love examples of bad methods, confirmation biases, and other signifiers of racism, classism, etc, in academic work. Thanks for sharing!.
23rd-Jan-2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
Reading further: the study was conducted in the Netherlands, so that explains some of the latent racism. But if you get to the discussion (worth it!) you'll find gems like the fact that previous research shows that adolescents who are alienated from their families and rely upon peer support more than familial support are more likely to listen to deviant music and more likely to be delinquents later. Ok, that makes sense, and we've found our confounding variable: social alienation. But no! Not to these idiots who obviously failed their sociology classes on the way to med school! To identify and prevent adolescent delinquency, we must monitor and correct for deviant music choices, not work on social alienation among 12 year olds.


Still saving this one for a methods and/or deviance class.
23rd-Jan-2013 08:20 pm (UTC)
latent racism

You're so polite with your qualifying adjectives. ;)
24th-Jan-2013 12:14 am (UTC)
I think this is a great example of what not to do/what does not work that could be used in research methods classes.
24th-Jan-2013 04:18 am (UTC)
Exactly. It could be kind of fun, for each kind of research mistake you find in this article, you get five points. Which ever team of students comes up with the most points wins.
24th-Jan-2013 04:05 pm (UTC)
Sounds like my first year doctoral seminar...
23rd-Jan-2013 04:12 pm (UTC)
It amazes me what drivel medical journals are willing to publish.
24th-Jan-2013 12:15 am (UTC)
No kidding, eh?
23rd-Jan-2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
My problem is that they list jazz under "highbrow" but not "African American."

23rd-Jan-2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
Everyone knows Mozart invented jazz.
23rd-Jan-2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
White people invented everything cool.
23rd-Jan-2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
That explains the jazz concert at the symphony hall that I attended last night!
23rd-Jan-2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
Heh. I came in here to comment on the fact that I couldn't make it past the first page because they offer "rock" and "African American music" as distinct categories.

I get that they're medical doctors, but you'd think they would have at least consulted with a musicologist before publishing something like this.

ETA: c.f. EDM as distinct from African American music. Because Detroit techno never happened.

Edited at 2013-01-23 08:11 pm (UTC)
23rd-Jan-2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
24th-Jan-2013 12:18 am (UTC)
Oh, the music categorizing is a joke! It seems almost completely random.
24th-Jan-2013 04:20 am (UTC)
It is from the "make shit up as you go along" school of research methods.
23rd-Jan-2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
I like the conflation between "high brow" and "complex" on page 2. I love me some highbrow singer-songwriters, but I'd hardly label them as "complex" next to a lot of the polyvocality that dominates R&B or the layered samples in EDM.
24th-Jan-2013 12:26 am (UTC)
What if you have rap that samples from jazz? Or has no lyrics? Would the Beastie Boys instrumental albums be considered high brow rap?
24th-Jan-2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
They don't control for ANYTHING. They analyze whether there are gender differences, but then don't control for them! When they clearly found differences in several of the genres! Edit: Ok, they did control for gender. I missed that somehow. But not a million other things that would be very relevant.

Also, I cannot believe that they make this statement: "In addition, experimental work has shown that exposure to deviant media
can affect deviant behaviors." without a SINGLE CITATION. WTF.

There are so many problems here I can't even. Yet I'm sure the media will love this study.

Edited at 2013-01-24 03:06 pm (UTC)
27th-Jan-2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
It's hard to believe that this got published in a pretty prestigious U.S. medical journal. Did the reviewers even read the manuscript?
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