Bragging on Facebook better than sex ?

13 May

I’m always on the lookout for items that might engage students’ interest, and when I came across this Daily Mail story about ‘bragging on Facebook feeling better than sex’ it seems like I’d found the perfect source material.

As ever, popular science reporting very rarely links to their original sources and in this case didn’t even say where the original paper was published. After a bit of googling I found the original paper, and that’s where this story gets a little more interesting. The paper, from Harvard psychologists Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell only mentions Twitter once, in passing, in the introduction and doesn’t mention Facebook at all even though it’s the headline of the Mail article

I have no idea whether the Mail’s Facebook focus is a result of their interpretation of the paper or possible an overly vigourous press release from Harvard, but what is useful from a teaching perspective is that this story illustrators how important it is to read the original source. A reasonable reading of the Mail story would suggest that Facebook and Twitter had been part of the original , where actually Facebook didn’t appear at all and Twitter only in passing.

One Response to “Bragging on Facebook better than sex ?”


  1. Contradicting your own headlines (and other stories) « Teaching Rational Thinking - May 14, 2012

    […] I’ve written recently about newspaper science stories that seem to bear little resemblance to …, but I’ve just come across an example where the headline and the text of the story seem to actively disagree with each other ! […]

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