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If you’re “searching for things on the Internet” or “watching YouTube videos” or “reading articles,” some say you aren’t “doing your own research” but merely “consuming content.”

This plays well with the peanut gallery because, as Aldous Huxley noted, the opportunity to maltreat others with good conscience, to misbehave as a form of “righteous indignation,” is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.⁣

What is “research,” though?⁣

The hecklers will often say something like, “it’s skillfully reviewing every study you can find on the matter and determining the balance of the evidence.”⁣

If you consult a dictionary, though, research is “studious inquiry or examination.”

Ferreting around on the internet to find things to watch, read, and listen to is in fact “doing research,” then. The crux, however, is how you go about it. Are you doing good research? ⁣

And that requires more than just scientific literacy. ⁣

So, can you “do good research” if you’re not an educated specialist? Listen to this podcast to find out.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps! 

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Hey there, and welcome to another episode of Muscle Four Life. I’m Mike Matthews and thank you for joining me today. And if you like my podcast, if this is not your first episode and you are back for more, and if you come back for more regularly, Go ahead and subscribe to the show in whatever app you are listening to, because then new episodes will be queued up for easy review and listening.

And it’ll help me because it will boost the rankings of the show on the various charts. And that of course, then helps other people find me and my work. Alright, so this episode is some commentary on a popular meme in the evidence-based fitness space as well as the. Based medicine space, and it goes like this.

If you are searching for things on the internet, if you are watching YouTube videos or reading articles, you’re not doing your own research, but merely consuming. Content, an activity that is about as enlightening as fondling yourself while arguing with Chinese bots on Twitter. And this sentiment plays well with the peanut gallery because as S Huxley noted, the opportunity to maltreat others with good conscience to misbehave as a form of righteous indignation is the.

Of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats, and so there’s much hooting and honking about the Ben Knighted searchers of things on the internet, the watchers of YouTube videos and the readers of articles. . Now, William James once said that the deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated, and stuff like this makes me wonder if he had also considered the craving to feel superior.

Anyway, this whole construct is so absurd that it hardly deserves attention. Why don’t we gut it anyway and see what we can learn from its end trails. So what is research? Well, if you ask the dumb, dumb dummies, they’ll say something like, research is skillfully reviewing every study you can find on the matter, and then determining the balance of the evidence, blah, blah, blah, blah.

So, basical. Unless you are a trained scientist with more time on your hands than an un vaxxed Aussie under permanent lockdown, you are simply incapable of doing research and coming to good conclusions, but only consuming content and continuing to be clueless. Sorry. In reality, reviewing scientific studies is one method of research, and ironically, if we take the offending line of thinking to its logical, extreme scientists reading scientific research, they did not.

Conduct themselves is dubious because what if biases in design, data analysis and presentation produced false findings? What if data was dredged or falsified? What if null findings on the topic were never published? Many times there’s no way to know whether someone else’s research is genuine and accurate.

So scrupulous study of scientific research can lead even the most endowed experts astray. Now you could say that despite its shortcomings, skilled scientific scrutiny is more likely to produce accurate outcomes than other haphazard methods of research. But then you’d only be making my next point for me, which begins with the definition of research.

So the. Dictionary says it is the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. Websters says it is studious inquiry or examination with studious, meaning marked by or suggesting purposefulness or diligence and even. The collecting of information about a particular subject.

That is another definition of research that is relevant here. So right away then we’ve learned that ferreting around on the internet to find things, to watch, read, and listen to is in fact doing research. The crux, however, is how you go about it, how you go about watching, reading and listening. Are you doing good research?

And that requires more than just scientific literacy, which anyone can learn by the way. You have to understand the grammar of logic and rhetoric. You have to seek and consider the strongest counterpoints to your preferred theories and beliefs. It helps to be conversant in assorted mental models, philosophical razors, and cognitive forcing strategies.

There are many ways then for science-minded folk and lay people alike to do horrendously bad. Research selection biases, confirmation biases, dis confirmation biases, conformity biases, availability biases, selective skepticism, faulty generalization. The list yammers on to suggest, however, that only formally educated specialists are capable of doing good research is like suggesting that only hookers are capable of a good t.

So if we were to recast this meme to make it more truthful, it would declare that many people aren’t good at doing their own research and could benefit from some metacognitive refinement. But where’s the fun in that? No righteous indignation, no psychological luxury, no moral. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode.

I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or. Wherever you’re listening to me from, in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because that not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility, and thus, it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and happier as well.

And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and you won’t miss out on any new stuff. And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at mike muscle for Just muscle f o r and share your thoughts on how I can do this better.

I read everything myself, and I’m always looking for constructive feedback, even if it is c. I’m open to it and of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email. That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at muscle

And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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