Monday, April 6, 2009

Stupid Research Conclusions

Fairly often as I research for stuff I am writing I will come across something that makes me hope people are critical in their thinking. Here is an example:

This is a story on sales incentives -- headline, and conclusion reads: “Any Incentive Is Better Than No Incentive at All”

Here is the short version of the study which led to this conclusion:
The 45-person sales organization was divided into three groups of equal size and took part in a sales contest but with a different reward.

Key findings: “The results indicate that the group with the travel/entertainment incentives performed best, followed by the group with the cash incentive and, lastly, by the merchandise incentives. However, say the authors, “Although the merchandise incentive did not produce as large an increase in new clients as the trip/entertainment and cash incentives, it is clear that any incentives are better than nothing at all.”

Really? It may be true that "any incentive is better than nothing at all", but this study certainly did not show that since none of the groups had no incentive. Bad research!!
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