ScienceAlert: This is disturbing but not unexpected. In fact it conforms to my expectations. Many (if not most) of the interesting (novel) scientific results reported in the popular press are exaggerated or just plain wrong.
…this is due to the reporting of ‘false discoveries’ – hard-to-reproduce results that are kind of like noise in scientific data, but which are singled out for reporting by scientists in their papers because they’re new, sensational, or somehow surprising.
These kinds of findings capture our human interest because of their novelty and shock factor – but they risk damaging the credibility of science, especially since scientists feel under pressure to embellish or skew their papers towards making these kinds of impressions.
The linked article explains how this happens even with the best of intentions if the incentives are skewed. I also believe there is a great deal of confirmation bias.
This is one of my grave concerns about evidence based treatment. Of course it sounds right that treatment should be tested and scientifically valid. The problem is our science is not all that reliable. It becomes a case of whose evidence. It is easy to imagine different evidence coming from different research groups funded by insurance carriers or manufacturers or the ADA.