Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
The nonsense math effect
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
2012 (English)In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 7, 746-749 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Mathematics is a fundamental tool of research. Although potentially applicable in every discipline, the amount oftraining in mathematics that students typically receive varies greatly between different disciplines. In those disciplineswhere most researchers do not master mathematics, the use of mathematics may be held in too much awe. To demonstratethis I conducted an online experiment with 200 participants, all of which had experience of reading research reports anda postgraduate degree (in any subject). Participants were presented with the abstracts from two published papers (one inevolutionary anthropology and one in sociology). Based on these abstracts, participants were asked to judge the qualityof the research. Either one or the other of the two abstracts was manipulated through the inclusion of an extra sentencetaken from a completely unrelated paper and presenting an equation that made no sense in the context. The abstract thatincluded the meaningless mathematics tended to be judged of higher quality. However, this "nonsense math effect" wasnot found among participants with degrees in mathematics, science, technology or medicine.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 7, 746-749 p.
Keyword [en]
unintelligibility, mathematics, humanities, social science, quality of research
National Category
Cultural Studies Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-82909DiVA: diva2:573051
Available from: 2013-01-18 Created: 2012-11-29 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Fulltext(172 kB)760 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 172 kBChecksum SHA-512
a7c802fd3942873dee58ae2cd42acace3ccf03ee948eda30e5318518fc9ad87fb9d61e5380bf94dca5d7d8a7aed994d8abcd4741d399a2905c0a6f6525e761cb
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution
In the same journal
Judgment and decision making
Cultural StudiesPsychology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 760 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 1305 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf