Resource: How to Read a Scientific Study

It’s quite common for someone to point to research to support a claim or position. While this is certainly a wise approach when discussing topics, more often than not, research citations are used incorrectly and/or without a solid understanding of how scientific research works and what the results of a single paper mean within the context of the entire body of literature on that subject.

This excellent piece from Examine.com provides a primer for properly reading, interpreting, and applying scientific research.


From the article:

Marketing claims backed by “scientific evidence” pervade the health and fitness industry. Supplement manufacturers sell compounds like green coffee extract (on which there is barely any human research) as if their effects were as well-established as those of creatine (on which there are hundreds of human trials). Sometimes, following the paper trail of a marketing claim does lead to a real, published study — but not all studies are created equal. To avoid wasting money on ineffective products, you need to be able to assess different aspects of a study, such as its credibility, its applicability, and the clinical relevance of the effects reported.

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