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Myths debunked in mission to explain science validation

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Posted December 16, 2013
Myths debunked in mission to explain science validation
The Mozart music and intelligence study is an example of how one scientific study does not make a final conclusion. Credit: Jackson Latka
Sugar is not the cause of hyperactivity in children, nor does classical music make babies smarter but some scientific evidence does exist supporting the popular notions that mobile phones, tight underwear and bike riding really could reduce sperm health.

 

These are the ‘verdicts’ prominent WA autism researcher and UWA Winthrop Professor Andrew Whitehouse reaches in his new book Will Mozart Make My Baby Smart.

In it Prof Whitehouse has taken some of the world’s most common myths around pregnancy and childbirth and tested their validity using worldwide scientific research around them.

And while some of the myths have a basis in science, Prof Whitehouse warns one scientific study does not make a conclusion.

“It is entirely possible that a research team may design the most rigorous study that includes all the necessary checks and control, and the result is still a fluke,” he says.

“Replication of the study findings is just as important as the initial result.”

The Mozart music and intelligence study is an example. A 1993 study of 33 college students at the University of California found Mozart’s music had made the students smarter; each participant’s IQ was eight to nine points higher after listening to the classical music than when measured after students had sat in silence or listened to a relaxation tape instead.

Read more at: Phys.org

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