Publicly, Filippo de Strata fretted that the 'brothel of the printing press' would lead readers to cheap salacious entertainment...Privately, he may have been more concerned about his own job security.
The research studies that are reported in the popular press are not a random sample of those conducted or even of those published. The most surprising studies are the ones that mate the most exciting articles... When science writers cast scientific studies in popular language, they sometimes omit important caveats, offer stronger advice than is justified, present correlations as causal relationships, or extrapolate from findings in lab animals to suggest immediate application in humans
- Who is telling me this?
- How [do they] know it?
- What is this person trying to sell me? - Hint they are always trying to sell you something - you may not necessarily have to part with your money in order to "buy it"
Find out how comparisons are being made between x and y. Comparisons may be between two different kinds of things (apples to oranges) or there may be some arbitrary condition thrown in that skew the results
Statistics have been cherry picked so that readers will generalize, or an incomplete picture is drawn with only partial data reported. Go to the original source to get the real story. I actually practiced what I preached here with the story about abstract spin (above). Once I read the article in the in Inside Higer Ed I found the original study and read it, too.