Dr. Aaron Sell, a researcher at the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, has been hearing from a lot of old friends and colleagues over the past couple of weeks—and he’s not happy about it.
The calls and e-mails are flowing in thanks to a January 17 article published in London’s Sunday Times that prominently featured Dr. Sell’s research. (…)
The story quotes Dr. Sell as saying, “We expected blondes to feel more entitled than other young women — this is southern California, the natural habitat of the privileged blonde. What we did not expect to find was how much more warlike they are than their peers on campus.”
Here’s the problem: Dr. Sell’s research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PDF), had nothing to do with blondes. (…)
Scientific findings are often perverted by a press interested in simple, clear narratives that either support or debunk popular conceptions.
Occasionally, we just get things completely backwards.