Study: U.S. judges give harsher sentences when their football team loses

Originally published at: Study: U.S. judges give harsher sentences when their football team loses | Boing Boing

Does anyone default to believing this sort of study anymore? I’m thinking of that judges before and after lunch one where it turns out that the effect was explained by the fact that judges didn’t schedule cases randomly, not that their moods were fundamentally different after food.

See, for example:

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This reminds me of “Testosterone changes during vicarious experiences of winning and losing among fans at sporting events.”

Also, too lazy to check it but someone got data from PornHub and showed that the losing team’s city experienced a significant spike in PornHub hits right after the game.

Obligatory book recommendation: The Secret Lives of Sports Fans, by Eric Simon.

Sadly yes, almost everyone defaults to believing this stuff. Usually they only read the headline and then start sharing it everywhere and telling everyone about it. Then it becomes a thing that everyone “knows” and nobody ever stops to ask if maybe the original paper was a piece of bullshit barfed out in an Econ journal that is, at best, a random correlation that someone found in a data set because they went looking for it.

This kind of garbage social science data mining is ruining a lot of things.


The casual use of AI art is bumming me out. I know the technology will be indistinguishable very soon but for the moment the uncanny valleyness of it all is upsetting.

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