The weird world of academic research: The odd papers we find...

The weird world of academic research


As you can imagine we get to see an awful lot of research at The Oxford Review. The studies we read tend to fall into a series of categories:

  1. Great, this is good research and it’s useful
  2. Good research – but it’s not much use to practitioners
  3. This is reasonable research and there is something worth exploring here…
  4. Looks interesting but those figures / data look a bit suspect
  5. Boring – yawn
  6. You spent time researching THIS? You need to get out more.
  7. Are you serious? How did this get published??
  8. Er… I’m not even sure where to start with this one
  9. Hahaha my ribs hurt



This week we came across a study that left us a mixture of curious, aghast, bemused and wryly amused. Now before I start I do not wish to be mean to fellow researchers, especially people whose first language isn’t english, but…

The title of the study was the first thing that caught our attention:

Assessing Noise-Exposure and Daily Habits Can Cause Hearing Loss among Ladies Club at Nightclub


Daily habits


We all had that ‘double take’ moment “What?

Then the sound of sudden bursts of laughter exploding cascaded around the office – “Have you seen this?”


“Daily habits can cause hearing loss in a Ladies Club” Seriously?? 

Bahahaha… oh my sides….


The abstract just added to the mirth quotient. It’s worth reading in it’s entirety:

“The majority problem in the workplace is about occupational noise-exposure. Health problem caused by noise becomes one of the important issues that must be observed. Nightclub owners often forgot about the health of their workers, especially hearing problem. The workers who works at nightclub are exposed to noise every time will putting their hearing at risk. The study aims to classify into levels of noise exposure, classify into levels of hearing loss, and assessing daily habits that can cause hearing loss. This research was cross-sectional study, where 62 ladies club were participated. As for the measurement in this study was used two methods such as: the tools (sound level meter for measuring intensity of noise exposure, audiometer for hearing problem), and questionnaires were assessed for daily habits. The mean of noise at nightclub was 107.22 dBA. A total of 51 workers (82.3%) had hearing loss (mostly at the level of mild 45 workers, and 6 workers in the level of moderate), while 11 respondents (17.7%) did not experience any hearing loss (normal). The statistical test found that hobby and smoke were strongest predictor may affect to hearing loss (p value < 0.05). Intensity noise all of nightclub exceeds the threshold value where the workers are works more than 4 hours a day. There are no management at nightclub doing regularly inspections the worker’s ear. Doing the job rotation system it was a good solution to prevent from hearing loss.”




There are a number of funny things to point at here however I will just confine myself to the more scientific…

Now whilst damage to hearing in night clubs and other places of work is a serious issue and we in no way make light of that issue but… and again, at the risk of being labelled mean – the finding that “statistical test found that hobby and smoke were strongest predictor may affect to hearing loss” well that is a category 6,7 and 8 statement!

Whilst I am more than a little  intrigued as to what ‘Hobby’ in a ‘ladies club’ might entail, smoke as a predictor of hearing loss??? Eh? I suspect someone doesn’t quite understand the difference between a correlation and a causal relationship.

The Trump Immortality Hypothesis

There is a near perfect correlation between the observation that every day we have observed President Trump, he was breathing. But to then say that the advent of days, predict President Trump breathing … its called the Trump Immortality Hypothesis, well…

Lastly, I was left with the image of Ladies club / nightclub managers’ (who are known for their expertise in auditory damage) inspecting peoples ears…. “Yep they still all have two”…


(Apologies to the researchers but…)

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David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Review. He is also acknowledged to be one of the world's leading experts in dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty and developing emotional resilience. David teaches and conducts research at a number of universities including the University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division, Cardiff University, Oxford Brookes University School of Business and many more. He has worked with many organisations as a consultant and executive coach including Schroders, where he coaches and runs their leadership and management programmes, Royal Mail, Aimia, Hyundai, The RAF, The Pentagon, the governments of the UK, US, Saudi, Oman and the Yemen for example. In 2010 he developed the world's first and only model and programme for developing emotional resilience across entire populations and organisations which has since become known as the Fear to Flow model which is the subject of his next book. In 2012 he drove a 1973 VW across six countries in Southern Africa whilst collecting money for charity and conducting on the ground charity work including developing emotional literature in children and orphans in Africa and a number of other activities. He is the author of The Ambiguity Advanatage: What great leaders are great at, published by Palgrave Macmillian. See more: About: About David Wikipedia: David's Wikipedia Page