Well, it certainly wouldn’t get published in an academic journal, but it’s certainly not as far-fetched as it seemed from the press releases.
Notably, it’s described as a ‘pilot study’ which is often a test-run study done by scientists to try out methods, equipment, ideas or get some initial data.
The email from Dr David Lewis noted that it was for a larger piece of research investigating the role of certain food stuffs in enhancing vigilance in groups whose performance often seriously, and sometimes fatally, affected by fatigue – such as long distance drivers and combat troops.
After reading the report, the premise still seems a bit daft (melting chocolate vs kissing? why?), the number of participants low (only 12), the methods not as robust as they could be and the data presented as summary graphs only with no statistical analysis.
But, for the first time ever for a ‘PR study’, I was provided details of the study when they were requested, so at least I can see that for myself.
Whether it’s healthy that research labs should be ‘selling’ pilot studies (which can’t really be used to draw any firm conclusions) for the advertising industry to promote as science is another matter.
The report is available from The Mind Lab on request.
Link to The Mind Lab.