Can You Identify Bad Brain Science?

Irecently received an email from a reader who had some questions about brain science and whether or not it is truly valid in the application of presentation skills. It was a great question that I was happy to address. As a result, I’ve put together some simple ways for you to sort out if I (or any other expert) is sharing “good” scientific research.

Ready to identify bad brain science for yourself? The following resources will help you filter the “bad” from the “good”.

Here’s My Top Three Tips…

  1. If something sounds a bit overhyped or simplistic—it very likely is “bad” science. That being said, if it is explained in a simple, easy-to-understand manner you shouldn’t discount it immediately. Just refer to tip #2.
  2. An explanation of scientific research can be manipulated to support any point by the person referencing that research. If you’re skeptical, find out who conducted the research and determine if the findings do indeed support that point as explained. It takes a bit of digging, but trustworthy experts will be happy to share the sources they’ve quoted. If they aren’t, you’ve got your answer.
  3. For the super-skeptic who absolutely must know that any source an expert quotes is valid, here’s what you can do…see if the research has come from a peer-reviewed publication. This means that several independent researchers have reviewed the findings and validated the information.

Now these three tips should satisfy most of us, but there are two really great infographic resources that have been created on this topic with more detail.

Check them out…

Resource #1: A Rough Guide To Spotting Bad Science


Resource #2: How To Spot Stellar Brain Science

Science Beyond The Abstract


How much of a skeptic are you when you hear presenters cite scientific research? Does it depend on the type of expert you’re hearing it from? Share your answer on Twitter or Facebook.