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  • Beth Bradford

Please...Investigate Your Sources

Don't get me wrong, I love writing on Medium. I think it's an easy way to get much of my work read beyond my followers on Facebook or Instagram.


However, reading through many of the stories makes me really cringe. There are a lot of people who give their opinions on health, politics, and religion without really thinking about the implications of their words. Rather than conduct some good research, they'll read a blog about a research study, or just a blog or YouTube video, and they'll "report" on how people can apply it to their lives.





For instance, I just read an article from a writer with "Dr." in her title. Granted, I, myself, have my Ph.D., but that doesn't give me liberty to write and speak freely about any and all subjects related to science or medicine. Instead, I look at research studies and use them as sources so that readers can check the research studies themselves for their validity and reliability.


Anyway...this article referred to a research study on Functional Imagery Training for weight loss. I won't refer to the article that I read because I don't want to validate it here. However, note that to explain FIT, I linked to a group of psychological researchers who study it. I don't practice it myself, but if someone wants to know more about it, I provide the link to it.


This unreliable article discussed research, but the article never linked back to the research study itself. She didn't mention the authors' name nor the title of the article. This "research study" could have been a personal blog about someone's personal experience after reading about FIT.


However, the writer DID link to her own "course" on this type of training. The "course" itself refers to "a" research study (as in ONE) as the background for this course. Therefore, this article was merely a promotion for the course. WHAT???


Then, if you go to her actual website, she offers services in "coaching," but she doesn't list any of her credentials. In her "about me," she writes that she's a chiropractor, although she doesn't give any indication of where she studied. She also claims to be a "certified life coach," but really, what the f@%k does that mean? Where did you get this certification? CertifiedLifeCoach.com? Pay $2000 for a certification to an entrepreneur who thinks that this is a real thing? Sheesh.


If I provide advice, it's rooted in one of two things. First, I offer my own experience with a method. If it's effective for me, I caution that it's just an N of 1--meaning that it's just worked for me. My experience might be different from yours. I have tried many different training and health techniques over the years. Some work for me, some do not. CBD oil does not work for me, but I can't say that it won't work for you.


Second, whenever possible, I offer peer-reviewed research about a method or technique. Granted, some practices have been passed down for generations by yogis, monks, or saints. This allows people to understand that I just didn't make this up. People can look up these sources to see if they are valid ones. If I just link back to more blogs or social media, then it just hurts my credibility.


In sum, whenever you come across this "quick fix" for weight loss, attracting a mate or stress reduction, check the sources of writers. If they aren't transparent in their expertise or sources, question their credibility. It might just be a scam to lure you to their paid products. Block them and move on.

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