New study reveals that 40 per cent of research is done out of spite

Illustration by Max Foss
Illustration by Max Foss

Take that, everyone

By Klara Woldenga, Humour Editor
A newly published study has revealed that 40 per cent of all scientific research is driven by a surprising force: Spite.

“After we compiled all the data, it was clear; research doesn’t lie,” said Jane Alden, head of the scientific group that spearheaded the study. “It seems the prime goal of a lot of scientists isn’t to seek further knowledge or the bettering the planet, but to prove someone else wrong due to their own personal emotional baggage.”

According to the research, this baggage can be triggered by many things, such as getting cut off in traffic, being wrongly called out on Facebook, or having a co-worker use the last of the milk without replacing it or saying anything, even though there is only one other person in the work space, so it was obviously them.

The study interviewed over 400 Canadian scientists in varied disciplines and levels of education over the course of three years. Data was collected through one-on-one interviews consisting of questions that allowed participants to answer them on a scale of one to ten. The survey also recorded how many times the participants clenched their fists, slammed the table, or shouted at the ceiling “I’LL SHOW THEM! I’LL SHOW THEM ALL!!!”

The study also found that, ironically, members of the soft sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Political Science) had more zealous, spiteful motivations compared to people belonging to the hard sciences (Physics, Biology, Mathematics).

“This study is ridiculous,” stated Social Psychology scientist at Langara College, Chris Jarden. “We are scientists; there’s zero room for ego-based interactions here. The fact that Jack keeps on parking his Hummer in my space and eating part of my lunches despite my protests has no bearing on my recent decision to shift my PhD focus from the psychology of Vancouver bus passengers to how large personal vehicles increases our false sense of entitlement.”

The only sample groups unable to be reached for the study were scientists discovering the psychological effects of not answering calls, emails, or texts, along with a small group of scientists studying the global effects of being extremely unhelpful.

“We were really hoping to get data from those two demographics,” stated Alden. “But, you have to admire their dedication to the research.” Alden is hoping that this research will help scientists take a step back and think about their motivations, as “keeping a clear, revenge-free mind lowers the risk of becoming an evil genius.”

When asked what inspired her to do this study, Alden refused to reveal her own reasons stating only that “It’s really none of your business. If I answered that question it would take away from the scientific importance of this research.”