Another terse paper

January 6, 2011 • 6:09 am

Here’s another prize-winning and LOLzy scientific paper.  This one, from The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, was sent to me by pinch-blogger Greg Mayer with the comment:

Here’s a paper that surpasses ‘Nobody’s perfect’. It’s one of my all time favorites. The economy of expression is breathtaking. If brevity is the soul of wit, this is the wittiest paper ever.

(Click to enlarge; the pdf is free online here.)

29 thoughts on “Another terse paper

  1. There was also a follow up paper in response to this one. Too lazy to search for it on my non-‘smart’ phone.

  2. When I pointed this article out to a friend a couple of months back, she said she was going to cite it in her Phd. It has been cited – In fact there were ‘follow up’ , er, ‘studies’…
    Molloy, G.N.
    The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block”: A replication
    (1983) Perceptual and Motor Skills, 57, p. 566.
    Skinner, N.F., Perlini, A.H., Fric, L., Werstine, E.P., Calla, J.
    The unsuccessful group-treatment of “writer’s block”
    (1985) Perceptual and Motor Skills, 61, p. 298.
    Skinner, N.F., Perlini, A.H.
    The unsuccessful group treatment of “writer’s block”: A ten-year follow-up
    Perceptual and Motor Skills
    Volume 82, Issue 1, February 1996, Page 138
    The unsuccessful group treatment of “writer’s block”: A ten-year follow-up

    I hope to see it cited in many more articles!

    1. We need to have a way to distinguish actual writer’s block for the several score persons who regularly comment here, from the rest of known universe, who also do not comment here. Clearly, further research is required, but I am at a loss as to where to begin.

  3. I was going to send that one to you. My writer’s group passed that around just a few weeks ago.

    Funny how these things pop up suddenly and then reappear like ripples in a pond.

  4. I remember hearing about a university that required all prospective students to furnish an essay that described themselves in 2,000 words or less. One successful applicant merely wrote: “Concise.”

  5. “Reprints may be obtained from Denis Upper…”

    I should contact him the next time I don’t know what to say. Then again, my office supplier may have already sent me a whole box of his reprints by mistake.

  6. It’s actually plagiarized from a paper called “It Works: A comprehensive presentation of the evidence for Homeopathy”.

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