Sunday, March 14, 2010

Marriage expert debunked

John Gottman claims to have a method of analyzing marriage, but this article shoots it down:
Then, three to six years later, Gottman's team checked on the same couples' marital status and announced that based on the coding of the tapes, they could predict with 83 percent accuracy which ones were divorced. ...

Malcolm Gladwell devoted most of a chapter to him in his huge best-seller Blink. In a 2007 survey asking psychotherapists to elect the 10 most influential members of their profession over the last quarter-century, Gottman was only one of four who made the cut who wasn't deceased. "Many in the field now believe that most of what we know about marriage and divorce comes from his work," states an article accompanying the Top 10 list.
Sounds amazing, but the research is worthless. Andrew Gelman agrees that the claims are bogus.

This is another example of Gladwell's junk. He has sold millions of dollars worth of book with convincing explanations, but it is snake oil.

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