No, you won’t live longer just because you got a young spouse

In light of my recent post on the bullshit claim that married men live longer, I’d like to tear another oft-repeated and related claim to shreds. It is the claim that men live longer when they marry younger spouses. You’ll find plenty of sources on that. It goes back to an allegedly solid academic study.

First, let me point out that a lot of academic research is complete crap. There is so much bullshit floating around, it boggles my mind. I get that people want to earn degrees because employers want them. Yet, if you stay on for more than a Bachelor’s (in the US) or a Master’s (in Europe), I’m tempted to say that it’s more likely than not that you’re a member in training of the “idiot elite” class. Indeed, I would advise you to view every piece of “research” with a good dose of skepticism, instead of making statements like “studies have shown that…”.

Here is what one study has shown: men with (much) younger spouses live longer, which is then interpreted to mean that young spouses cause men to live longer. Again, this is completely fucking bogus. Instead, it is much more likely that only top-shelf men are able to get much younger women. You will need to be in superior health. Yeah, you can now say that money and power surely help, too, but those are, again, the consequence of excellent health. There is no way you are going to advance much in your career, or survive as an entrepreneur if you are some lazy piece of shit who can barely get off the couch to take a dump.

To point it out even more clearly: if you take a sample of guys in their mid-40s who have spouses who are at least 15 years younger than them, then it is safe to assume that those men are doing a lot better on a whole slew of metrics than a sample of all guys in their 40s. Thus, you will need to be a kick-ass dude to get a chick that could be your daughter. Conversely, if you are a loser and, I really wouldn’t know how, you managed to get a hot chick half your age, she would not prolong your life. Alas, Statistics 101 is too much for your average PhD in the many bullshit sciences these days, so let’s cut them some slack. Or not.

18 thoughts on “No, you won’t live longer just because you got a young spouse

  1. There was research last year I believe that showed (97%? or some ridiculous number like that) of all papers on social science are un-replicable.

    I might be completely butchering it. But I’m too lazy to google now. I just checked in here before going to sleep, lol.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised. There have been countless scandals in psychology. Even “textbook classics” like the Stanford Prison Experiment couldn’t be replicated. Other fields, like Social Psychology, are essentially done. Yet, lack of legitimacy hasn’t had any negative effect on Gender Studies departments.

    2. Stanford Prison Experiment is very hard to replicate because of the fame it received. Another issue is that such exact ‘experiment’ wouldn’t pass through todays ethical committee.

    3. Yet, lack of legitimacy hasn’t had any negative effect on Gender Studies departments.
      Facts are worth shit if they don’t make you feel good about yourself, or at least this is the running mindset in the West. There’s a reason why horoscopes and Tarot are still in vogue in fucking 2017.
      About bullshit science, isn’t the MBTI some form of pseudoscience? Judging by the fact that most of it stems from “self-evaluation”… Most actual psychological tests don’t involve questions about yourself, since psychologists know that most people have a distorted self-image, prone to inflate themselves or to self-hatred. Fucking hell, years ago I was a INTJ but now I’m supposed to be an INTP.

  2. I’m surprised you’re not addressing part of the picture here.

    Every Pschology and Scoiology student in the states takes a basic stats class their very first year at minimum. At accredited schools that class acts as a weed out course and the examinations are quite difficult. There, students learn the difference between causation and correlation quite well.

    The real Achilles heels of the social sciences/softer sciences – and even harder sciences – are funding and hubris. Studies that receive funding had better match the expectations of donors. Scientists that struggle and bleed to get funding for a topic few care about…their passion may lead them to sway research data or results, just to open the opportunity to funding for more testing (sad reality). When a study gets reported by the media or any tertiary source, a scientists carefully worded, hesitant statements become a journalists’ veritable facts.

    If science could operate without the influence of money or hubris (i.e. in a perfect world), then far more studies would be replicable.

    Alas….

    By the way, after our consulting sessions I had a little success. It was quickly overshadowed by the lady’s sudden lack of civility on multiple occasions. Later I discovered she was secretly wedded and apparently happily, too. It was a good reminder not to take anything at face value. Maybe the game is as good an educator as statistics, ha.

    1. The bigger picture is that a lot of those “scientists” look for confirmation of their biases instead of conducting proper research. In the social sciences, funding isn’t such a big issue. It’s a paycheck from the government, and those lefties can then “research” whatever they want. In the hard sciences, with industrial backing, or the DoD chipping in, it’s an entirely different situation, meaning that academics work on what they are told to.

    2. Let’s not forget about “the big circle jerk” aka. peer-review, where it’s more about the research with the “correct” view and results, getting through, rather then the quality of the science.

  3. I had never heard of the ‘marry younger spouse = prolong your life’. At the very least, I would think having a younger spouse would make you feel younger (or ‘manly’ or attractive) assuming the younger spouse has an SMV of 7 to 9.9. =D

    Your recent posts about crappy academic research papers are timely. In the ‘regular’ non-academia world, people are having to learn to detect “fake news”. I found this link about “how to spot fake news” although haven’t read it: http://bit.ly/2mR1WdH

    Makes me wonder if kids are being taught that establishment joints like New York Times are fake news….while blog.aaraonsleazy.com is where you get the truth! =D

    1. Yeah, the NYT (= Carlos Slim’s blog) is exactly the place I would go to for unbiased news. Of course I readily swallow their definition of fake news as well, seeing what an impeccable job they’ve done covering the last US presidential election and observing how impartial they are in covering the Trump administration.

  4. The inability to replicate findings is a serious deal for the social sciences and challenges them in an existential way. A good portion of the evidence in many fields is based upon doing a quantitative analysis of data. There is nothing wrong with this, per se, but you pretty cautious you are not equating correlation with causation, among other things.

    On an anecdotal level, I learned to be a bit skeptical about a lot of business research. A colleague worked on doing feasibility studies for business ventures, among other things. The vast majority of these studies were supportive of the proposed ventures, which struck me as funny as a lot of the ideas I had heard seemed kind of nuts. My friend looked at me and said: “Do you really think after somebody forks out piles of money for us to produce this big report that they are going to be happy with us telling them their idea sucks?”

    Later, I was doing some statistical stuff for a research project and was not getting the results I expected. My colleague talked about some common ways people “massage the data”. I was pretty leery, and he made another memorable comment: ” It is pretty tough to put all the time and effort into doing experiments and then have to admit your hypothesis was all wrong.”

  5. According to Ioannidis one of the world’s foremost experts on the credibility of medical research:
    “as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed”
    reference: http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2010/11/medical-science.html

    Aaron you might want to check out the above blog (the reference)- it’s Stephen Hsu’s blog- he’s a theoretical physicist and is now Michigan State University’s vice president for research and graduate studies. Additionally he is interested in psychometrics research and genetics research. In general he seems to share quite a few views with your blog…

    A little off topic- one might live longer if one goes vampire on the younger females ass: http://www.nature.com/news/ageing-research-blood-to-blood-1.16762

    1. Steven Hsu is a badass intellectual.

      The paper “Why most published research findings are false” by Ioannidis, which is cited in the first article you mention, is worth reading.

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