Yes — if you don’t know much math, that is. A new study finds that even academic scholars perceived research to be of higher quality if there’s some math involved — even if the math makes no sense. The experiment threw an irrelevant mathematical equation into research paper abstracts, and asked scholars of different fields to evaluate the quality of the research:
Mathematics is a fundamental tool of research. Although potentially applicable in every discipline, the amount of training in mathematics that students typically receive varies greatly between different disciplines. In those disciplines where most researchers do not master mathematics, the use of mathematics may be held in too much awe. To demonstrate this I conducted an online experiment with 200 participants, all of which had experience of reading research reports and a postgraduate degree (in any subject).