The Four Most Dangerous Words? A New Study Shows | Laura Arnold | TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue

  • Published on May 30, 2017
  • Laura Arnold, co-chair of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, describes how junk science is harming all of us, personally and as a society, and offers ideas for how philanthropists and policymakers can incorporate rigorous research into efforts to solve pressing problems.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 469

  • Bikinihaul sell_bikinis

    If you redo 100 experiments to check if the results match the claims then you will not have a 1/2-1/3 match. You will have an exact percentage. So that claim is doubtfull. In fact, it is likely very hard to redo 100 experiments, so hard it is unlikely they did this.

  • nathan haltom
    nathan haltom 2 months ago

    Inductive reasoning is a poison to our world, deductive reasoning is the cure.

  • Prot
    Prot 2 months ago +3

    I firmly think before ANYONE is able to access scientific research, classes like research methodology + statistics should be mandatory.
    I mean look at the comments for this video - people are listing ridiculous problems with research and injecting politics as proof of scientific corruption like it's exceedingly common... But had they taken the time to learn how to recognize a viable study, or actually understood what an Alpha level/CI represented, or was able to recognize defensive writing and what that implies and where it's used, this wouldn't be an issue.
    So many people here expect "Yes or no" answers from research, instead of the gradient of "How well does my evidence support my hypothesis". Then they're absolutely shocked and outraged simply because they didn't understand how to read the data.
    Tell me, when any of you "read" a scientific paper, how many of you just simply read the intro and the conclusion on the first page? Those are meant to be PRIMERS, NOT ACTIONABLE SUMMARIES.
    How many of you pay attention to the methods section? How about the statistics represented on graphs? Confidence interval?
    The biggest problem is we have uneducated people getting their hands on data they can't understand, because they think they don't need to know how to read it to learn from it.
    If everyone KNEW how to read a research study, this wouldn't even be an issue.

  • Prot
    Prot 2 months ago

    "Science is not real"
    "The earth is flat"
    "Infant vaccines cause autism"
    "Moon landing was faked"
    "We don't need education"
    "The Bible tells us"

  • Jani Plummer
    Jani Plummer 2 months ago +1

    Laura was it necessary to publicly discredit Amy Cuddy? Not cool. A philanthropist's work should be rooted in kindness and building people up. Antony Robbins and Mandela are role models who would start their ted talk by sharing their story. I agree with you that new studies are sharing harmful research which ends up gaining destructive momentum. On a macro level a platform would be required to check the credibility of the research being published and issue a rating of accuracy. Perhaps a network of various authorization (similar to cryptocurrencies, but using qualified researchers to verify) would be a solution. However this would require funding. On a micro level I believe individuals should be taught how to research correctly by using reputable platforms which are available. This is indeed an exciting space where you can make an impact.

  • Pichkalu Pappita
    Pichkalu Pappita 2 months ago

    4 dangerous words you ask....

  • martino amello
    martino amello 2 months ago

    Hmmm..I wonder if the rise of people with folded arms looking snootily down at everyone correlates with this so called power posing.. Nothing is more inspiring than some phony pretending they're superior to the rest of us.. By the way, snootily is my new 83 dollar word of the day..

  • Daniel Luke
    Daniel Luke 2 months ago


  • 555Trout
    555Trout 3 months ago

    All science is political. The myth of objective science must be ended.
    The best we can do is have a variety of sourced and decide from there.
    Her notion of what "works"is eminently open to opinion. Humans are never "objective".

  • Mariah  Coverston
    Mariah Coverston 5 months ago

    This lady has jacked up her face. It's difficult to look at her let alone pay any attention to her talk. I always think they had to look better before the "I know, let's make me look like a plastic lizard procedure".

  • Sibyl Saint
    Sibyl Saint 5 months ago

    Power posing works wonders. I'm kinda pissed now. It has actually saved my life.

  • MintyBitesBack
    MintyBitesBack 5 months ago

    As an academic, I agree with some of what is being said, we are under a lot of pressure to perform, but, the point of journals are they should be held accountable for their content. If the methodology is flawed then the journal should be withdrawn. Your ideology of academic truth however, is really very narrow and you don't split between natural science (positivistic) and social (interpretive (more or less)). To just dub the research community in search of a single truth which arguably doesn't exist in all cases is a very weak and dismissive point of view of what valid data is or can be. To add to this, you have massively oversimplified how academics can/will/could work together and seem to think that a unified system of can function in line with Government(s)which are arguably the most inefficient bodies in existence is grasping at ideological fabrications. We don't live in an ideal world, this video seems to be underpinned that idealism is actually possible.Anyway - better go and make some more stuff up to get published... :-D

    • Prot
      Prot 2 months ago

      I firmly think before ANYONE is able to access scientific research, classes like research methodology + statistics should be mandatory.
      I mean look at the comments for this video - people are listing ridiculous problems with research and injecting politics as proof of scientific corruption like it's exceedingly common... But had they taken the time to learn how to recognize a viable study, or actually understood what an Alpha level/CI represented, or was able to recognize defensive writing and what that implies and where it's used, this wouldn't be an issue.
      So many people here expect "Yes or no" answers from research, instead of the gradient of "How well does my evidence support my hypothesis". Then they're absolutely shocked and outraged simply because they didn't understand how to read the data.

  • Abhishek Kumre
    Abhishek Kumre 7 months ago

    1.Wife😂2.war 3 aur 4tha bhul gya

  • Alexandru Popescu
    Alexandru Popescu 8 months ago +1

    1. I don't understand her 1st sentence. Is it, "My husband, John and I [the 3 of us] are philanthropists" or is it "My husband, John, and I [the 2 of us] are philanthropists"? Who is John and how many husbands does she have? If John is her only husband, then why didn't she say, "John and I are philanthropists" or "My husband and I are philanthropists"? Has she recently remarried and her current husband is John? So, her sentence translates to, "My husband, John - not to be confused with my ex-husband Joe - and I are philanthropists."

  • Telum Atramenti
    Telum Atramenti 8 months ago

    Something is broken... yes... Something is broken in your ability to gauge validity and reliability of research findings based on methodology, sample size, techniques, etc. I am not saying policymakers are any better at this. But the very researchers she is ragging on have actually pointed out in their very studies that the conclusions they reached are tentative, specifically BECAUSE of sample size, techniques available, methodology, etc. etc. Then comes the popular magazine, and cherry picks the studies to create a catchy article, without any consideration as to HOW STRONG the evidence actually is. And yes, not all evidence is considered the same, there is a scale of how strong the evidence is based on sample size, techniques, how often the study was replicated with the same results and so on. So instead of blaming researchers, and science in general - take an introductory course in Research Methods, learn how to evaluate the strength of evidence, and read PEER REVIEWED STUDIES IN JOURNALS rather than articles in popular magazines (like the Scientific American). It is hardly surprising that you could cherry pick a bunch of studies which are either single case studies or studies with sample sizes of 30-40 individuals and no double blind or randomization and find that half of them do not provide reliable conclusions. Next time, - do the same with studies that had a large sample size, double blind and randomization and see if you find the same unreliable results. It is rather obvious that you won't, but that will not make a great sensationalist headline for your presentation. Gee... science is effective. Science was correct, yet again... Science allows us to do things our ancestors considered impossible, like curing illnesses which killed half the humans that ever lived. I have a proposal for you. When you get cancer, - instead of trusting the scientific findings, - just abandon the standard treatment and go with a folk healer's "method" and we'll all see if you outlast the folks who instead chose to rely on science. But hey, you are just not going to do this, even if we paid you millions, precisely because you know that SCIENCE IS SUPERIOR and FAR MORE RELIABLE than anything we hitherto had! End of story.

  • Ab Guilford
    Ab Guilford 9 months ago

    The problem with power posing is it is intimating to others. First, you have to feel good about yourself; it called confidence. How do you feel about yourself? It is easy - no money involved.

  • Cameron Vadnais
    Cameron Vadnais 9 months ago

    What a clever title for the video.

  • leojun2
    leojun2 9 months ago +1

    Yes, the issue is there, scientific research is far from perfect, especially since 'publish or perish' is still the norm in many places.
    However, the talk could have been delivered in a much, much better way. There was absolutely no need to attack a researcher. There was no need to mention names, show photos, and most importantly, no need to mock the intervention (power posing) regardless of its effectiveness (or lack of).
    Randomized controlled trials really are gold-standard to test efficacy, but also have many limitations, especially in healthcare. Different study designs are needed because they complement each other (as long as they are methodologically correct).
    Also, she claims that researchers are selectively reporting only statistically significant results, but then criticizes when most of the assessed studies reported 'weak' or no positive effects? If every researcher was 'scientifically honest' and published transparent results (which would be good), there would be a lot of non significant results. This is because they cannot tell beforehand if a intervention is going to work; they need to test it first. And then publish the results, positive or negative.

  • Zombie Rhythm
    Zombie Rhythm 10 months ago

    Power posing is one of the greatest tools we can use to improve our lives. I think every dancer and method's actor knew that before Amy Cuddy's video. No matter what the studies say, every day say a different thing. everyone has to feel and notice for themselves. You have to try and find yourself. In my experience, is a fantastic tool. One of the best.
    I don't really know why it works, if is the hormone levels or another thing, what I know is that science don't design nature's laws, only try to understand them and explaine them. So if the hormones aren't the reason, let give time to science to catch up
    But the important thing about this video is another issue. Amy Cuddy really wants to help people and try, honestly, and her passion and emotions moved millions of us. If she is right or wrong is not important because every researcher and scientist in the world are wrong at some point and only through constancy and perseverance hi/her achieve some positive goals.
    Laura Arnold don't come to the stage and say "look, a college of us, a researcher and professor, etc, gave some information that in my opinion is incorrect and I'm going to explain my points here so you can confront the information and decide for yourself what line of thinking is most plausible to be true". Laura Arnold came to stage an attack not only the research of Amy Cuddy but Amy Cuddy's persona directly.
    What I felt watching the 4 minutes of video that I could bear to watch are that Laura Arnold is not interested or motivated to help people, to improves peoples life, her interest is, in my opinion, are fame, exposure, and attention. My feeling is that she is jealous. Her emotions are true too, but they are very different from Amy's emotions.
    That's why I watch Amy Cuddy's video like 5 or 6 times to the date, and I can't bare more than 4 minutes of Laura Arnold video.
    To Laura Arnold: If you happen to read this critique, don't take it harsh, mine is only one opinion and I do not have to be right. I only express what I felt. Dismiss it if you think I'm wrong or use it to improve if you find some true on it. Like all criticism has to be used for.

  • Satan
    Satan 10 months ago

    4 most dangerous words.
    "Will you marry me?"

  • Jeffrey Morton
    Jeffrey Morton 10 months ago

    The Four Most Dangerous Words?... "Believe what I say..."

  • COOPS awright
    COOPS awright 10 months ago

    I would like to show you a picture of mike hunt

  • Richard Tosh
    Richard Tosh 10 months ago

    wow. Thanks.

  • Xiphane X
    Xiphane X 10 months ago

    There are no birds left in your area.
    Desex them, make them a penned in sanctuary, feed them and wait for them to pass.

  • Yajuvendra Rawat
    Yajuvendra Rawat 11 months ago

    Seriously where are four words other than power pose bashing nothing was there....ahhh I get it now “she is a philanthropist “

  • Elisabeth Galvan
    Elisabeth Galvan 11 months ago

    Your misleading because she did not say to stand around in that posture (with arms up). Just to try it before an interview or an event that makes you nervous. The way your standing tall, with an arched back and speaking makes you feel good. Listen before you bash someone else's ted talk.

  • Rohit Goswami
    Rohit Goswami 11 months ago

    Welcome God bless u take care..... You are not bound You are free to make your decision anytime

  • Jimbissle
    Jimbissle 11 months ago

    'We need to Talk'.

  • GGR TheMostGodless
    GGR TheMostGodless 11 months ago +1

    In the academic circles they are always afraid to challenge experts... they don't have the guts to do it. Even clearly flawed studies. The exceptions prove the rule in this case.

  • MetteC5
    MetteC5 Year ago

    Laura is indeed clearly not an academic and does not apply the scientific rigour that she professes to her own work: she's only talking about American science, which, as the rest of the world knows, is indeed largely junk. What about enlarging your sample size, Laura?... Appalling.

  • Wesley Terry
    Wesley Terry Year ago +1

    Possibly the most beautiful woman I've ever seen

  • James Clark
    James Clark Year ago +1

    CEO'S AND 1% LOVE THIS TALK! Its a ready made justification for giving nothing, and then blaming the research... Bravo! Let's keep the rich... rich and guilt free. You (and your wealthy brethren) can now dissect any study and find a way to call it Junk science. Trump loves you!

  • dany
    dany Year ago

    i need my boat

  • Jacob Andrews
    Jacob Andrews Year ago +2

    “I hate anecdotal evidence... let me give you an example”

  • Pfjom Bygh
    Pfjom Bygh Year ago

    Amy Cuddy´s talk changed my life for the better. Every day this statement proves itself again.

  • Bengun67
    Bengun67 Year ago

    I wonder how many dissertations for PhD got streamlined towards some agenda or another....

  • Angel Martin
    Angel Martin Year ago

    her words trail off -what awaste of time

  • Impari Safari
    Impari Safari Year ago

    TED talk
    Person. ..

  • Ilona Zielinska
    Ilona Zielinska Year ago +1

    You don't have to be a scientist to see the false and far fetched cocnlusions being drawn from some research done on a tiny group.

  • Paul Robertson
    Paul Robertson Year ago

    I thought that the four most dangerous words might just be "you're a f**king a** hole!"

  • Noel Sussex
    Noel Sussex Year ago

    I'm a professional scientist.. a biologist. There is much truth in what Laura says. Integrity is the most Important attribute that a scientist can have.

  • Space Dust
    Space Dust Year ago

    The best tall I’ve watched in a while!

  • Albert Guilmont
    Albert Guilmont Year ago

    It's too late.
    Incompetence already infected the scientific and academic environment. And the worst (millenials and Zs) is yet to come!

  • USN Corpsman
    USN Corpsman Year ago +1

    Hubby and wife support George Soros

  • LimLux
    LimLux Year ago

    To much of everything is bad for you.

  • Dave Judd
    Dave Judd Year ago

    Puss in boots. she cute but talk rubbish.

  • werlkj567
    werlkj567 Year ago

    Our society is full of scams, lies, truth bending, and half-assery. It's systemic.

  • simplymovingon
    simplymovingon Year ago

    this woman looks like Jessica Lange

  • Jayson T
    Jayson T Year ago

    This is fantastic! I've wanted to give this speech for ever.

  • Jayson T
    Jayson T Year ago

    True, power poses are bullcrap.

  • Pauline Schmitt
    Pauline Schmitt Year ago

    She could easily be talking about vaccinations and their lack of evidence.

  • dave angel
    dave angel Year ago

    this young lady has a lot to say for herself ,

  • Carlo Calabrese
    Carlo Calabrese Year ago +1

    A lawyer and a hedge fund manager (with an Enron background) are denigrating the scientific community on a host of grounds while setting themselves up as the arbiters of truth. Science in the acquisition of knowledge is like democracy in government: it's not a good system; but it's the best system.

  • razorwireclouds
    razorwireclouds Year ago

    well America needs to stop trying to reinvent the wheel on everything and just learn from Europeans, clearly EU education, healthcare, infrastructure and other social services are better.

  • Paul Marostica
    Paul Marostica Year ago

    To Laura Arnold: If what you are claiming here about the results of various "scientific" studies is true, then I had no idea that science, in general, was being that badly done. My specialty is physics theory, and I am certain that that is being extremely badly done. Unfortunately, the physics theories, quantum theory and relativity theory, and their various derivative theories, are also junk science theories. Both quantum theory and relativity theory are very useful for calculating various physics observables, with the results of quantum theory calculations tending to be significantly more accurate. But the assumptions of what is physically occurring claimed for these theories all fail to be logical, with some being ridiculously illogical. My new unifying physics theory, matter theory, will easily replace all these theories, to become the only logical theory. But there seems to be no funding organization which will fund an independent theorist for a guaranteed better theory. Instead, funding seems to be available only for theorists to try to invent a better theory. Can you help? You can find my videos advertising my theory using the 3 search keywords: matter theory marostica.

  • MrJohnisthename
    MrJohnisthename Year ago

    So basically what she's saying is, Philanthropists can alter the results of studies they disagree with if they fund the research it takes to refute the data. Hmmm...How's that line go?...."There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold. And she's buying a stairway to heaven."

  • Nick MaGrick
    Nick MaGrick Year ago

    a TED talk bashing other TED talks, so meta
    I think she just started digging into corruption, and didnt even realize it. Or she does, and shes finding a way to make it palatable

  • Dennis R. Levesque

    It seems to me that you're starting to notice the difference between money and value. Sometimes people think money IS value. And sometimes people think you have to trade your values to get money, or that money can be traded to get values. When in fact, money is just a bookkeeping tool used as a place-holder for real value. Whenever the link between money and real value is broken, you'll always feel cheated, regardless if you're the payER or the payEE. Sometimes that gets in the way of real science/economics. Sometimes you need a serious/honest reality-check. Do those ever get funded? I've never heard of anyone ever (trying to) starting a buisness called Wisdom 'R' Us, or Reality Checks While You Wait, or Think-Tank Inc, or even an open-to-the-public R&D center. Until the public in general can have access to resources to do their own research towards their own values (without external influence, positive or negative), then the results will always be biased toward the entity in charge, and away from the entity searching for the real truth. That's why it's so important to never abdicate your own thinking to any "expert" (even if it's the most perfect Artificial Intelligence that can exist) .

  • Potassuim_Cation
    Potassuim_Cation Year ago

    THIS is the science talk that needs to go viral!

  • Potassuim_Cation
    Potassuim_Cation Year ago

    The problem with the way we do research is that it's all about funding. Of course I'm going to report the data that gets me a grant or continues to employ me.

  • Haley Mathiot
    Haley Mathiot Year ago

    Love how she talks about cherry-picking the data... this happened in the CDC and people foudn out, but nobody has done anything about it.

  • Stephen Brackin
    Stephen Brackin Year ago

    Dishonest title: What are the four most dangerous words?

  • Stephen Brackin
    Stephen Brackin Year ago

    Cherry-picking the data to get something publishable is a scandal in science these days. One guy's made a career out of yelling about it, and a friend of mine who's a top researcher, is doing his best to spread the word.
    And it's even worse for us poor bastards who get our news from the Web -- with it's many lies and many, many accusations that other people are lying. Paul Simon said it years ago: "All lies and jest, 'til a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest." I cope by mostly listening to the nerds.

  • Calvin Chang
    Calvin Chang Year ago


  • At0micAllison
    At0micAllison Year ago

    "A. New. Study. Shows." :(

  • John Sullivan
    John Sullivan Year ago

    Everything she mentioned that failed are Marxist Government BS. Government doesn't do anything correct, so why do these leftist loons want a bigger government ?

  • Leonardo Schwerin
    Leonardo Schwerin Year ago +5

    The Four Most Dangerous Words? Make America Great Again

  • Janta Janardhan
    Janta Janardhan Year ago

    So what are those 4 words anyway?

  • Ron Mexico
    Ron Mexico Year ago

    Google "Tiljander proxy" and read up on it. Scientists flip proxies upside down to find what the want and it still passes pal review (peer review) because their pals want the same leeway given to them when then send their shoddy work into a journal. Keep that grant money flowing.

  • Lothar Scholz
    Lothar Scholz Year ago +1

    The chocolate story was setup by german journalist to see how many newspaper print junk science stories without any research.

  • KraigvAluE NovA
    KraigvAluE NovA Year ago

    I like the concept and the means by which it touches what its life, yet what four words are bad

  • Shareef Taylor
    Shareef Taylor Year ago

    I KNEW something was wrong with those blue M&Ms!

  • 歐陽Yang
    歐陽Yang Year ago

    Great truth that need to be said again and again until it's heard

  • Pepins Spot
    Pepins Spot Year ago

    Love it. Common sense and facts in the age o Trump.

  • biker
    biker Year ago

    As soon as you said social justice I left .

  • Blue Fluke
    Blue Fluke Year ago +1

    philanthropist: one who pays no taxes

  • larry cork
    larry cork Year ago

    Reseach funding postings should be required on by the title of all studies

  • Kallyjon
    Kallyjon Year ago

    Is she cross-eyed, her eyes are upside down

  • Paul White
    Paul White Year ago

    Cant get any plainer than that...are you listening all you gold-bricking, tenure-hugging quackademics .?...let's not leave out the politics of university management as well, pandering to big money as the gutless weasels you know you are.

  • John Juster
    John Juster Year ago +1

    Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Missa McFadden
    Missa McFadden Year ago

    Statistics in general are flawed. Most go off of opinion or questionarres in which the subjects don't tell the truth anyways hence why you get so many outcomes.

  • ell diavolo
    ell diavolo Year ago

    Is she related to Jessica Lange?

  • Sadat Mian
    Sadat Mian Year ago

    how did she memorize the whole speach

  • JLWH
    JLWH Year ago

    How many studies do we hear breaking news about and believe, only to find out 1, 2 or 10 years down the road, that they were all biased, wrong and not done correctly then, reversed and something new comes up. Drink coffee, don't drink coffee, only drink so much coffee, drink wine, don't drink wine, only drink so much fats, don't eat fats, base your entire diet on fats...the list is endless. The same holds true with drugs from Big Pharma, put onto the market far too quickly, others not put on that could help people because it isn't going to bring in enough money...blah, blah, blah. Money, Money, Money and more money and fame or self-promotion. Nothing is 100% and no one is un-corruptable when facing enough money or fame.

  • Delphinium Flower
    Delphinium Flower Year ago +3

    The solution is to stop depending on wealthy philanthropists to solve the problems of the poor, because the very existence of wealthy people is what causes the problems of poverty and inequality in the first place. We need to eliminate the wealthy as a class. The four most false, dangerous, and oppressive words are "we need the rich". Philanthropy is not, and it can never be, the solution to poverty and society's problems.

    • Bad Informeiyon
      Bad Informeiyon 11 months ago

      I agree with you, let's give it to the poor. But just one thing... Could we start with you first please? I am poor, so can I give you my bank details for your deposit? Any number with 5 zeros behind will due.

  • Assala Garoui
    Assala Garoui Year ago

    i dont know how but im infatuated by the way u presented your speech

  • Nicholas Mann
    Nicholas Mann Year ago


  • Jackie Joseph
    Jackie Joseph Year ago

    Ja iSri Krishna. Looks to be bully body language.

  • Vicky Vasiliauskaite

    wow! the worst Tedx talk I've seen. All the problems and no solutions! Beautiful presenter and wonderfully spoken but How "inspiring" :-/ to see people like this having any influence...

  • ThE BeSt !
    ThE BeSt ! Year ago

    Make America great again#3
    The Egyptians were white #2
    Jesus Christ is white#1
    #4 weapons of mass destruction
    #5 Republican Democratic fox news
    #6 the jerry springer show
    #7 this is not religious

  • Venum Ames
    Venum Ames Year ago

    6 minutes in and boring...what are those 4 dangerous words?

  • Magdalena Luchter

    So what are the 4 most dangerous words ?

  • Vantastic Voyage
    Vantastic Voyage Year ago

    Apply this perspective to the recent events in Vegas.

  • omg hey there
    omg hey there Year ago

    1- it means RICH LOL

  • david mccallum
    david mccallum Year ago

    As we diminish the self, the ego, we make more space within us, for the occupation of our creator, unless we have gone down the dark path of necromancing. Power positioning, puffs up the pride of self & the ego, believing we are able to do all, of ourselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need G-d, and must be dependent on him for all things.

  • Unsettled On Purpose

    the front fell off

  • G K
    G K Year ago +5

    Her husband was dubbed the "king of natural gas." That makes her the queen. Check out where they made their money. Enron. And now she is throwing words around so we begin to mistrust science. She is part and parcel of the problem.

    • Qamar Shahbaz
      Qamar Shahbaz 5 months ago

      go eat some chocolate to lose all that salt

  • Rose Bud
    Rose Bud Year ago

    I don't'understand her.

  • princess étoile
    princess étoile Year ago

    True 🖒👏

  • A B
    A B Year ago

    She sounds like Piper from Fallout 4