Times Article on Stress Causes Stress

corrections102108 Times Article on Stress Causes StressThe New York Post isn’t the only local paper with egg—or Iranian caviar—on its face today.

The New York Times ran an unusual correction for an October 14th story by ‘Itineraries’ writer Paul Burnham-Finney headlined "Upgrading the Stress Levels."

According to the correction:

An article in the Itineraries pages last Tuesday reported about the increasing stress on business travelers, and cited the findings of ‘Stress in America,’ an annual survey of the American Psychological Association. That survey found that economic factors were the leading causes of stress levels in 2008, but it did not say, as the article did, that ‘the crisis on Wall Street was the No. 1 cause of anxiety,’ nor did participants in the survey say they felt most vulnerable to stress ‘in the office and on a business trip.’

Woops. But that’s not all:

The article also quoted incorrectly from a comment by Nancy Molitor, a psychologist in Wilmette, Ill., who told the author that, ‘In my 20 years of practice I’ve never seen such anxiety among my patients,’ not ‘among my banking and business patients.’ While Dr. Molitor does have patients in banking and business, she did not single them out as being more anxious than her other patients.

Well, that’s a relief.

If only Mr. Burnham-Finney had kept his story vague and used phrases like "more and more," as suggested by Timesman Warren St. John to The Observer‘s Samuel Jacobs and Jonathan Liu in August 2006. Then again, he also might’ve heeded Mr. St. John’s dictum that, "Just because something is interesting… doesn’t mean it’s a trend."