Why is that an indication that their test is not "rigorous"?
I think it's pretty interesting that by saying only that little thing people made more putts. I've seen plenty of studies lately that say the same thing. People made more putts with a putter they believed was a Tour player's putter, too.
It doesn't take much.
Yeah, I agree that that much bias in the results is pretty amazing given such a weak suggestion. I just thought that a research team of PhDs would come up with a little more elegant way of planting the 'luck' seed. That was the first thing I was interested in when I opened the article - how did they make their ball 'lucky' - and was disappointed when I found the answer. I work with some Human Factors pyschology scientists and they can get pretty clever in either deceiving their test subjects or teasing data from them..