Where to start?
First, this study was based on analyzing the reactions of nineteen (19) female college students at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Or. I don’t know about y’all, but I certainly didn’t make enough while I was in school to have even paid taxes, so how would college students have any representative reaction to something they’ve never had to do?
Second, the sample size was a whopping nineteen people. My statistical recall from undergrad is hazy at best, but there is a calculation you have to run to know if your sample size is sufficient, and I would be surprised if a number under twenty cut the mustard.
Third, the lead researcher on the study said that people probably like paying taxes more than they admit, hence the widespread compliance with tax laws, despite our propensity to complain about paying taxes. Perhaps “widespread compliance” with tax laws has a little something to do with the threat of federal prosecution if one doesn’t pay them. Hence the supposed pleasure spike observed among the study participants upon paying their taxes is more likely really relief that they’ve just avoided confinement in a federal pen.