Spokesman for Leeds Metropolitan University on the radio: “Macdonalds paid us to perform an independent study…”
Bollocks they did.
If you were paid for it, it’s not independent. Getting money for something is the exact definition of “dependent”. Call it impartial, unbiased or neutral if you like. It might even be true. But “independent” actually means something real and verifiable that backs up your claim to be impartial. It doesn’t mean “we’re unbiased because we say so, honest”, and when you start using the word as a free pass to avoid scrutiny, you go from being possibly biased to actually lying about the fact. Which is not good for your credibility as a research group. Stop polluting our language, you tossers.